Beautiful Runs in Northern Nanto

I enjoyed nice runs in the northern area of Nanto this week.  

The area by Angoji Temple is very hilly.

There are rice fields in small narrow flat areas.

An old truss bridge crosses Oyabe River.

A bicycle trail.

A local shrine in Fukuno.

An old agricultural school established 100 years ago.

Fukuno Rail Station.


Akita City Park run

Akita is a city 450 km directly due north of Tokyo.  I had a chance to visit this beautiful city last week.  On Monday morning, I had a very nice run in Senshu Park. This is a ground of an old fortress of Kubota Castle.

 This is the replica of the watch tower on the northwest corner of the fotress.

Beautiful gardens.

A shrine within the park.

The main gate of the park.

The statue of the last lord of Akita Domain - Satake Yoshitaka. 

Utsunomiya Run - again

Two Fridays ago, I took a run in Utsunomiya.  This time, I went up north from the city center.

A nice woody trail.

A big chestnut tree.

Tochigi Gokoku Jinja - the memorial for the ones that served the country from this area.

A big pedestrian bridge in Tomatsuri.

Masashi - the most famous of gyoza restaurants in Utsunomiya.

The view of the city from my hotel.



Hikarigaoka is a planned housing area in a north western part of Tokyo.  This site has a bit of information about the community.

This is the nice promenade between the station and Hikarigaoka Park.

It is a very spacious park.

This statue is named 平和の祈り" - "Pray for Peace".

Although it is peaceful and nice now, the park actually has a very painful past.  The area used to be a farmland, but in 1943, to help with the war efforts, farmers were forced to sell their land to build a military airport - Narimasu Airfield.  The explanation on the rock of the above picture says that many young lives were lost trying to defend the nation from this airfield.

After the war, the land was taken over by the US Airforce.  As many as 730 military buildings and 1,284 families of US Air Force personnel lived here.  It was then called "Grant Heights" until it was given back to Japan in 1973.

After the hand-back, it was converted to a park and opened in 1981.  It has 4 baseball fields, a track field, 8 tennis courts, a fountain, a camp ground, a barbecue field, a Gateball field, a soccer field, an archery practice facility, bird sanctuary, tennis practice area, a llibrary, and a gym.


Marugame-Utazu Run

I was back in Kagawa Prefecture earlier this week.
This time, I ran up one of the small mountains - Aonoyama - which is in between cities of Marugame and Utazu.

Aonoyama is the flat one seen from my hotel.  The water is Dokigawa River.

At the foot of the mountain was a Shinto shrine.

A park is at the top of the 224 meter Aonoyama.  That was a mean dog.

A view of the cities and the Seto Inland Sea.

Iino Yama - also known as "Sanuki Fuji" seen from Aonoyama.

The Port of Marugame - this was the gateway to Konpira San during Edo Period.


Shiba Park

Shiba Park is a nice open space close from Tokyo Tower. I had a nice stroll in it the other day.

A gate to the park on the east side.

Toshogu Shrine.

Zojoji Temple entrance gate.

Jizo statues.