Nature walk & hanami picnic @ Satomi Castle Park + Ichikawa's Jomon Days event!
dim. 24 mars à 02:30
Sunday, March 24th, let's leave the concrete city & walk in Ichikawa beside the Edogawa river in fragrant springtime to the heights of Konodai where the ruins of old Satomi Castle sleep beneath tall trees & mossy stones. Enjoy hiking through fresh woods & nature areas to a shimmering "hyotan" shaped pond full of ducks, turtles & wild birds while chatting with friends at a cherry-blossom picnic while enjoying the sweet, fresh country air. (A hyotan is the lucky, magical Japanese sake-bottle gourd!) Ichikawa, Chiba, the "Garden City" is very green, from the grassy banks of the wide Edogawa River to its many parks, gardens & farms. We'll visit fine gardens, quaint neighborhoods, view many beautiful old homes, farms, fountains, statues, stones, shrines and temples. First, we'll go to the Ichikawa I-link tower & enjoy a panoramic view of the whole area from the 45th floor view deck. From this point one can see as far as Mt. Tsukuba, Fuji-san, Shinjuku, even distant Tateyama on a clear day! From there, you'll get an overview of where we'll be going on our hike! Chiba, one of Japan's under-appreciated treasures! We'll hike where ancient Jomon, and Yayoi era peoples lived, hunted, fished, farmed & later, where samurai of the rival Satomi and Hojo clans battled in the mid-16th century, "Sengoku Period". Remnants and artifacts of the old castle may still be seen! (There are also ancient kofun burial mounds nearby, where Yayoi armor, swords, jewels, religious items & treasure were found!)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kofun History is all around us in Ichikawa! On the way, we may pay our respects at the Konodai Tenmangu Shinto shrine, where 4 large, sacred rice-straw dragons have been woven, blessed with sake & placed in the trees to guard the area from disease & plagues, for over 500 years! White, red or pink Ume (plum) or Sakura (cherry) trees will all be blooming before the full Hanami cherry-blossom season begins! The breeze might be cool, but hopefully the sun will shine, the hills and banks of the pond & river will be alive with animals & flowers, so let's enjoy exploring together! We'll visit the Rosenheim Garden, (named for Ichikawa's German sister city) & later, we'll visit Ichikawa's twin Municipal History and Archaeology museums in Kita-Kokubun. At Satomi-koen, or beautiful Junsai-ike park, we'll sit by the pond and socialize while eating our lunch, and have an early hanami, so please bring food, drink, and wear comfortable shoes suitable for going off the trail on occasion. (You may also buy your lunch at a convenience store on our way.) From Junsai-ike we'll hike through the woods past Kozukayama-koen (ancient Jomon-period shell mound-settlement) to the Ichikawa History & Archaeology Museums, where Ichikawa's annual "Jomon Days" historical-culture festival will be taking place. https://heritageofjapan.wordpress.com/just-what-was-so-amazing-about-jomon-japan/ways-of-the-jomon-world-2/jomon-crafts-a Jomon-style pottery-making, ancient style fire-making, wood-craft, traditional block-printing and chances to try-on samurai armor, plus other hands-on cultural activities will be taking place. Enjoy many of these many interesting activities for free, or a small fee! This walk offers many photo-opportunities, it takes about 4 hours (depending on our pace) is about 6 kilometers long, but don't worry, we'll take many breaks! PLEASE NOTE: Coming late, being a "no-show" or changing your RSVP after our deadline affects your fellow members and organizers, so please be kind. This is a non-smoking meetup. If you must smoke, please do so away from the group. Japanese weather is changeable, so a small folding umbrella is often helpful. Your comments or suggestions for future meetups are always welcome! Thanks, your organizer, Kerry D. @}:^)
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