It’s been a short month and here we are again at another Friday Photo picture. I’ve been lucky enough to have my mother in town for a few weeks and whenever we have visitors, I get out more than usual. On her first weekend in town, we planned a trip up to Kikuchi Gorge and the Yamaga Lantern Festival. The shot below was taken near Kikuchi Gorge:
I say near because we never quite made it to the gorge that day. My mother had escaped the massive amounts of snow on the east coast of the US (13+ inches at our home in one weekend) only to arrive in Japan between two unexpected, major snowstorms of our own. Correction – the Tokyo and Osaka areas got hit with at least a foot of snow each time, but here in Kumamoto we saw only flurries.
So I didn’t really think that we’d encounter much snow on our drive up to Kikuchi Gorge, a local spot of scenic beauty. And indeed, the roads were completely clear down to their blacktop until about two kilometers from the entrance to the gorge. That’s when we came upon a slight road block (one lane only) and a sign with five kanji emblazoned on it.
I really need to get cracking again on my Japanese kanji studying.
In hindsight, the sign probably said something like “Road not plowed. Turn back now, little car with no snow tires.”
But being willfully ignorant, we drove up the road and turned the corner to be greeted with a route drifted shut with five inches of snow. Let’s just say that getting back out of there was not an easy venture.
We parked again at the bottom of the hill and walked up a nearby service road that was plowed so we could at least get some view of the gorge we had driven an hour to see. It wasn’t quite as scenic as the main park itself, but at least now I know where they hide all the snow that falls in Kumamoto. 🙂