Essay - Travels
2003 Summer - Shinshu No.4 "Vigorous soul, Still soul"
In the last day morning, we had planed to go to watch the sunrise at the Yoshigataira Plain, but who got up early was only Yasu. All of us watched sunrise in the dream. We ate up handmade apple juice, buttered toast with plenty of handmade jam, green salad with some kinds of dressing and egg dish for breakfast, and finished with a cup of coffee or tea. When we left the lodge, pleasant staffs saw us off.
Shigayama Library is located in the Kanbayashi spa, Shiga Highland, and a Western wooden building (dismantle the Shibusawa house), housing and exhibiting works of highly-educated men who loved Shiga Highland. Though "Western", it's very unaffected building, fits landscape and impressed us favorably. We enjoyed simple and tasteful stained glass or elaborate door knob. We drived to Suzaka by way of Obuse. We took a short rest here, let's satisfy our appetite wiht light meal at the soba noodles restaurant "Takenoharu".
Well, today's main event is watching a rugby game at Sugadaira Highland where is a mecca of rugger and Deco who applied himself to the rugby when he was high-school student and university student, sweated a great deal at there. Though a practice game, it was a match between regular member of two strongest rugby teams Waseda Univ. and Kanto Gakuin Univ. in Japan University Rugby Football League. There was a large spectator. Both of player and spectator were getting hot. Of course, Deco was in a state of excitement before we arrived the grounds. Chie who has said "Are we going to watch the game, such a hot day?", but, once the game started, she cheered enthusiastically with clenching her fist. A powerful game under a burning sun resulted in Kanto Gakuin's overwhelming win. But Deco said that Waseda team wasn't weak in the least.
We left the hot and hot Highland and the car went toward Ueda. We arrived at the last destination "Mugonkan" (silent museum) The posthumous works and the article left by the art school students who were killed in World War II, are being displayed in this museum. They must have wanted to live more, to draw and paint more pictures. The works which they left and letters which they send from the front told various things to our heart. We took its still soul. Although we wanted to go to the Shinano Dessin Museum near Mugonkan, it was already nearly dusk and the departure time of Deco and Chie was getting close, we reluctantly departed Mugonkan.
We arrived at Matsumoto without accident, and parted with Chie and Deco at here. They left by train for their home at Kyoto by way of Nagoya. Well, three of Toyama group had to have a spin in a car to Takaoka. As far as Abou tunnel, we had got into join in a daimyo's procession which was led by a large-sized bus, but we found our way to Toyama without an awful hitch. We gave the finishing of our journey at "Saisai" (Japanese restaurant). After a long time (only four days), we tasted fresh seafood of Toyama and gave a finishing blow to our fully fed tour.
written and illustrated by Poco
- Shigayama Library
Kanbayashi-onsen, Yamanouchi, Shimotakai, Nagano 381-0401
open from 9:00 am to 17:00 pm
admission fee: 310yen/adult, 160yen/child
closed on Thursday (only winter from December to March)
- Takenoharu (soba noodles restaurant)
1351-3 Takenoharu, Nobe, Suzaka, Nagano 382-0037
open from 11:00 am to 15:00 pm, from 17:00 pm to 20;00 pm (only lunch on Wednesday)
closed on Thursday (open if Thursday is national holiday)
- Mugonkan (art museum)
3462 Sannousan, Koaso, Ueda, Nagano 386-1213
open from 10:00 am to 17:00 pm
admission fee: optional from 200yen to 500yen
open throughout the year