April 20th. 2023
Michi no eki Kayou
Waking in a still misty michi no eki Kayou we slowly discover it’s secrets. The facilities are reasonable as the place has few overnighters but it does become a little overrun in the morning rush.
We are surprised to discover a hidden Lawsons, open from 9am to 6pm. There is a shop selling Bonsai and other plants. The bonsai are elementary but are selling for less than the usual price of the ceramic pot containing them.
It also boasts a non-functioning water wheel and a picnic area on a grassy knoll that was closed off. I had the impression the place had seen better days and was perhaps trying to revitalize. Whatever, it is fine for an overnight stop.
Fukiya, Red Iron Oxide Village
From here the day goes downhill. We head into Shimane and the iron ore village of Fukiya. This was the site of iron and copper mines in the Edo period. A deep, brownish red iron ore dye used to preserve the wood of the buildings has dyed the village a pleasing colour.
We have been here before but thought it worth a second visit. On arrival, we find the whole place is closed off. This seemed so unlikely I suspected an alien landing or Banksy working on a mural, but apparently the main street was being resurfaced.
After disappointing visit at Fukiya Furusato Village we went by the nearby Hirokane Residence.
This house was built around 1800 by a village headman named Hirokane who became very wealthy dealing copper and iron sulfate. This house is famous as using it has been used for mystery films twice.
Kabeya Shuseikan 可部屋集成館
Anyway, we were disappointed after a long drive and headed on to visit Kabeya Shuseikan. This is a house and garden of the Sakurai family. Rich from Edo era iron ore. An obscure place, but a small, mutedly spectacular garden centred around a waterfall. We do not view the house.
Sakagura Okuizuo Koryukan 酒蔵奥出雲交流館
Unable to locate food, we make do with what we can pick up at a Family Mart and stop at michi no eki Sakagura Okuizumo Koryukan. There is a very pleasant onsen nearby and the parking is flat.
It is not popular place. There is only one other shachuhaku vehicle, and no one else. It is not shachuhaku friendly, rather a sake brewery car park. There are no vending machines and no rubbish receptacles of any kind. This place wants michi no eki status but not any inconvenience. Best avoided.
＊Tamamine-sanso Kamedake onsen ; 600 yen / adult
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.