Thursday, 6 October 2011

Cedars, Spas and Strange Statues

You don't have to go that far outside Tokyo to see some really beautiful countryside - not even the ever present Japanese telegraph poles can spoil it (actually they just make it feel more Japanese). Last bank holiday weekend my housemates took me to Hanno - home of my first onsen (Japanese hot spring), and high hills covered with Japanese Cedar trees banked up above the river valley. Gorgeous -

In the evening, Hanno became home to the best barbecue, and the most surreal conversation (with a German lady, in Japanese) I've ever had

But, these weren't the most interesting things about Hanno. Nooo. Hanno is also, I think, the place where strange technicolour statues come to die. We had no idea what we were looking at, to begin with

Massive icons at the top of a hill in the Japanese countryside??? This is definitely not in my guidebook! It was all a bit confusing for me and my housemate Hiromi

Then it only got MORE confusing, when a giant globe peeped out from behind the trees. We tried to work out whether these things had ever appeared in any story we'd ever heard about, or read. They hadn't. Was it a film set or something?

Nope. And it wasn't just a giant globe, but a globe with yet another a big icon on top of it. What kind of film set would want THIS??

Still drawing a total blank, we quickly gave up trying to work out any logical reason for the existence of these things, and started drinking and playing with dodgy fireworks

Best thing for it.

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