In that vein, I went on two walks this week. Each was 45 minutes to an hour. My knee held up pretty well. In fact, the knee didn't hurt half as much as the back of my legs! Youch!
I asked people here if there are hiking paths etc around. They all said no. So I just set out on my own and walked down streets I had seen but never taken.
On my first walk, I was stopped every few minutes by people in the neighborhood to talk. Some of them I had never met before. Some of them I could understand; some of them I could not. I spoke for several minutes with a husband and wife. I got some of what they were saying. Then when I was starting to leave the man gave me a present - a yogurt drink. I guess as a way to welcome me to the neighborhood. I also met a couple who own a small market/convenience store. The two seem to meld out here in the country. Small convenience stores that have personally grown produce.
I also went by interesting looking buildings. The first had a marker outside with some kanji on it. I'm fairly sure it was a buddhist temple. It kind of looked like it and it had the 'temple' kanji at the end.
The second had a big entrance and building inside. There were markers on the outside, but I didn't have any idea what they said. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a house though.
The third building looked like it may have been some kind of restaurant. It had a sign outside that I couldn't read. If it is a restaurant it is upper scale. I guess it could also be a high end bar?
From there I ended up over by the Board of Education. I continued on, and ended up going up hill. Behind my apartment and the rest of town there are some mountains. They aren't extremely high, but I'm sure that the towns people don't have to add dirt to them every five years to make sure they still have a mountain!
Before I knew it, I was on a path that led up the mountainside. There was a small Japanese building that I thought was a shrine, but turned out to be a look out shelter with built in benches. It was beautiful. I watched the sun set and the people go home from work. I couldn't imagine that they didn't want to stop and look for a moment.
On my way down, I found another staircase going up. Unfortunately it was getting dark, so I said, "Next time."
Next time happened yesterday. I had a goal in mind, so set out at a faster pace, ready to explore. For some reason not as many people were around this time, so I made it over to the path pretty quickly. I found another path that led to the first one I used to go up the mountain, and set out. I made it to the new path, and the climb was not too hard. However, as I went further I noticed it became darker. Duh. I mean, I see the trees, I look at the trees. I admire the trees. Trees block light you know. I walked up the staircase anyway.
When I made it to the top of that staircase, I couldn't believe the view! This was so much better than the look out! They should make another look out! Except that this one was more of a secret beauty. From here I found another staircase to take me further. I went up.
This brought me to the top of this part of the mountain. I couldn't believe how much bigger the mountains all seemed from up there. I followed the path back to a plateau area. There was a gateway and an open area. Eventually I came to a grave yard. I did not go in here. I turned around and came home, saying, "Next time".
I never imagined that Nankan would have so many hidden places, and so many secrets. I will keep exploring them. And let you know about some of them at least.
If you want the whole story, or to see what pictures can't show you, you'll just have to come see me, won't you? And for those of you with financial issues keeping you away, figure it out! It's not impossible you know. I say to my kids in class, "I only hear English." To you I say, "I can't hear excuses!"