13th April, 2022
Michi no Eki Farmus Kijimadaira
Michi no Eki Farmus Kijimadaira gave us a very quiet night. This michi no eki provides no rubbish bins and there are notices requesting you take your rubbish home.
Today we are traveling to Matsumoto city in Nagano prefecture to view the cherry blossom of the 4,000 trees covering an ancient tomb.
Nakayama Cemetery 中山霊園
Arriving in Matsumoto we make for the Nakayama municipal cemetery. From there, there is a short, about 5km. return hike to the tomb and 4,000 cherry trees. It was a surprise to find that the cemetery shares space with a mallet golf course. Mallet golf which, I suspect is the same or very similar to Park golf, has become increasingly popular. It seems to have taken over from gate ball as the senior citizen’s game of choice.
Hike to Mt. Kobo Tomb
We expected the hike to the cherry trees to be a gentle walk so we are surprised to find it steep and quite rugged in places. The trail follows a ridge, descending from the hilltop cemetery to the tomb below. The ridge is very narrow in parts as the land has eroded on either side of the path. The incline is steep with rough steps forming the path for significant stretches. At one point a rope is provided.
There are dead pine trees lying everywhere sometimes across the path. The scourge of Matsukuimushi.
After our exertions climbing Mt. Yahiko two days earlier, we are soon feeling the incline even though descending.
The tomb or Kofun is a popular place to view the blossoms are there are a lot of people around on a sunny afternoon. Some of the trees are well past their best and showing leaves but the sheer numbers and variety mean there are still plenty of flowers for a magnificent show.
The city, still some way below, glimpsed through the mass of petals and the snow-covered peaks in the distance make for an excellent view.
Returning uphill to the cemetery and our vehicle is not as hard as anticipated but we still pause frequently to catch our breath.
From Matsumoto we head out into the mountains towards Komoro and stop at Marumelo no eki Nagato. This very large michi no eki has parking for many cars and is clearly a favourite with trucks as the truck parking area appears full. It has a restaurant, closed at the time of our visit, a Lawson store and, happily for us, an excellent onsen.
＊Yasuragi no yu(onsen) ; 600 yen / adult (Sodium sulfate hot spring)
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.