Hello my friends!
Sorry for not being able to write last week.
And probably won’t do it next week either >__<
But as for now,
let’s go back to Saitama, chichibu city,
and see where Tamaki san is about to discover this time!
Getting off the train and walking on the road again.
There is still snow remaining everywhere in the mountain.
The winter days are very cold here.
Snowing continuously for many days sometimes.
Becomes even more beautiful on days like that!
While walking on the road…
Tamaki san finds out that the river flowing under the bridge,
is actually frozen!
He says that the river is probably frozen like this
for about 1 or 2 months during the year.
A rare thing to see the frozen shape of a river like that!
The frozen water below the bridge…
is actually the Chichibu lake.
And getting to see this landscape…
Seems like it really is a rare thing! XD
Lucky Tamaki san!!
12000 years ago,
during the the Joumon era,
people used to live here in this area.
Despite the harsh environment
and the tough weather condition.
Tamaki san and the shooting team,
will take us to where they actually used to live!
There’s a huge cave in the heart of the rocks!
Tamaki san tries climbing the rocks and
getting inside the cave.
But he manages to get in!
Kaniwa Cave Ruins (神庭洞窟遺跡)
Where the traces of the people living in the Jomon era was found!
Tamaki san goes deeper in the cave…
wondering about how the jomon people used it as their home…
and guessing where they used to sleep…
Then he finds something…
The two rocks being next to each other,
but completely different in texture and color…
“Seems like the one on the left side
will break down easily if you hit it.” Tamaki san says.
What could have happened in the past? O_O
“Since there were no buildings back then,
surpassing the cold and the hot weather,
and being able to protect themselves…
But they had created an amazing
natural environment to live in…
Even if you get to study about it in the history,
it’s still a very distant era and you cannot really
have a clear image of it in your mind!
… They probably didn’t have anything more important
than managing to live their lives and how to survive.
Wearing the skins of the animals to
protect their bodies in the cold and things like that…
makes you want to travel in time
and see how it really used to be…
There might be many historical facts remaining from that era,
and perhaps we can imagine how they used to live their lives,
but the truth is…
this is something no one really knows about!“
Perhaps no one will ever know…
all we have is our imaginations!
This place of course deserves it…
being picked up as the
kokoro no hikyo #12
by Tamaki Hiroshi
“The Kaniwa Cave Ruins”
Coming back to the present XD
Tamaki san gets back on the road…
This time he takes us to a guest house
in the heart of the mountain!
“Furusato Guest House” the sign says.
Climibing up the stairs to the main building
of the guest house,
Tamaki san greets the owner who is busy
Tamaki san stands there watching him.
It’s obvious he is interested XD
Then Tamaki san asks the owner
how old he was when he started
chopping the wood like this…
And the owner (Ogawa san)
says that he started when he was
in elementary school!!
He was asked to do it by his parents (^_^;
The whole building is built by hand!
Everything is handmade here in this guest house XD
Then Ogawa san asks Tamaki san
if he wants to give it a try!
Of course he says yes!
Ogawa san teaches him how to do it and
then hands him the axe! >_<
Then he also says that he should chop them by
hiting the center line.
He tries once!!
But bringing down the axe straightly
seems to be difficult.
But he tries it more and more and he gets better…
He asks Ogawa san what time of the day he usually do this,
and he answers that he does this all day long!!
Probably the time he spends to chop the wood
is no less than the time he spends
burning them in the fire! XD
So he says:
“Why do I even chop them I wonder sometimes!”
Everyone laughs but Tamaki san says:
“To make a living of course!!”
Ogawa san agrees and Tamaki san
chops another block of wood!
He has already become amazingly good at this (^_^;
Ogawa san notices that as well
and brings out a huge block
and asks him to chop it!
Tamaki san says that it’s big and looks hard!
But Ogawa san insists that it’s not
and it will make him feel good chopping it!
Here he goes!
And he did it perfectly XD
Two (almost) even pieces!!
He’s already in to it!
Tamaki san who has always longed for living
in the nature… hehe!
He becomes even more serious
and takes off his jacket,
put it away where his backpack and camera is…
and goes back to work again!
Guess he is enjoying it ^^
While Tamaki san’s super busy with the wood chopping…
a group of three ladies and four young girls arrive!
Tamaki san greets them and asks Ogawa san
if the girls are his grandchildren XD
And then suddenly two of them run into their grandpa
and hug him! XD
The two girls are his grandchildren and the other
two are their friends!
Then Tamaki san asks the girls:
“Today’s school is already over?”
The girls nod their heads meaning yes XD
Tamaki san looks at the two other girls
and kindly says :
hehehe! and they reply shyly XD
Then Ogawa san tells him that they want to make mochi
here with everyone, and asks him if he wants to join them!
Tamaki san loves the idea and says:
“Let’s do it!”, while looking at the girls!
And then asks them:
“Is it OK if ojisan (= uncle, he means himself) joins you?”
The older girl nods her head while laughing shyly
and the younger one
actually jumps and shows her excitment XD
Then Ogawa san corrects him:
“Not ojisan, oniisan.
(= big brother, meaning to say you are not that old!)”
Tamaki san asks the younger girl:
“Which one? ojisan or oniisan?”
ahahahaha!! That’s a risky question!
And the little girl answers without even giving it a thought:
Just an “i” and it means “Old man!”
Tamaki san! reality strikes!!
“Ojiisan?!… She went too far!!”
he says XD
Then laughs and says:
Let’s starts making some mochi!
Ogawa san makes the preparation
and hands him the kine (杵= mallet)!
It’s a very tough job!! Wood chopping and then this (^_^;
I bet his arms hurt that night when
he went back home to Tokyo!
The lady asks him to be careful XD
“kokoro hitotsu!” she says!
meaning that they should be in harmony
and keep the rhythm!
And he starts!!
It’s tougher than he has imagined…
because the paste is sticky,
removing the kine after hitting once,
actually needs some extra power.
The girls giggle XD
Which makes him become more serious
and use more power!
Then the girls whisper something and say out loud:
“Tamaki san ganbare (Do your best!/ Hang in there!)!!” XD
Tamaki san gains some extra power from the girls!!!
And hits the kine even stronger than before…
keep doing it over and over!
Finally the last strike and he’s done!…
His breath has become heavy…
but he looks quiet satisfied and happy!
The lady then,
puts the paste on the table
where it’s covered with flour.
They have to cut it into small pieces,
put some bean paste inside,
and then bake them on the stove.
Tamaki san joins the girls and they start making the tiny cakes.
It’s really cute the way he look at them
and communicates with them.
And now it’s time to try some tochi moch!
I love the way he looks at the girl before and after he
takes a bite.
He wants to see their reactions I guess!
It’s very delicious and soft he says.
Then having a chat with Ogawa san,
Tamaki san talks to him about how much he loves
doing this kind of stuff and how he wants to try
living in a village, far from the city.
Ogawa san tells him that living in the mountain may not
be an easy thing to do, but it also has it’s own fun parts!
You can enjoy it, if you want to!
Then he tells the girls to ask Tamaki san
if the mochi was delicious XD
and after they do,
he says that it was super delicious!! (≧∇≦)
It’s already dark…
but Tamaki san has another place he wants to visit!
onouchi valley of icicles! (尾ノ内渓谷の氷柱)
A mysteriously beautiful place,
made by the hands of the human beings!
It was built 5 years ago,
using the water flow in the winter
and making these amazing crystals!
Tamaki san uses the expression
to describe everything he witnessed,
and experienced today in Saitama.
The meaning behind this expression,
is being happy with what you have,
so that you can have peace of mind
and enjoy the real happiness in your life.
Saying that he felt the energy to live! To move forward…
and he is happy that he was able to feel that
here with everyone!
The best shot of this trip:
Lucky everyone who won the post cards (*^ω^*)
Our favorite traveler’s journey in Saitama ends here…
but the search for other great undiscovered places continues!
Next time he goes to Urabandai in Fukushima prefecture!
More places to visit!
And lovely people to meet!
And maby some accidentss?!? O_O
See you soon! ( ´・ω・｀)ﾉ~ﾊﾞｲﾊﾞｲ♡
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