Autumn in Katsuoji

One of the many charms of Katsuoji is the view during Autumn.

After visiting it during Summer time, Miss S and I decided to see it during the Autumn season as well. This time we just took the train and then bus to get there.

How to get there from Osaka(Access)

We took Hankyu Line and got off at Kita Senri Station and took bus #29.

Let’s try to see how Autumn looks like arund Katsuoji.

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Somebody shaped the little guys into a heart.

Kurobe Gorge Adventure

Everytime I see this Japan adevertisement of a train running on a red track across the river with a beautiful nature all around, I feel like dropping everything and find that place.

For this summer, I decided to go to Toyama but I had no idea where to go. A few days before vacation starts , I searched for places to visit which does not cost a fortune.

I found Trini Traveller’s blog and I got the information and booked my train ticket to go to my next adventure 🙂

I prebooked my ticket for the train here (Sorry only Japanese). The round trip ticket costs : 3,420 yen.

The Kurobe Torokko Electric Train starts from Unazuki Station (宇奈月駅) and since I stayed in Toyama area, I need to take another train to Unazuki Onsen Station which is about 1 hour 30 minutes and cost 1840 yen , one way. From Unazuki Onsen Station, it’s about 3 minutes walk to Unazuki Station.

I totally forgot that tourist places like this always have some kind of free pass and  unfortunately I noticed it on my way back. The ticket cost 2,500 yen for Summer and 2,000 yen during Winter.

So let’s start the tour.
Unazuki Station. It was pouring when I got to the station.I arrived an hour before my scheduled train departs so that I can check out around the station and get some breakfast and maybe find a manhole cover. Train Schedule. You cannot just get  on the train.
Their is no assigned seats, so if you want a good one, you need to line up early. My train is next (10:03) so I`m lining up already. Once people go in, they would run to the train so make sure to move fast.

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From the second floor of the station, there is an observation area and you can see the Shin-Yamabiko (Moutain Echo Spirit) bridge where the train will cross it. It was called yamabiko by the fact that the sound of the train passing by echoes in the hot spring town.

Unazuki Dam Once we crossed Yamabiko bridge, we saw Unazuki Dam which is the newest dam in Kurobe Gorge area and was completed last 2001. Shin Yanagawara Hydro- Electric Power plant
Next we passed by a tower but actually a Hydro-Electric Power Plan (Shin Yanagawara)

Suspension bridge for Monkeys

Next is a Suspension Bridge hanging 15 meters over the lake and was specially made for monkeys to be able to traverse one shore to the other.

Hotokeishi (Stone Buddha) Hotokeishi (Stone Buddha). It not man-made but a natural rock formation that bears an uncanny resemblance to the stone Buddha. Another hanging bridge
Another hanging bridge, looks like it`s for human. It would cool and scary to be able to cross it.

to the tunnel we go Leaving Kuronagi Station and about to cross the last part of Atobiki Bridge before entering the tunnel. What is under the bridge ?
What`s under the bridge? Water 🙂 You can clearly see the bottom. The train is open so it`s exhilarating.

Dashidaira Dam We arrived in Daishidaira Dam. Untitled
Would love to stop the train and enjoy the beauty of the place.

We made a short stop and Dashidaira Station while the train going back to Unazaki arrives
Not out train :)

Misty River We passed by this lake with mist all around it. It feels like I`m in some kind of fantasy land. Approaching Kanetsuri Station
Approaching Kanetsuri Station. You can also stop at Kanetsuri Station, it is one stop before Keyakidaira(Last stop). I did not have time to explore and actually did not have much information on tickets so I stayed with my original plan and checkout Keyakidaira first.

Last stop : Keyakidaira Welcome to Keyakidaira. Now, before I boarded the train, their was an announcement that the rain is still pouring so having a rain coat is advisable, so I got one. As soon as my train left the station it stopped, so I did not need the rain coat at all. But as soon as I arrived in Keyakidaira, it poured again. My umbrella was enough though, but the raincoat helped protecting my bag 🙂 I have about 3 hours to explore the place before my return train. So let’s start exploring around Keyakidaira station. First stop is Okukane Bridge. It is 34-meters high above the river and has a really nice view of the river and the surrounding place. Like this : Keyakidaira Station from afar

Okukane Bridge Let’s cross the bridge. After crossing the bridge, you will reach Hitokui Cave Hitokui Iwa (People Eating Crag)

Some view while walking up
Untitled My next way is Sarutobi Gorge The route to Sarurobikyo (Monkey Jumping Gorge)
But before you can reach it , you need to walk into this tunnel.

View around Sarutobikyo Almost there.The kanji mean, Monkey Jump. I heard one of the maintenance worker explaining to a guest, that since a Monkey jump into the gorge, it has been called Monkey Jumping Gorge. It’s an observation platform with a great view. View around Sarutobikyo

View around Sarutobikyo

The rain started again and decided to grab some coffee and noticed that there is a free access to the rooftop and had an amazing view of the whole place
View of Okukane Bridge//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

On the way back, I was seating in the opposite side of the train and was able to see this aqueduct
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It was a nice adventure. I’m pretty sure this place will be very scenic during the autumn.
During the winter season, they close the railroad.
So if you are around Takayama area, I highly recommend visiting Kurobe Gorge and enjoy the view.

One more wish granted. 🙂

The 48 Waterfalls of Akame

Akame 48 waterfalls is located in Nabari City Mie Prefecture and considered to be the birthplace of Ninja and home to giant Salamander.

After several failed attempts since last year, together with C, I finally made it there at the end of summer.

It’s about an hour train ride from Osaka by Kintetsu Line and another 10-15 minuted ride from the train station to the base of the waterfall.

C found a cheaper ticket by Kintetsu , which includes an round trip ticket from either Namba, Uehonmachi or Tsuruhashi station to Akameguchi Station. A round trip bus ticket to from Akameguchi Station to Akametaki. An entrance ticket to the waterfalls area and the Salamander Museum.  You can also get some discounts from the omiyage shops around the area.

To know more information about the place check out the website.

My Photo Collection is here.

Kyoto Autumn Walk 2014

I joined an autumn walk around Kyoto last year and we saw some really nice places. We all met first in Arashiyama and walk all the way central Kyoto.

We passed by several temples and shrine but unfortunately, I lost the list of names that I made. So please enjoy the tour.

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The mountain and river in Arashiyama Kyoto.

On our way to the Golden Temple, we passed by this area

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The sun and the maple leaves

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I think this is the Saga-Arashiyama railroad.

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The maple tree and the train station.

Near the Golden Temple , we passed by a parking area and the trees are around it were very beautiful.

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Yellow !!

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Red!!

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More red maple leaves!

We stopped at nearby local park for lunch

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Ginko Tree.

After lunch we continue our walk to the next shrine. It was a small one , mostly local tourist but it was beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can remember how to get there too.

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The entrance to the temple or shrine(?). Unless you get inside the main hall , you don’t need to pay to enjoy the lovely trees outside.

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A close up.

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Another close up.

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The fallen leaves.

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The maple tree and the gate.

We continued our walk and on our way we passed by another big temple.

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Let’s check it out.

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This area is not open to the public but they opened the door, to allow visitor to glimpse at the garden.

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It would be nice to have a picnic under these trees.

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A small treat while walking along the Kamo River.

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The Sunset.

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Attempted night shot using iPhone.

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Another one.

We walked more or less 20 km around Kyoto that day. The weather was great, the company was great. It was an amazing day.

Kamo Adventure

Kamo was the the capital of Japan from 740-744.  It’s not really a major tourist destination in Kyoto but a really nice place to see some old cultural heritage and a good place to maybe get lost 🙂

Last Autumn 2014, I missed the first walking event organized by Mr.RB but he was very nice to do it again. Some of the leaves were gone already but we got the place to ourselves. We don’t have to compete with local tourist to see the places. It was cold but the walk warmed us and we saw some really interesting stone carvings along the way.

Our first destination is Gansenji(岩船寺). From Kamo Station, we took the community bus bound for 加茂山の家行き. It was the last stop and the temple was just 1 minute walk from the bus stop. It’s 600 yen to get inside.

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The Pagoda.

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The Pagoda again with the remaining maple leaves.

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The temple ground.

You can go inside the main temple of Gansenji and see old Buddhist relic or ring the small metal bowl for good fortune.

After we left Gansenji, we went to another temple but this one is free unless you go inside the main hall.
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The panoramic view of the temple.

But before that we found a pottery store and the two girls who were with got so excited and started shopping 🙂

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Pottery ?

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More?

We walked around as saw some really cool stone sculpture/statues which no ones really knows when it was made

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Like this Buddha statue carved at the side of the mountain. We could not get any closer so this was taken across from it.

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The Laughing Buddha. I guess these carvers or stone masons just randomly start to carve whenever they saw a big stone.

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This one has seen better days. But the outline is still there.

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Can you see the little statues on top of the rocks?

Another thing I like about places like Kamo, is that you can find small unmanned vegetable store. You buy local produce but instead of paying the owners, you put your payment in the box.

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Local farm store. The lady here is really nice, when saw me kept looking this:

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She gave me one. It’s called “Fox Face”. Its not edible and is only used for decoration.

When I came home, my backpack was really heavy. And this is one of the reason.
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In the Philippines, we call it Sayote and yes I made some really nice Chicken Tinola(Stew) with it.

It was a really nice walk. Thanks to RB the whole group had an amazing time at Kamo.