Okuchichibu (2)

Hello my friends!

Sorry for not being able to write last week.

And probably won’t do it next week either >__<

gomen ne!

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.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[21-44-41]

There is still snow remaining everywhere in the mountain.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[21-44-52]

The winter days are very cold here.

Snowing continuously for many days sometimes.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[21-53-58]

Becomes even more beautiful on days like that!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[21-45-01]

While walking on the road…

Tamaki san finds out that the river flowing under the bridge,

is actually frozen!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[21-58-36]

He says that the river is probably frozen like this

for about 1 or 2 months during the year.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[21-58-07]

 A rare thing to see the frozen shape of a river like that!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[22-11-45]

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!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[22-16-49]

12000 years ago,

during the the Joumon era,

people used to live here in this area.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[22-26-03]

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!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[22-26-08]

There’s a huge cave in the heart of the rocks!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[22-34-46]

Tamaki san tries climbing the rocks and

getting inside the cave.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[22-34-52]

It’s slippery…

But he manages to get in!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[07-46-32]

Kaniwa Cave Ruins (神庭洞窟遺跡)
Where the traces of the people living in the Jomon era was found!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[07-51-24]

Tamaki san goes deeper in the cave…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[07-53-00]

wondering about how the jomon people used it as their home…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[07-53-54]

and guessing where they used to sleep…

Then he finds something…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[07-55-05]

The two rocks being next to each other,

but completely different in texture and color…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[07-55-41]

He’s right!!

“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

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-11-13]

“Since there were no buildings back then,

surpassing the cold and the hot weather,

and being able to protect themselves…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-11-23]

But they had created an amazing

natural environment to live in…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-13-20]

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!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-24-57]

… 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…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-25-11]

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…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-16-27]

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…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-27-52]

being picked up as the

kokoro no hikyo #12

by Tamaki Hiroshi

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-28-11]

“The Kaniwa Cave Ruins”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-29-42]

Coming back to the present XD

Tamaki san gets back on the road…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-29-59]

This time he takes us to a guest house

in the heart of the mountain!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-38-57]

“Furusato Guest House” the sign says.

Climibing up the stairs to the main building

of the guest house,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-40-41]

Tamaki san greets the owner who is busy

wood chopping!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[08-42-06]

Tamaki san stands there watching him.

It’s obvious he is interested XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-05-30]

Then Tamaki san asks the owner

how old he was when he started

chopping the wood like this…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-16-16]

And the owner (Ogawa san)

says that he started when he was

in elementary school!!

He was asked to do it by his parents (^_^;

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-21-42]

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!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-24-28]

Of course he says yes!

Ogawa san teaches him how to do it and

then hands him the axe! >_<

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-38-15]

Then he also says that he should chop them by

hiting the center line.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-45-30]

He tries once!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-45-38]

But bringing down the axe straightly

seems to be difficult.

But he tries it more and more and he gets better…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-48-41]

He asks Ogawa san what time of the day he usually do this,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-49-38]

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!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-50-15]

Everyone laughs but Tamaki san says:

“To make a living of course!!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-52-49]

Ogawa san agrees and Tamaki san

chops another block of wood!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-53-45]

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!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-55-27]

Tamaki san says that it’s big and looks hard!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-56-35]


But Ogawa san insists that it’s not

and it will make him feel good chopping it!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-57-36]

Here he goes!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-58-32]

And he did it perfectly XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-58-36]

Two (almost) even pieces!!

He’s already in to it!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-58-45]

Tamaki san who has always longed for living

in the nature… hehe!

He becomes even more serious

and takes off his jacket,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[09-58-58]

put it away where his backpack and camera is…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-02-02]

and goes back to work again!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-02-57]

Guess he is enjoying it ^^

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-03-24]

While Tamaki san’s super busy with the wood chopping…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-03-03]

a group of three ladies and four young girls arrive!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-04-07]

Tamaki san greets them and asks Ogawa san

if the girls are his grandchildren XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-07-14]

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!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-07-32]

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

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-12-09]

and kindly says :


hehehe! and they reply shyly XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-12-15]

Then Ogawa san tells him that they want to make mochi

here with everyone, and asks him if he wants to join them!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-13-49]

Tamaki san loves the idea and says:

“Let’s do it!”, while looking at the girls!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-19-15]

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

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-20-07]

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?”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-21-14]

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!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-22-29]

“Ojiisan?!… She went too far!!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-24-24]

he says XD

Then laughs and says:

“Well, whatever!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-26-10]


Let’s starts making some mochi!

Ogawa san makes the preparation

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-30-43]

and hands him the kine (杵= mallet)!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-33-09]

It’s a very tough job!! Wood chopping and then this (^_^;

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-33-22]

I bet his arms hurt that night when

he went back home to Tokyo!

The lady asks him to be careful XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-36-29]

“kokoro hitotsu!” she says!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-36-35]

meaning that they should be in harmony

and keep the rhythm!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-38-06]

And he starts!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-39-38]

It’s tougher than he has imagined…

because the paste is sticky,

removing the kine after hitting once,

actually needs some extra power.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-39-51]

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-39-58]

The girls giggle XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-42-12]

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

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-42-18]


Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-43-18]

Tamaki san gains some extra power from the girls!!!

And hits the kine even stronger than before…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-46-18]

keep doing it over and over!

Finally the last strike and he’s done!…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-46-56]

His breath has become heavy…

but he looks quiet satisfied and happy!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-50-11]

The lady then,

puts the paste on the table

where it’s covered with flour.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-47-07]

They have to cut it into small pieces,

put some bean paste inside,

and then bake them on the stove.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-55-06]

Tamaki san joins the girls and they start making the tiny cakes.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-55-28]

It’s really cute the way he look at them

and communicates with them.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-55-46]

Baking time!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-56-20]

And now it’s time to try some tochi moch!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-56-38]

I love the way he looks at the girl before and after he

takes a bite.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-57-05]

He wants to see their reactions I guess!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-57-11]

It’s very delicious and soft he says.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-03-01]

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.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-01-47]

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!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-03-31]

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!! (≧∇≦)

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-03-15]

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-03-45]

It’s already dark…

but Tamaki san has another place he wants to visit!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-06-53]

onouchi valley of icicles! (尾ノ内渓谷の氷柱)

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-07-47]

A mysteriously beautiful place,

made by the hands of the human beings!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-07-19]

It was built 5 years ago,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-08-16]

using the water flow in the winter

and making these amazing crystals!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-07-30]

Tamaki san uses the expression


to describe everything he witnessed,

and experienced today in Saitama.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-08-53]

The meaning behind this expression,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-08-29]

is being happy with what you have,

so that you can have peace of mind

and enjoy the real happiness in your life.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-09-14]

Saying that he felt the energy to live! To move forward…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-09-28]

and he is happy that he was able to feel that

here with everyone!


Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-10-40]

The best shot of this trip:

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-11-08]

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!

玉木宏の秘境ふれあい紀行 2015.04.09[11-52-29]

More places to visit!

玉木宏の秘境ふれあい紀行 2015.04.09[11-53-15]

And lovely people to meet!

玉木宏の秘境ふれあい紀行 2015.04.09[11-52-58]

And maby some accidentss?!? O_O


See you soon! ( ´・ω・`)ノ~バイバイ♡


is being aired on BS Asahi,

Every Thursday at 23:00

Please visit the official pages here:

Official Homepage: http://www.bs-asahi.co.jp/tamaki-hiroshi/
FB Official: https://www.facebook.com/tamaki.hikyo?ref=profile

7 thoughts on “Okuchichibu (2)

  1. LOLOLOL, Tamaki graduates real fast to an ojiisan!! XD He must be the youngest and cutest ojiisan ever XD So glad that in his travels, Tamaki can get to do many different things and see plenty of gorgeous scenery. Love that he got to experience making mochi!

    Thanks for always doing the reports! Don’t worry about rushing them out, take your time 🙂


    • Thank you for always reading and commenting ★ he was teally cute when talking to those little girls. There’s no way he can be sn ojiisan! Still a long way to go XD
      Actually I’m going to meet him today! I’m on my way and can’t deny that even now I get nervous when I’m about to meet him in person!


      • Noooo!!! I don’t think I can! We only have a few seconds when the event is over snd we shake his hand and say goodbye. The only thing I can always say is “Thank you! It was fun!” (In japanese of course!)


  2. Wow!! Sorry I’m late but I just read this and I felt like it must have been a real fun episode!! Ojiisan?! Kyahaha *imaging his voice while commenting on that* XD and the part in the caves, wondering about such looong time ago..he must have been truly mesmerized.. great screenshots and accurate description! As usual, thanks a lot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank youuuu!!! Yeah I really enjoyed this episode as well. His face was really adorable when he was told “ojiisan” and the cave… His eyes sparkling brightly and his voice somehow it was happy and excited all the time!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s