Kasama – drive, cycle, hike

I intended to cycle around Kasama today, but it didn’t work out that way….I got a bit lost and had to walk for most of the trip.

Here is the map for the area where I went.

I parked at the Kasama Prefectural Natural Park, but I recommend parking before there at the parking south of Kanzeonji Shrine. It has toilets, vending machines and is on the route of the hiking trails. It is also close to the town center and is free.

There are many things to do around here, so it is not just a cycling destination. Take a look at the links in the reference section to find out more.

This was my day though. I intended to cycle around the area and then see the town, maybe get lunch. I took a look at the path and it seemed a little muddy and slippery.

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I turned around and went on the road. This is the area for a whereigo cartridge so I set to completing that. This a sort of game where you go to certain gps locations in order to find a cache. I am going to give no clues here, you will have to complete it. This cartridge leads you to boulders around the area. I found the first easy enough then..went off road for the second stop.

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As the gps led me to a wooded section I decided to leave my bike chained to a post.

IMG_1625 I climbed up through the trees and immediately got covered in mosquitoes. I was wearing mosquito repellant trousers and scarf, plus I had put lots of repellant on my t-shirt and arms. It kept them at bay for a while, but I sweated so much that I had to keep reapplying it. By the way don’t you thing the past tense of sweat should be swat. Anyway, I climbed up about 100m then came to a road…how annoying, happens a lot, stupid gps.

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I found and played on the boulders, plus found the cache. If you are coming here to hike and play I recommend coming in autumn or winter. The mozzies were infuriating…even though I didn’t get bitten. Walking through the forest reminded me of when I lived in Thailand. I used to go walking with my dog and a friend in the jungle/forest there. My friend would walk ahead swinging a stick to get rid of any spiderwebs. After walking into a big one today I picked up a stick and started swinging…no more webs in the face.

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After jumping around a bit I decided enough was enough and it was time to go back to my bike…one problem…I forgot to put a waymark where I left it. I could not remember the direction.

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I walked back to the road, but I wasn’t sure if it was the same section. So I started walking, eventually I would find civilisation. After walking a few hundred meters I got to a map. When you are in a highly wooded area gps on a phone doesn’t work very well so it was handy to find the map, there weren’t may signs around. My GPS machine did work, but there were no points of interest to figure the direction I needed, hence the need for a waymarker. The map showed that there was a circular route my bike was somewhere on it. I was at a T-junction, 50/50 chance I would go the right way….I wasn’t lucky. Though I did see other things on my walk it ended up taking me an hour to get back to my bike. Never forget to leave a waymark!

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After getting to this sign I knew exactly where I was and there was a mark on it for the big rock I saw at the beginning. Almost there.

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Can you see my bike in the distance?

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I was so happy to see it. I pushed it back up the hill to my car and relaxed into my seat with the A/C. By this time I was shattered and decided to head straight home. But then I saw the other car park and thought, well I am here, might as well see the temple.

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The drive home was really interesting and enjoyable. I set my GPS to avoid toll roads and highways, find the most direct path please. Apparently that meant going up and over two mountains, including a really steep road. A REALLY steep road. I am sure if there was another person in my car I could not have got up it. It was almost a dirt track. Even on this road I saw a cyclist going up…going slowly, but still going. He is my hero.

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References

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/spot/shritemp/kasamainarijinja.html
http://database.ibarakiguide.jp/db_kanko/?type=en&detail&id=0800000000592
http://www.alientimes.org/Main/KasamaNotJustALittlePotteryTown

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Posted on August 15, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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