From Miyako into a picture book
Details on a doorway at the Chiba residence in Tono
After a great onsen, a good night sleep and toast for breakfast for the second day in a row (that’s right - no rice, proper bread! And jam!) I left Jodogahama beach hotel and headed inland. My plan was to take route 340 to Tono, a cute little town in rural Iwate prefecture. That road was supposed to get me there in about 1h30. Going up to the mountain pass there were lots of signs with red kanji I should have - in hindsight - paid attention to, as they would probably have saved me almost reaching the pass to see the road blocked because of last week’s typhoon and having to head back and make a massive 3h detour via Morioka. Oh well.
View of Tono
Around Toono are a lot of sights that I had originally planned on seeing but due to my 3 hour delay I just drove through. The fields were very pretty, golden where the rice hadn't been harvested yet, and cute little rice pyramids where it had already been done.
So I eventually reached Toono. On the way into town I stopped to visit the impressive Chiba family residence, a very well preserved Edo style period residence built in the 1840ies with beautiful thatched roofs. It is partially open to visitors and I had a nice little walk around. Nobody else was there which was an added bonus as I was able to take in the scenery and sit by the little shrine and listen to nothing else but the brook flowing nearby. Bliss.
The Chiba residence in all its splendour
After another hour I got to Hiraizumi and hotel Musashibo where I will be staying two nights. I was greeted in the reception by an NHK (national Japanese broadcasting corporation) TV crew who, after being with Raina down South a couple of days are going to film me and what I do the next 3 days to then make a documentary about the Tour - exciting!
Sea crystal - a type of algae I discovered a couple of days back. Very crunchy!