Rural Japan, temples and bamboo

Much as Tokyo city was very interesting, it was the two trips that we took out to more rural areas that were the most fascinating. We were lucky to have our excellent tour guide, Jake, who knew all the best places to explore, and that meant we saw a lot more of Japan than we would have done on our own.

One of the side effects of him living there though the pandemic has been that he has done lots of visiting rural places, such as temples, shrines and going on mountain hikes, as much of the city was closed during that period and he wanted to avoid crowds.

Our first visit was to Japan’s ancient capital, Kamakura. We went on the train for this which was brilliant, I love train journeys and it was fascinating to see the extent of the city of Tokyo. We got off at a station not far from Kamakura and went on a hiking trail from the small village.

This meant that we got to visit a couple of small shrines and see lots of the forest.

I was fascinated by the wild bamboo and very excited to see a Japanese squirrel!

Ellen always laughs at me when I see squirrels as there were so many of them at her last National Trust job at Clumber Park so she saw them every day. I love them and am now happy to say that I have seen four types of squirrels on three continents. We saw some very fat grey squirrels in Central Park in New York and I have posted previously about the lovely little dark squirrels that we have here in La Marina.

The hiking trail took us up to the top of the area, with brilliant views over to the sea. The photos in no way do it justice and it was so wonderful to see all of the flora around.

At the summit there is a beautiful park, and then when we came down the other side we visited the Great Buddha that I have previously posted about. The trail was a little muddy at times and there were some very steep bits but it was brilliant fun.

Our other rural trip was by coach to see Mount Fuji! Jake had done this trip before but sadly it was misty that day and he didn’t get a good view but we were really blessed and got great views. I was very pleased that we could see it so clearly from the coach.

It was a really interesting trip as well, seeing the beautiful hills and mountains covered in blossom trees and the rural towns and villages.

We went to one of the five lakes surrounding the mountain, Lake Kawaguchiko, which is a very popular tourist spot with lots of hotels and boat trips.

The views were beautiful, not only of Mount Fuji, but also across the lake itself and I amused myself taking arty pictures through the trees.

By the time we were leaving the clouds at top had cleared and we were able to see the peak, which was extremely exciting.

I am so pleased that we got to explore so much of Japan. We will hopefully go back in a couple of years and explore more of the country. Now things are fully open Jake is keen to travel a bit further.

His last visa renewal was for three years, so fingers crossed he has another couple of years of exploration, and hopefully more as he would like to stay there as long as he can. I am so pleased that my children love travel as much as I do, and so proud of them for making their own exciting lives.

I have finished all of the Barbie collection of clothes so will post about that next. The fundraiser is next week, hopefully it will be popular and raise lots of money. I am having a quiet few weeks here trying to get some of my crafting to do list done before I have friends come to stay with me, which will be fun, the first ones since my retirement.

I hope that you have a good week ahead. It is getting quite warm here now so although I have done a couple of short bike rides, I am visiting the pool today. Whatever you are doing have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.