Sunday, April 27, 2008

Magome 馬籠 and Tsumago 妻籠

Spent the day today in Nagiso town on the border of Gifu prefecture visiting two post-towns called Magome 馬籠and Tsumago 妻籠. The residents of the towns try to maintain a feeling of the Edo Period (1603-1867) when a foot path led from Miyako (Kyoto) to Edo 江戸 (Tokyo); part of the foot path, known as the Nakasendo 中山道, still exists, connecting the two small post-towns.

The Japanese novelist, Shimazaki Toson, spent part of his life in Magome and a museum dedicated to his life still stands there today. Toson wrote novels that focused on the lives of peasant farmers and how they experienced the transfer from Daimyo power in the Edo Period to a national government that came with the Meiji Restoration in 1868.

Along the road between the two villages we stopped by a pair of waterfalls, one a “male” waterfall and the other a “female” one. We also stopped briefly at a clearing where a stature of Kannon Buddha is located. The statue was surrounded by cherry blossom trees that were in full bloom, which was a special treat.

Kind of a long day, so that’s all I have in me for today.

Goodnight Ontake-san.

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