I know I blogged about visiting the wintering cranes in Izumi back at the beginning of the New Year but I didn’t have a chance to share Izumi’s manhole covers. That’s right – manhole covers in the plural sense. Not only does Izumi pay homage to its feathered inhabitants, as seen on this cover:
They also commissioned special covers to grace the streets of the city’s restored samurai district. It’s not an overly large neighborhood, consisting mostly of one long street with high (and THICK) stone walls and many large entrance gates. But the few houses that are open to the public are a perfect display of Edo Period (1603-1868) architecture. Nearly all of the villas once belonged to high-ranking samurai who were active in the Izumi government, my favorite residence, the Takezoe, was actually a school for samurai boys. You can slip off your shoes and explore some of the old homes or just wander around the immaculately pruned gardens. Either way, it’s an interesting and worthwhile stop if you’re already in Izumi.