Sunday, May 10, 2009
I've been taking a few bike rides in recent weeks. Actually I cycle about 20% of the time, push the bike uphill about 10%, and freewheel downhill for 70% of the time. My bike has no gears, its a "mamachari", so I get my wife to drop me and my bike off up in the high country and then head home downhill.
Yesterday I cycled 30k from near Iwami Ginzan, and took Route 46 all the way back. Some of the time its a 2 lane road, but some of the time its a single lane mountain road. It passes through a couple of villages, and down a couple of mostly uninhabited valleys.
Lots of people busy in the paddies, planting by machine, and also by hand. Most appeared to be at least 60 years old.
Stopped in at a couple of shrines. The shrine in Oe has 3 beautiful huge cedars flanking the entrance.
There is also a few nice temples, and of course many roadside altars.
Lots of empty and abandoned houses, both in the villages and on the hillsides.
In the heat of the middle of the day most people are inside, but this guy was out and about. I think he was out scouting around for gardens to raid. I saw one this lunchtime in my own village, single male out of the cover of the forest. I suspect he will bring the troop back around dawn.
There were also lots of flowers still. In the last valley there were a lot of wisteria.