難波の南蛮、戎橋の夷。

Hidden Treasure

FIRST POST OF MAY!  Rather belatedly, eh?  I have my reasons.  A very good friend of mine, a classmate from Kyoto days, came over from America to stay with me and hang out in Kansai for two whole weeks, so I took a bit of a sabbatical from that whole social media thing.  Which I wasn’t very attuned to anyway.

Then I fell in love with a fantastic woman here in Osaka.  I’ve never felt quite this way about anybody before, and again posting here was not at the top of my mind.  I am determined not to let this blog moulder completely, though, so it’s time for a bit of internet necromancy!

There are pictures from my long vacation with my friend I’ll post, but I’d rather catch up backwards than try and find where I left off in my photo library.  So let’s begin with the latest.

Kobe is a very long and narrow city, an urban ribbon sometimes only a few city blocks deep running east to west.  To the south is the Seto Sea, the island-filled gap between the main islands of Honshu and Shikoku.  To the north, the city runs straight up against green mountains.  The close proximity to nature is one of the things I enjoy about Kobe.  From the center of a city of a million and a half, it doesn’t take very much time or effort to delve into the mountains.

Just north of central Kobe, up in the gently sloping mountains, runs a series of waterfalls called Nunobiki.  They have been renowned for centuries as one of Japan’s great natural sights, but are now often overlooked, hidden just beyond the reach of the city, its energy and sound.

The first of Nunobiki's cascades, mere minutes on foot beyond the Shinkansen station but already a completely different world.

The second and greatest cascade. My camera doesn't properly convey the scale of the falls, some 150 feet high.

A brief glimpse of the city before sinking back into the greenery.

Further uphill and upstream is this dam, built in the late 19th century to create a drinking water reservoir. Apparently a designated heritage site, it's the oldest concrete dam in Japan.

Behind the dam. It may be manmade nature, but it's PRISTINE manmade nature.

The path keeps continuing north into rural Hyogo, but I had to put in some hours at work and doubled back down the mountain.  Just as well, I was starting to tire.

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3 responses

  1. lord kelvin

    Isn’t there a famous zen cleansing ritual under this waterfall? You should do that because it looks hard core, that water is cold enough to cleanse any bad karma clinging to anyone, not that you have any though

    May 24, 2011 at 2:05 AM

  2. Grandmom

    Dan,
    Thank you! I enjoy visiting Japan through your eyes. Your photos and narrative descriptions are outstanding.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:38 AM

  3. Yes, there are some customs like that, especially in a hardcore syncretistic Shinto/Buddhist mystical practice called Shugendo.

    Nunobiki, though, is one of the old holiest waterfalls in Japan, apparently. Entering it would make somebody powerful angry, I assume.

    May 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM

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