Thursday, June 23, 2005

Trip to the North of Kyoto Prefecture

Maizuru Bay seen from the window of a hotel
at the top of Mt. Goro, Maizuru, Kyoto.

From June 12 (Sun.) to 14 (Tue.), my wife and I made a trip to the northern cities of Kyoto Prefecture: Fukuchiyama, Ayabe and Maizuru. (Cricking blue characters below, you can see the the photo of each place in a new window, though explanations are in Japanese.)

On Sunday, we arrived at the JR Fukuchiyama Station in the early afternoon, and visited Fukuchiyama Castle. The castle was originally built by Mitsuhide Akechi around 1580, but was destroyed in Meiji Era except for stonewalls. The present castle tower was reconstructed in 1986.

Then we walked on Otonase Bridge over the Yura river to go to Sandan-ike Park. We were surprised to see that there was no water in Sandan Pond. Leveling of the ground was proceeding to make a playground there. I wonder if it is a good plan to destroy a big pond and accordingly the ecological system of Sandan-ike Park filled with many plants and creatures.

The place of our stay at two nights was located at the top of Mt. Goro in Maizuru. From the window of our room, we had a fine view of Maizuru Bay, and I made a sketch of it. The sketch of the next morning and that of the morning after next show views further to left (west). The mountain at the center of the last sketch is Mt. Tatebe, which is also called Tango-Fuji because of its shape similar to Mt. Fuji.

On Monday, we arrived at the JR Maizuru Station rather late in the morning. So we hurried to Ayabe Friendly Ranch to have lunch at a restaurant there. We saw Yura River again on our way there.

Walking for 40 minutes or so in the foot of Mt. Takashiro, we lost a way and asked a countryman the way to the ranch. He told us that there was no ranch there any more and that it was being converted to a site of a riding club. Alas! Anyway, we had to go to the old ranch. Leveling of the ground was also in progress there. Luckily, there remained a restaurant, so that we were able to have lunch there.

Coming back from the old ranch along a path through rice fields, we saw a small scoop wheel and a field of irises in full bloom. The scoop wheel seems to have been constructed for sightseers by drawing its model from those that actually helped agricultural laborers in old days.

In the morning of Tuesday, we walked near the JR Higashi-maizuru Station to see Kitasui Railway Tunnel, the Maizuru City Commemoration Hall and the World Brick Museum. All these brick constructions, now preserved as cultural heritages, were originally built for the former Japan Navy. Looking at them, I thought that we should never make such buildings for war again.

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