There’s nothing like a nice three-day break with your family in the Japanese countryside. However, due to negligence on my part I forgot to request the time off work until it was too late! Subsequently, I had to return to Tokyo for the Saturday in the middle of those three days which meant a lot of travel on my part as I refused to use the Shinkansen (bullet train) when it only saves a small fraction of time compared to doing it all by local trains.
My wife had gone the day before and I followed early the next morning as I had had work the night before. It was an early start and on arrival at my in-law’s house mid-morning I had little idea that I’d actually be doing work of sorts. However, my mother-in-law wanted me to go up a ladder and pick off a few yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit). Despite all the scratches I got from the prickly branches I actually got into it and ended up cleaning the tree of nearly all of it’s fruit!
The reward for my efforts was this delicious freshly home-baked yuzu cake later on. It really did feel good to be eating something I had properly contributed to in some way.
Later on we drove on up to the nearby mountain. Rest assured that Cocoa was not the driver…
…as he moved on over to the passenger seat once my father-in-law got in!
Komuroyama (below) is the one place that we visit on every single trip to Ito (often multiple times too!) but this time we just remained in the field part around the half way mark of this 321 metre tall mountain.
Closer to the top of the mountain is the awesome Dinosaur Space but little did we know there was another far tamer play area (below) featuring the ancient reptiles.
Back in Izu on the Sunday two days later, I went to see the sacred 2000 year old tree at Kinomiya Jinja Shrine first thing in the morning (after a very early start!) and was then met by my wife and her parents at Ito Station. I was expecting to just head to their house for a bit but instead we went to Maruyama Park which is just 1.5 kilometres west of the station.
The highlight of the day happened just after the photo below was taken. Maron went close to the edge and the next moment he was in the dirty pond swimming away. A real case of sink or swim for our little Chihuahua. After our immediate surprise that he could swim we watched him make it to the muddy banks of the pond and then had to rush to the car to get some towels for him as he was drenched and shivering.
Next up was Ippeki-ko Lake which was just past it’s best in terms of Autumn foliage. There were still a few signs of the much-loved red leaves as we walked round the four kilometre circumference.
That still wasn’t the end of things though as we then went on up to Mount Yahazu (816 metres) which I’d asked my father-in-law about at the lake as it had an interesting shape and looked like the tallest in the area. I didn’t expect him to then drive us up there. The road was very winding and not one my wife liked at all as she gets easily car sick!
It was so windy at the top though that we didn’t stay too long once we’d walked up to the lookout point.
The rest of the time was spent just chilling with the dogs at home which is what I’d expected the trip to be all about.
After much fighting (playing around?) the first time they met in June they were much calmer and friendlier this time which was really nice to see. Hopefully there will be more opportunities in the future for them to be together.
Click here to read ‘The Shrine With A Sacred Tree Which Is Over 2000 Years Old’
Click here to read ‘The Sea Cave In Shizuoka That Sprays Seawater Several Metres Into The Air’
Click here to read ‘Lake Ippeki-ko & The Abandoned Ruins Of It’s Lakeside Hotel’
Click here to read ‘An Old Style Public Onsen All To Ourselves’