Yesterday I decided to cycle along a rout I hadn’t done for almost three years: Warashina River in Aoi ku, Shzuoka City!
I hadn’t found much of interest (I did on the way back, though!) until I reached Warabiko Rest Area which also includes a public bath.
Apart of some very useful amenities they also had a map of the area!
I noticed the name of a Shinto Shrine called Aihama Shirahige Jinjya/”Aihama” stands for the area, “Shirahige/White Beard is a very common name for shrines and “jinjya” for shrine.
They also mentioned the Thunder Stone/Kaminari Ishi/雷石. It looked pretty impressive on the map.
later i had to come to the conclusion of not trusting such maps too much when it came to size and importance! LOL
It didn’t look that far on the map but it took me a good one hour uphill to find it.
On the way I stopped at the Kiyosawa street Station to eat some succulent local wild boar croquettes where ladies were kind to tell me to just go straight ahead!
I cycled and cycled until I knew I must passed it.
I stopped to ask some local farmers as there are quite many around cultivating rice and a famous brand of green tea called “Honyama”!.
It took me time to explain rightly what I was looking for and found out I had just passed it!
Well, I challenge anyone, Japanese included to find that minuscule sign!
Lucky I was on a bicycle!
The sign, for its small size, was brand new so the shrine must have found some recognition of late.
I asked a few people people on the way back but nobody could tell me how old it was.
The fact there many shrine called “white beard” in the area didn’t help!
The stairs leading to the shrine were old, narrow and barely in repair!
Judging from the vegetation it must cleared only once a year for a local yearly matsuri/festival!
I finally reach the small torii/sacred bird gate that stands at the entrance of any shinto shrine!
Past the the torii I found two old stone lanterns with a moon and sun carved openings.
The pines trees on the steep slope looked very ancient indeed!
Big enough it was unfortunately completely locked up and even the coin offerings box seemed locked, too!
I might have been the first real visitor in a long time, although the wooden cover over the water stone basin was brand new!
I haven’t seen that design before although it looks like a pointed beard!
The Thunder Stone!
I did look all around the shrine to ascertain it was the real thing atop a kind of stone cairn!
Truth to tell it might be a lot smaller than I was made to believe but it was very unusual!
The stone looked natural enough to me as I didn’t see nay obvious signs of carving on it.
The color was unusual and I could find any stone of the same color!
I entertain the notion that someone a long time ago brought it there as an offering.
The small metal torii gate was added a lot later!
I didn’t feel disappointed at the small size of the Thunder Stone as there was plenty of interesting pictures to be taken on my way out!
The stone lanterns were really ancient!
The original hand washing stone basin?
A paved way out of history!
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So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
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Must-see tasting websites:
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-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
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ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
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-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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