Monday, October 29, 2007

Japan Day 5: Minoh

Taking a break from city life we (Steph, her boyfriend Tim, and I) hopped on a train to Minoh to go to Minō Quasi-National Park. The park is known for its monkeys, but happily we didn't see any. I know that a lot of people like the idea of seeing monkeys in their natural habitat, but it's not for me. From what I've heard, the experience can be unpleasant. Anyway the idea was that we were going to go hiking, so I took my backpack, which is after all, specifically meant for hiking, and put together some pretty great gorp (although I can't take credit for it, the mixed nuts we got at the import store were just particularly tasty).

We walked for a bit along the side of a lovely stream.

Then Tim suggested we take a higher path that looked more like a hike than the stroll we were on. Although there was a bit of confusion because the signs looked like this:
Note that the sign is not, in fact, made of wood.

we eventually got to a point that had a great view and ate our lunch there.

That's Osaka in the distance; you can it see better if you enlarge.

Steph, who had a map, then navigated us back to the main path, along the side of a small temple. Given that, in addition to the many temple pictures I've already posted I have tons more, I'm not going to post any pictures of this particular temple, but here are some pictures of things around it.
A flower growing on temple grounds.
Bridge leading away from the temple.
Building on the other side of the bridge.

Leaving the temple we walked along the paved path we had started on, passing some pretty flowers on the way.

About a kilometer later, we reached the waterfall which is one of the main attractions of the park. The other--discounting the monkeys--is the fall foliage. The whole area is full of maple trees and turns bright red later in the fall. They're really big on the maples here, and also sell fried maple leaves (momijino tempura). I tried them but wasn't really a fan.

The waterfall is lovely, but no more so than any number of waterfalls I've seen in the Adirondacks or on other hiking trips. Although it is more accessible than many of them. Still it was very nice to get out of the cities for a day.


Schnookie said...

I think the problem with that snack you mention is that it was fried Maple Leaves, which, as we all know, are nasty. But fried Maple Leafs? That's a totally different story.

I don't think I want to run into monkeys in the wild, either.

Meg said...

Hah, too funny! Fried Maple Leafs I'll take any day. Although I don't know if I'd actually want to eat them. It might cause indigestion. Just the satisfaction of knowing they were fried would probably be enough for me.