Kamigo Shrine Cycle

Today was a national holiday so no work today, lots of time to do a ride. I explored the website and iphone app “mapmyride” yesterday and made my first route. I looked around a familiar place and marked all the shrines that I could see…there were a lot. I then plotted a route to go passed them all.

I tried to insert the route map here, but it doesn’t seem to be working. So click here to be redirected to it. The day I did it was a little windy, but I was prepared. I was wearing tighter clothes, not carrying a bag, on my better bike. So off I set.

IMG_2130 The route starts and ends in this park. It has plenty of car parking spaces, vending machines, and a toilet block.

Now let me talk about the kinds of roads or paths the route takes. Most of the route goes through villages and on main roads. You will cross a few train lines, so be careful there, especially at the unmanned crossing.

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There were a couple of problems with the route, sometimes cause by Google’s accuracy and my own route planning. For instance I ended up at these steps, but could see the road above would be ok to ride on. I ended up pushing my bike up the hill.

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The route around the lake at Sanuma park at coordinates 36.190689,139.951899 had an actual cycle path, but you are not supposed to ride over the bridge, get off and walk…it’s a nice walk and view. I saw cormorants and herons. This would a great place to stop for lunch or a picnic as it is about halfway along the circuit.

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Some of the roads were barely roads, thanks Google, you are far too detailed at times.

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Then there was this road/dyke, being resurfaced. At first I was happy as there was a temporary road, flat and smooth. But can you see the fence? The road eventually turned into mud and soon was impassible. But I could not get over the fence, so had to back track a little.

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On the whole though it was a pleasant ride, twisty at the start but you could pick up speed towards the end.

And now the shrines. I counted about 33 that I saw and photographed. As there were so many I only stopped briefly at most of them. Here is a gallery of the BSS (brief stop shrines).

There were a few shrines that I stayed longer at. This first one had one of the most interesting features I have seen at a shrine. There is no name on Google maps, but the coordinates are 36.109036,139.97366.

The island you see is covered in little shrines.

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They look to be family shrines. Here is the main shrine.

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The next one is at 36.121809,139.967649 and called Koshoji. I stopped at this one due to the magnificent entrance.

IMG_2160 IMG_2161 IMG_2162 Usually these statues are behind cages. So it was nice to see them up close and personal. All around the grounds were bonsai trees, I was going to write “little bonsai trees”, but I guess that goes without saying.

IMG_2163 IMG_2164 IMG_2165 IMG_2166 IMG_2167 I didn’t stay too long here as there was an angry dog, even though it was on a chain it made me feel uncomfortable.

The next one is called Jokoji and can be found at the coordinates 36.143693,139.958465

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The last shrine I spent some time at is called Muneto Shrine at coordinates 36.159395,139.967418

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There were plenty of other things to see along the route, I had a great day. I cycled around 45km and saw about 33 shrines. I think there were more as the route sometimes seemed to be a little crazy at times, why would I do that if there wasn’t a reason.

I really liked the app MapMyRide and will use it again.

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Posted on January 12, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. That shrine-covered island is VERY intriguing …

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  2. Ah. It might be Saifuku-ji, based on your coordinates:
    http://www.jahikari.or.jp/kouhou32.html
    Those small shrines on the island seem to represent the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, so you’ve just undertaken a HUUUGE journey. 😀

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    • Wow thanks, it seemed a bit weird for such a middle-of-nowhere place. Now it makes a bit more sense. Pity is was so neglected, but it was very atmospheric.

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