Thursday 03.10.13 55,84 km
I start out in the direction of the 48 waterfalls, that are marked in Nelles
Map. The map from T.I. is hard to figure out, but when I cross the railroad, I
know at least where I am.
A sign turns up over the road, where is says it's 6,3 km, but if it's to where you turn off or to the attraction itself I don't know.
I make a break at a road sta. to get some water. The air is cool this morning (17 degr.), but with the backpack I get warm anyway.
Luckily the cleaning lady at the toilets starts talking to me. Where am I heading? I try with: "yon ju hachi taki" which to my best knowledge should mean 48 waterfalls, but it doesn't seem to ring any bells. She tries with this and that while I pull out the map and show her. And then I see, that if the R.S. really is marked correctly, I've gone too far. Nice she started talking.
There was a big sign above the road: "Utsueshijuhachi Waterfall". What all that in front of "...juhachi" means, I have to have found out.
The road up there isn't that steep in the beginning, but it gets steeper. At the end (5 km) I reach a parking lot where the fun starts. I'm not sure what I'd expected, but it turns out to be a stream - not very big - you can follow up the gorge.
It started out with asphalt but that was soon over....
But it is really unique. One small waterfall come after the other - in the start not vertical, but vertical parts comes after more flat parts - and the other wayb round. The path is from time to time taken over the stream on wooden bridges and stone stairs are replaced by steel constructions in the vertical parts. In this way you work youself up the gorge in half an hour or maybe one hour. If there really were 48 named waterfalls I didn't count.
There were waterfalls.... .....and waterfalls
At a time there's suddenly a binocular and when you turn around and look back over the gorge, can you in clear wheather see a number of peaks in the area.
Then it all ends - a bit surprising - when you get to a more flat part where the stream comes out of the forrest. A rope and a sign tells you to turn around.
This is where the stream came out of the woods
Back down I buy an icecream. There were two japanese women also but they gave up quickly, but the japanese man on the foldable bicycle did also go all the way, I met him when I was on my way down. But apart from those there was nobody... I bought a ticket in a vending machine where even I understood that a big human costs 200 Y
Yesterday I got to look at the rear tyre. The front tyre I've frequently studied, it's grown rather worn, but I think it'll last. I've actually gone more than 3000 km until now. But the rear tyre! Because the chain had come off during the transportation I came to look and saw it was quite yellow. Schwalbe puts a yellow "warning" layer under the tread, so you can see when it needs replacement. And it seems to be now - or as soon as possible.
Then I went out to have a look at the town and at some point pass the bike shop. First I went to the open air museum but I didn't think I had time to enter, but there were also other old houses in the neighborhood. The most significant was a center for some strange religion. My instant impression was that it was a mixture of all the world religions?
The town is to my surprise filled with tourists, even at this time of the year. I've only come here because it was in The japanese Alps and you could get here by train. Not even in Hiroshima I think I saw so many westeners gathered - except in the museum.
Went to look at Route 158 which I'll go by tomorrow.
On my way I passed a pituresque little street with all the merchandise for tourists, it was packed with backpackers.
The man in the bicycle shop didn't have my type of tyre, so now it HAS to last till Matsumoto. I just want one as a reserve, I'm not changing before nescessary.
The case of the waterfall is solved: You can also say "shi" instead of "yon" and "Utsue" is the name of the area.
The case of the religious center is also solved. It's a japanese with a lot of money, that has had a dream. The result is this center. It's meant to be the first, but a lot of cities have rejected his wish for building more of them. She I asked in the reception seemed a little embarrassed when I said "strange religion" about it. Not that I take her for a supporter, more because things should be smooth and correct here in Japan.