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.
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.
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.
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.
Some of the roads were barely roads, thanks Google, you are far too detailed at times.
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.
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.
They look to be family shrines. Here is the main shrine.
The next one is at 36.121809,139.967649 and called Koshoji. I stopped at this one due to the magnificent entrance.
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.
The next one is called Jokoji and can be found at the coordinates 36.143693,139.958465
The last shrine I spent some time at is called Muneto Shrine at coordinates 36.159395,139.967418
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.