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Horse Back Riding On Mountaintops

March 2, 2011

Continued from “If It’s Koya, It Has to be Good

From Koya, Ryan and I continued our road trip south, towards the southernmost tip of the Japanese mainland.

Ryan with our trusty tiny car.

Ryan with our trusty tiny car.

The Kii Mountain Range

We made some stops along the way whenever something caught our eye: bridges, nice views, observations platforms. On that observation platform we found this piece of wonderful exercise equipment, with no explanation:

Ryan on a horse back riding exercise machine.

Ocean side cliffs at Shirahama.

Ocean side cliffs at Shirahama.

We camped a the night in Shirahama, a beach town frequented by people from Osaka (Japan’s second largest city) during the summer. Being made up of a islands formed by volcanoes, Japan’s beaches are typically black sand. Shirahama cheats by importing white sand from Australia.

Shirahama's white sand beach.

Shirahama's white sand beach.

I really enjoy drives through Japan, they typically offer a wide variety of landscapes in short distances. Big cities, mountain ranges, farms and suburbs can all be seen in an hour’s drive. I especially like Japanese mountains. They have a bit of a marble look to them, having a variety of trees with different heights and shades of green in separate clumps.

This road trip was by no means short on driving, the vast majority of our time was spent in the car, upwards of 30 hours over the course of a single three day weekend.

The lighthouse at the southernmost point of the Japanese mainland.

I was the southernmost blonde haired person on the Japanese mainland, I was the southernmost blue eyed person on the Japanese mainland, I was the southernmost American on the Japanese mainland

The view of the southernmost point from the southernmost lighthouse.

Taiji

On our last day of the trip was stopped in another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kumamono Shrine at Nachi Falls.

Seiganto Temple and Nachi Falls

A beautiful site, Nachi falls are the second highest in Japan, and possibly the most stunning. To this day it’s still a popular buddhist pilgrimage destination.

Our campsite next to a derelict Japanese house.

One of our campsites, the house was filled with comic books.

I love a good road trip, and this one was no different. This trip was probably one of my favorites that I’ve had in Japan, we saw a lot of historic sites, took in some great nature, met a few nice people and had ourselves a good time driving through narrow mountain roads.

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One Comment
  1. March 9, 2011 12:32 am

    Hi Jon GREAT photos, particularly liked the lighthouse shot. That house where U camped out looks like it’s about to collapse and must surely be a rarity, considering all the other great museums, etc.

    Keep up the great work. Keep us posted on your next port of call since you are soon to depart the old Nippon Empire.

    Much Love, Grandma & Papasan

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