Manhole Monday: Ouchi (Saga)

Manhole Monday is back! Yes, I know, I know, not a very long hiatus. But I had the chance to get out this week before the rainy season hit and this is the manhole cover I found:


Lovely, right? This is the manhole cover from Ouchi Town, a small town in mountainous Saga prefecture not too far south of the pottery town of Karatsu. I was in Ouchi for the express purpose of visiting the Mikaeri Waterfall – yup, the very same one that is so prominently displayed on their sewer covers. 🙂

Saga has a number of waterfalls worth visiting if you have your own set of wheels, but I had wanted to hit up the Mikaeri Waterfall (the name Mikaeri means “look back”, in case you’re wondering) specifically in June. Why? Well, as the manhole cover also illustrates, June is hydrangea season and the acres of land around the Mikaeri Waterfall have been planted with this stunning flower. That means in June, the banks of the river burst forth in a sea of blue, pink, white and deep purple blooms, their puffs of color looking like an Impressionist painting when set against the lush green background of rainy season foliage.

Miakeri Falls with hydrangea
Mikaeri Falls with hydrangea

You can drive right up to the base of the falls, but I didn’t realize that, and ended up taking a nice trail that followed the course of the small river. While there were a number of steps (around 200), it was barely a kilometer and it gave me a chance to see the hydrangea close up.

Saga is well well removed from the foreign tourist trail – if you have the opportunity and really like to get off the beaten path, check out this surprising prefecture.

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