Mt. Tomi(鳥見山) to Lake Murou(室生湖)

Long time no hear/read. Been busy with my so called Life 🙂

Anyways, I join this hike on my last day of Golden Week Vacation here in Osaka. A lot of first and I saw another side of Nara that I really like. A bit far from where I am currently located but definitely worth the trip.

Our group met in Hasedara Station, which is about 1.5 hours train ride for me.

Sign post for Hasedera in Nara
The tall stone saying Hasedera Temple , just outside Hasedera Station.

I have never heard of Hasedera Temple before so I was really happy to find this place.
The group arrived on time and so our hike began. We are supposed to follow one of the Tokai Nature Trail in Nara Prefecture.

We had a short stop at the Yoki Tenma Jinja, since our organizer have this fascination with it.

A small shrine near stairs with small cute foxes(Inari) inside.

Let’s start the walk up to the Shrine.

The moss covered stairs going up. On our way up, we met some university students busily sketching the scenery. I envy them since I can’t draw a thing.

The Cow. If you ever been to Tenmangu Shrine, you will notice that there is always a Cow sculpture/statue inside which is a familiar god in Tenmangu Shrines.

After our short visit, we proceed with our hike. There was not much around Hasedera Station but as we were approaching the main Temple, there peony beautiful blooming at the side of the street, vendors giving us free taste of their products. I have never heard of Hasedera so I have never visited this place. A few weeks after this hike, I was reading the book called “The Pillow Book” that I realized the historical importance of this place. Of course entering the Temple is not free and unfortunately, we still have a long way to go so I will have to go back there soon.

The Front Gate of Hasedera.

After we left Hasedera, we were following the highway and a few minutes later we found our marker.
Our next stop is Hase Dam.

Front View of Hase Dam.

As we were heading back to the main road. We noticed this very interesting sign.
Looks like Guns are not allowed.

It was beautiful. The peacefulness of it all.

View from the top of the Dam.

Forward march. Yup we are crossing this bridge.

More walking along the highway and we found another marker leading to the mountains.

Watch out for your head.

It was a steep climb and we are supposed to find Takatsuka Castle on top but unfortunately this is what was left of the castle.
Suffice it to say, we did not get to see a castle or any of its ruins.

We also found some interesting plants along the way.
The red mushroom. Any idea the name of this mushroom?

It looks like a pitcher plant.

Wee!! another sign that we are almost to the top of the mountain.

We took a short, 1 hour break , for lunch and chatted a good while. Then we checked out the view. It was amazing.

I’m not sure if this is Nara Prefecture or Mie Prefecture already. But it looks really nice.

A Panoramic Shot.

The Azaleas were also blooming so it was really beautiful up there.

I like this shot of the Photographer seriously taking some pictures surrounded by this beautiful foliage.

And another one.

A close up with the Azaleas.

A few minutes walk we found another place where we can see more of the view.

one more 🙂

And one more.

We wanted to stay there and just enjoy the view, but we still have a very long way to go till we reach our final destination.

We found several interesting areas including this very small waterfall.

Rice fields that looks like a small version of the Banaue Rice Terraces


It looks like that the farmers just started planting rice in this area.

Farmers busy planting. I hope you have a great harvest soon.

I love this view.

Our next goal was to look for the Grave site of Yamabe Akihito a poet during Nara Period and a few hours later we found it.

The lone grave of Yamabe Akahito(山辺赤人)

Our next goal was to reach Murou Dam which according to the map was not that far, but next marker we found said that Lake Murou is 8KM away and the Dam is still a few km away from that.

We thought that there was a mistake with the marker but we thought wrong.

When we got out of the mountain and was going to the lake it was already after 4pm, the sun was already starting to set.

Part of the Lake closer to the highway. We are just entering the Lake.

It was really beautiful.

So peaceful.

Akahito’s Bridge.

We decided to check gps how far is the Dam, and it looks like it was still a good 5-6 KM away and unfortunately nobody was carrying flashlight or what not. All of us still have classes and work to do the next day. So we all decided to take the shortest route to the next station following the side of the Lake.

We found some wild deer which scampered away as soon as they caught our smell. All we could see where the white spots near the butt :).

It was a nice walk beside the lake, dirt road, smell of summer breeze , earth and forest all together. When we finally got out and back to the main road , this is what greeted us.


We still have a 2 Km to walk till we get to the train station but we got there safely and catch our train. We were all tired, but I was very satisfied to join see this amazing places.

till the next adventure:)


Travel Theme : Sky

After my meeting last Saturday, I decided to take a short walk instead and cross the bridge on foot.  It was a nice sunny day but still cold.

20131202-131642.jpgThe Sky over the  Tenjin Bridge. This bridge is just one of the few bridges over the Yodo river connecting downtown Osaka to North area of Osaka.


Just could not resist to take this Sunset over at Yodo River from the Bridge.

Cycling for Health

The weather has been great this past few days. It is still warm but it’s not humid that you will melt in just a few minutes when you are out. For the past two weekends, I have been cycling as far as my legs allows me too. Last week I was able to cycle more or less 25 KM and yesterday around 35 KM around Osaka City. 20131007-120104.jpg


Sakuranomiya Bridge

20131007-120133.jpgTenjinbashisuji  Bridge crossing Yodo River

20131007-120156.jpgOsaka Mint Museum. I need to check this place soon.


A newly made Bicycle Lane in Honmachi Avenue. Unfortunately when I tried it yesterday, majority of the cars are not aware that it was there and they are not supposed to used it so they basically block me during the stop. One car almost came close to and then swerve back into the bicycle lane. I think it’s still have way done but it’s good to know that the city is trying to implement this. I hope it will be implemented all over the city.

My legs still felt tired, I still feel tired but not in pain.  Till next bicycle weekend 🙂


Travel Theme: Distance

I almost forgot to join this week. Started work again with my former client, so I don’t need to get on the train to work anymore, yipee. Everything is a bit hectic trying to remember what I did here but everything is slowly coming up and I got to work again with some cool people in the team.

But anyways, back to the topic of this post which is Distance. During my visit to San Francisco R suggested that we take a cruise and visit Alcatraz but since I did not have much time, we just took a walk along the pier area and got to see the Alcatraz from a Distance.



A few minutes away, we also saw Bay Bridge before getting on the train again.

20130906-095130.jpgIt was a foggy cold summer day in San Francisco, the exact opposite of the very hot and humid Osaka. If the sun was out that day, it would have been perfect but it was still a fun day with R.



Travel Theme : Big

Why is it called “Golden Gate Bridge” when in fact its Red. Should it not be called the “Red Bridge” instead? R patiently explained that a certain part of the day, when the Sun hits it, it turns golden. True? Whatever reasons why its called “Golden Gate” , it cannot be denied that it’s BIG.




Upon arriving in Osaka early this week, I was greeted with a very big Sadako.

20130822-120735.jpgLooks like there is a new moving coming out.

Have a great week everyone.