The road is another corker rural, mountainous and really switchback but it is slippery with leaves and the heavy rain of last night. We arrive in Tono around 11ish and pass a folklore open air museum it looks interesting so we park up. A number of dwellings are arranged inside, one houses a display of the silk process, the looms are set up and the silk worm cocoons are in a bowl of warm water beside, spinning the loom you can see the silk thread unraveling from the cocoon which is fascinating. Further on in the dwelling is an inner room, the room of ten thousand wishes all written on silk and hung over a wooden horses or lady’s heads. We write our wish on the silk and add it to the many thousand already there. Heading back to the car park we become the other attraction of Tono as we proceed to get the stove out to cook our noodle lunch, amongst photos a biker hands us a bottle of pear juice local produce and very tasty and a visiting Chinese lady hands us an intricately penned postcard of the area. Lunch over we cross the road heading for the shrine a man motions was lunch good, we laugh and say Hei (yes)  we continue to the shrine which is suitably impressive here we find the artist who drew our postcard making a drawing of the shrine. His work is amazing we thumb through his book, such intricate detail and all with a fine black pen. He stops and hands us two samples each a present he says we take his photo and say Arigato. We then follow the crowds to a stream where there is a cucumber dangling from a fishing pole in the water. It has huge folklore attached to it to do with the legends of Tono and they all get very exicted having their photo taken on the edge of the river unfortunately it’s meaning is totaly lost on us but it was a nice senic walk. We return to the bike there is more to see in the village and we head for another attraction. The next one is a hot spring with a folkcraft museum with water wheels, potters houses and exhibits of rural life all in a lake setting with waterfalls and gardens we enjoy a good few hours here before finally heading to Kitakama. As we have found camping by lakes before we head for one on the map and find a little hidden campsite with a Japanese family already there we join them. The heavens open after we have finished dinner so we ajourn to the dishwashing area which has lights and seats and is dry. After watching the campside flood we slosh our way back to our soggy tent for the night. It’s Autumn and we have had quite a lot of rain in Japan. We both say a little prayer that it will stop raining tommorrow.
  1. #1 by Julie on October 28, 2010 - 3:42 pm

    Dear Karen and Kev

    Just to let you know I am still religiously following and enjoying your blog and am constantly amazed at the kindness of people. I read some out to Sprout last week and had to stop every so often as I kept welling up! What a softie! Must be my age …

    Anyway, so sorry I did not write on your birthday, Karen, sounds like you had a fab time. We were preparing to go away for a week to Cornwall and Exmoor for our wedding anniversary (pearl!!) We had a great time and brilliant weather.

    Sprout’s had the cast off his leg finally but will probably need ops on at least one knee. He is waiting for an URGENT scan on both – four to six weeks – good old NHS!

    We are off to Prague in December for about five days, stopping in Cologne for a night – all the way by train, looking forward to snow and Christmas markets.



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