There was a time when one could always rely on the August O-bon holiday season being a hot and sunny time but this year again consisted of lots of rain albeit not as much as last year! The weather at the start of our trip though was actually pretty good and the usual trip to Komuroyama Park on day one even offered a sight of Mount Fuji in the distance which always adds to the appeal of this lovely, vast, spacious place.
Away from Tokyo and with barely anyone else around, our dog was a little unsure when off the leash as he has rarely ever been so free!
That was one of the better weather days on this trip as the heavy rain at the weekend meant my idea to go and see “the other Shizuoka Derby” could not be realised. As it was, the conditions were so bad that it got postponed anyway!
The conditions were thankfully fine a couple of days later when I went over to the west side of Izu for the first time. The Izuhakone Tetsudo-Sunzu Line runs down the middle of the Peninsula from Mishima to Shuzenji station in the centre. As I was taking the train there I noticed that there was a Takyo station so when the doors opened I was ready with my camera to get a quick shot for this hilarious tweet below!
The first stop after meeting up with my friend Natasha was one that I actually went to five years ago. Myotoku-ji temple a.k.a the temple of the toilet god is located a short distance south of Shuzenji station. The path to the side of the temple’s main hall leads to a small room dedicated to the deity of the toilet offering relief for health problems relating to the digestive tract and reproductive organs. Or just a load of phallic-shaped wooden and stone carvings if you prefer!!
Such male and female genitalia are donations from the temples believers, and touching or stroking them will supposedly help prevent abdominal diseases in later life through the power of the deity Ususama Myōō.
The next quirky place on our itinerary was Gokurakuen; a kind of heaven and hell museum which hopes to help you experience the world of the Japanese afterlife.
A bit further along the main road running to Toi is this giant mushroom with a kannon statue standing under it.
After some coastal views and lunch, we visited a doll temple which houses Japan’s largest seated daruma statue.
More coastal views followed with the highlight being the wonderfully shaped Horse Rock.
When visiting the loop road in Kawazu by bus a few years ago I was just a few minutes away from Kawazu Falls but never realised it. In fairness, I don’t think I was aware of them at that time and only saw them on the map a year or two later. Overall, there are seven different waterfalls in this area and it takes about two hours to walk around them all which we didn’t have time or energy for. That is definitely something that I hope to do one day though.
We did stop at the aforementioned Kawazu Loop Road en-route to Kawazu station where we parted ways after a busy but very satisfying day.
The weather was okay the following morning to so my wife and I returned to Komuroyama Park but this time walked all the way to the top. Near the top is a play area known as Dinosaur Space that features around a dozen large dinosaur structures with the very pictureque Mount Omuro visible in the distance.
The extremity of our tiny chihuhua playing in and around the huge dinosaurs is always an interesting sight!
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