Sunday's weather was cool and clear. We had some errands in town and then K had things to do with her mother and brother (Pandabonium bows and exits stage right). I decided not to waste such a beautiful day with "WERK" and instead go exploring via bicycle (what else?).
I noted on my map of Kashima City a temple which I had never seen before. "Tofukuji". Auspicious name. Of course, being a rural area I was prepared for a much more modest edifice but of interest none the less. After all, I have already found and posted about three interesting temples within walking distance of our house. For those stories, see The Time Capsule In My Backyard (my very first post by the way), Further Back In Time, and Yet Another Time Capsule.
This "Tofukuji" is shown on my map to be in what was known as Aso Town, now part of Namegata City. I still use the old names (so do many road signs) as they are more precise. For you Californians, imagine asking how to get to "Tarzana" and being told, "Oh, it isn't called that anymore, it's now part of 'Los Angeles'. " This is the realm of the Moody Minstrel, so I had to be on the look out for his notorious BLUE RAV 4 careening down the highway.
It was mid afternoon by the time I left and about ten minutes later, K (with her mother and brother in the car) and I passed going opposite directions. She would soon be home to read the note I left saying where I was going.
The ride was not terribly long for me, but good exercise at about 6.5 kilometers each way. It did cross Lake Kitaura via the Kitaura Bridge. I like the bridge for the views it offers and the wide walkway I can ride on separated from traffic. It is also a good little workout going uphill for half a kilometer (especially against the wind).
Once in Aso I began to look for the temple, which is just one or two streets off the main road. I missed it somehow and so turned down one block to circle back. On the way back I saw an old cemetery. Up ahead, some large old roofs looked promising but turned out to be a large farmhouse, out buildings and an impressive gatehouse. I soon found myself back at the main road. Hmmm.. I rode back to the cemetery and noticed a small building - about 3 meters on a side and not very old - next to it. Might have been a storage shed, maybe the temple. I consulted the map. Oh my. What a let down. I didn't even feel up to taking a picture. I am sure there is history of interest here, but there is nothing like an old building to help convey that history to those of us in the present. How jaded I have become, expecting ancient treasures to reveal themselves at my whim. Ah well, it was a beautiful day anyway, and a nice ride. I turned toward the levy and the way home.
With the wind at my back, most of the way home seemed to be almost down hill. Tomorrow (Monday) would be a local holiday - Ibaraki Prefecture Citizen's Day. We were hoping for another day of good weather as K had the day off and we were planning another, much longer, excursion.