Another Walk – Unexpected Festivities

On Tuesday, we went for another walk. It was the last day of our holidays, and we made it a pretty interesting walk. We walked in an area we’ve never been to before, and had a very good time with some festival food.

Here, we walked down a street we’ve never been to before. As someone who likes exploring, this was all very interesting to me.

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We left the hilly area and entered the Sagami plain area of Kanagawa. It’s pretty flat.

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Welcome to Samukawa! I’d been there before, but not around Samukawa Station. Only Miyayama Station.

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The road approaching Samukawa Shrine. I was there once before, and it was somewhat busy. However, it’s still the New Year period. What would we see?

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Surprise! Ume blossoms! That’s three weeks early. It’s been a warm winter so far.

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Samukawa Shrine! That’s a very big torii, or shrine gate. The traffic was incredible here.

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Here’s the bridge and gate entering the shrine grounds. The bridge was actually quite steeply arched.

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On the ground is part of the original torii. On the left is a lantern.

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It’s busy. Much busier than I’d seen before.

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Lots of food stalls here. Looks like we found where we’re getting lunch.

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Amazing! This is the inner gate into the shrine. And it’s so crowded.

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A closeup of the gate. Very colourful.

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You can see the shrine through the gate. And that’s a big paper lantern.

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The main hall of the shrine. There’s a lot of gold there, actually. In the shrine grounds, there were probably several hundred people.

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Another shrine building. You could buy many things there.

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People tying omikuji (fortunes) to ropes.

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Time for lunch! With it being like a festival, and so many food stalls, I had some very typical festival food. This was my frank.

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And jagabata, or potatoes with butter. Delicious!

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After eating, we starting going home. Here is the same river we saw the day before, the Megujiri River. Very rural in this area.

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Some old farm buildings with the Tanzawa Mountains in the background.

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It was quite the walk. It was actually my third longest walk ever at 18.97 km. I had blisters on the bottom of both big toes. It was getting difficult to walk at the end.

Walks like this are great. We encountered something unexpected, a festival-like atmosphere at a famous shrine. With less than three months to go in Japan, I think we may take a few more of these walks and discover some new things or visit familiar places.

Have you ever gone for a walk or drive and found something unexpected?

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