Japan Trip 2023 – Day Nine

May 12th

Air conditioning in this room does not go low enough.

Nice to be able to do shower misogi again to start the day.

Kofu cold water is a lot colder than Brisbane cold water.

The last of yesterday’s kombini natto sushi for breakfast.

And now will soon set off for the Takeda Shrine. Allowing an hour’s walk, assuming minimal Google misdirections. May even be back in time to go to lunch at the vegan café.

Stepped out of the elevator into a lobby full of Japanese suits. To a man, (no women in the room), a look of confusion swept across their faces as they saw me emerge, like they had just been blinked into an alternate universe.

Amused me, if not them; most will probably recover.

Leisurely walk to the shrine, Google doing its job.

Shrine is built on the site of the original Takeda residence and is beautiful. It felt vibrant and alive, not too crowded and with Miko and priests and other shrine attendants going about their daily business.

There were raptors flying overhead on the way there and some large stork like bird flew low over the shrine just after I arrived.

Bought a charm each for Tanwyn and myself and an Ofuda for each kamiza: house and dojo.

Wandering away from the main buildings, there was a bizarre sound coming from the trees. Sounded like Hollywood dinosaurs preparing to attack. It took a while to find, but there were a couple of very large nests in a tree, with babies of the stork like bird. Tried to take some photos, but given the angles, I doubt anything will be in focus, or recognisable if it is. Nevertheless, it was a pure delight to experience.

Over the road to the very new Shingen museum. Full of bits and pieces excavated from the residence, including a reproduction of the skeleton of a war horse found buried there. Fourteen years old, but tiny. Only 1.26 metres tall.

Souvenir shop over the road had the usual crap, but also some hand made, high end suzuri, selling for as much as 880 000 yen.

Google says fifteen minutes to walk to one of the burial sites for Shingen.

Fifteen minutes later and Google says I am still fifteen minutes away, but now in a different direction.

I give up on the tomb and Google’s games and decide to head back into town to try the vegan café. Eventually, I come across a sign saying Shingen’s tomb this way. It looks uphill all the way and does not match the map. I choose to ignore it.

Google plays nice all the way to the café and the audio book I was listening to finished at the moment I arrived.

The lunch time special, Buddha’s bowl with tandoori sauce was good, but not great.

The Japanese have a strange relationship with curry.

I do not regret the meal, but will not bother repeating it this trip.

Back to the train station for the obligatory Shingen statue photo and perhaps some gift shopping.

I purchased nothing.

Legs are tired after six hours of walking.

No green spaces to just sit and relax like at Matsumoto, so back to the hotel.

Tried to pick up some tofu sticks for breakfast, but none in either of the kombini I tried.

Beer and sake time.

Kai Cho

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