Here’s an increasingly rare non-garden post for you.
I did one of the dumber things I’ve done in while yesterday — drove from here (Ishikawa) to Shizuoaka (the other side of the country) and back yesterday to attend a conference. Even dumber? I arrived, did a presentation for about 30 minutes, ate lunch, and got back in the a car to drive home. It’s about a 5 hour drive each way, and I never really did the math to consider what driving that much would actually entail. Suffice to say, it’s been a while since I’ve had a first world problem like my achy accelerator leg at the end of it all.
The impetus for the long drive was twofold. First, I don’t really like these conferences and didn’t want to be there much longer than was necessary. Second, I bought a hybrid Toyota Aqua (Prius C in America) back in April and I had yet to take it on a long road trip. I was curious to see what kind of mileage it would get on the highway. So really, there was no reason not to spend the day driving. On one of the upcoming cold winter nights when I have no gardening news I’ll do a car review.
In the meantime, my inlaws are here for the long weekend and we were looking for something to do today to take advantage of the beautiful late fall day. Our first destination was Natadera, about 25 minutes south of here on the outskirts of Komatsu. I’m not into shrines and temples, but Facebook friends have been posting pics of this place for years and it’s always caught my eye, though not enough to have actually gone there…UNTIL TODAY.
It was jam packed with site seers, but once we found a parking spot and toured all the peripheral buildings (snooze), I was pretty impressed with the temple gardens. They have some cliffs with little nooks and crannies and stairways chiselled out of the rock faces that people were enjoying scampering around, with calls of ‘kowai’ (scary!) being heard every 30 seconds or so.
There are also several ponds stocked with big, fat koi, elevated platforms looking down across the grounds, and more moss-per-square-inch than any place I’ve been recently. I’d like to go back to Natadera some day when there are fewer people and without my children.
We enjoyed a sushi lunch before heading to what is becoming my favorite place around here, the Kasano Cape. I feel like it should be Cape Kasano, but maybe that’s just because I’m from Cape Cod. I posted some pictures from when I first stumbled upon this place back in early spring. The Kasano Cape is the furthest point west in Ishikawa Prefecture, which really means nothing. It’s located in Kaga City, which is my favorite part of this prefecture. It has dramatic coastlines and beautiful beaches, rolling hills, farms, forests, a great view of the mountains, and lots of art galleries and small cafes. It’s got the country feeling without being rundown, deserted or dying like a lot of countryside places in Japan.
The point being, if you are local and have never been to the Kasano Cape, put it on your list. There are miles of walking trails along the coast, and lots of other cool places to explore around the area.
Hope everyone’s enjoying the three-day weekend. (And good on WordPress for fixing the interface. I guess I’ll stay after all.)