April 28, 2014

Kamakura Sakura Gaoka Koen/かまくら桜ヶ丘公園

Kamakura Sakura Gaoka Koen is another wonderful place to visit if you want to do hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in Minami-Uonuma city.
Today, I went there by car to do some hanami early in the morning. I reached there at around 6:50.

I should have said that I reached one end of this very long park with a total length of 800 m (half a mile).
全長800 mの長い公園の一端に着いたと言うべきでした。

There was only one restroom for both men and women.
The sign says, "800 m from the starting point".
「起点より800 M」と書かれています。

This park was created along the 4-km long Kamakura Zawa River, which is a branch of the Uono River, which is a branch of the Shinano River, the longest river in Japan.
この公園は全長4 kmの鎌倉沢川(かまくらざわがわ)に沿って作られたもので、この川は魚野川(うおのがわ)の支流で、魚野川は信濃川(日本で一番長い川)の支流です。
The history of sabo (erosion and sediment control) for the Kamakura Zawa River is written here.

You can learn a lot about the history from this video if you understand Japanese.

Did I reach the other end of this park?
Not yet. I had walked this far,
and I still had some more to go.

Not yet ready for people to sit in.

I finally reached the other end!
On my way back, I enjoyed different views.

In the park, there were stone markers for the major mountains you can view from there.
Makihata Yama
Makihata Yama (Mount Makihata) is one of the 100 Famous Mountains in Japan.

Kinjo San:
At the foot of this mountain is located a zen temple, Untoan.

There are several mountains with this name in Japan. To clearly distinguish it from the others, the mountain is sometimes called Echigo Komagatake. Echigo is a former name of Niigata.

Hakkaisan is also the name of a brand of the sake brewery (Hakkai Brewery) located near the mountain.

The last three mountains, (Echigo) Komagatake, Nakanodake, and Hakkaisan, are collectively called Echigo Sanzan.

I found some sansai (edible wild plants) there, including gishigishi (Japanese dock).
The young buds are edible.

Japanese knotweed:
A reddish variety of knotweed:


Simple Living said...

There must be a lot of bees visiting the blossoms too:) We're learning a lot from your blog post and appreciate the beauty around your area!BTW, we also enjoy ギシギシ to wrap flavoured rice, like you make sushi, then, pan fry or steam it. It's delicious but mustn't eat a lot of it as it's heavy for the liver.

Hiroyuki said...

Simple Living: It's exactly because I had seen a photo of dock leaves in your blog earlier that I wanted to include a photo of Japanese dock leaves (laugh)!

By the way, I like the title of your blog, Simple Living. Maybe I should rename my blog to Humble Living (laugh).

Tea Apprentice said...

Beautiful! Are there times when these parks are very crowded for hanami? Your pictures show almost no people in them, but maybe that is just because you went at 6:50am. I have seen other people's pictures of hanami where it is very crowded. I wonder if I would enjoy it less if it were so crowded.

Hiroyuki said...

Tea Apprentice: I think there are some people who do hanami there in the daytime and the nighttime. On that particular morning, I saw several people talking a walk there. Notice that this park is located in a rural area of Japan. If it was transported to an urban area, it should be swarmed with people, particularly in the nighttime.

Tea Apprentice said...

I see. I must admit that I don't know much about many areas of Japan. I have just started reading the English translation of the book _Snow Country Tales_ because you mentioned it in one of your posts. I will learn a lot! So far the snowiest parts of Japan I have been to are Matsumoto and Shin-hotaka. I used to think 'snow country' meant Hokkaido =P

Hiroyuki said...

Tea Apprentice: Oh, you bought that book? Incredible!