Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Views from atop Kojima's Washu-zan (Photo-essay)

How does one follow up a wonderful day that took in a 17 kilometer bike ride across the Kibi Plain, sampling brews at at atmospheric Kurashiki microbrewery and a thoroughly delightful dinner at an Okayama izakaya?  By having another day packed with activity and scenic sights topped off by dinner at a restaurant that Anthony Bourdain enjoyed eating at when he visited Osaka, that's how!

Before leaving for Osaka though, I took some more advantage of the extremely good value JR Kansai Wide Area Pass to travel to Kojima, a town 25 kilometers to the south of Okayama, on whose edge lies 134-meter-high Washu-zan -- a hill from where one gets stupendous views of the 13.1-kilometer-long Seto-ohashi Bridge which links the islands of Honshu and Shikoku and the scenic surrounding area.  But while a bus takes one from Kojima train station partially up Washu-zan but to get to the top, or even its rest house and visitor center, involves a bit of a hike... ;b

Click on the photo to get an enlarged panoramic view
from near the top of Washu-zan

Washu-zan's visitor center (pictured above) was manned by 
a wonderful elderly gentleman who spoke fluent English and shared
lots of interesting factoids and stories about the surrounding area :)

At the visitor center, I also was loaned a walking stick 
to help me hike a bit more to Washu-zan's peak

I felt blessed to be atop Washu-zan on such a beautiful, high visibility day
-- something I no longer take for granted after years living in Hong Kong ;(

To the west beyond Washu-zan's peak lies the Honshu end of
the Seto-ohashi Bridge and a series of port areas

Shortly after I snapped this photo of Puppet Ponyo (at a viewpoint
known as Azumaya), I spun around upon hearing laughter behind me 
-- to find a senior hiker amused at my photographic antics ;D 

 As I made my way down Washu-zan, I spotted three people
who looked to have found a prime viewing spot on the hill :)

 For my part, I thought the views of the Seto-ohashi Bridge 
and Inland Sea from the path between the rest house
and the top of the hill often weren't half bad too! ;b

4 comments:

Bill said...

Hi YTSL,

I didn't think you could equal the Kibi Plain bike ride photo-essay, but you did it with this text and spectacular photos from "atop Washu-zan."

You place Puppet Ponyo in one of her best classic poses as a youthful guide, leading the eye into the network of bridges spanning the islands...A photo-essay that conveys a traveler's experience to long remember!

Bill

YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

I think you're understanding why I consider my September 2014 holiday to be among my best Japan vacations, if not the best ever.

As for Puppet Ponyo: yep, it's definitely a classic pose of hers in that photo! ;b

sarah sbk said...

Hi ytsl,

Again wonderful photos. Your panoramic views are terrific. And to see puppet Ponyo traveling with you is a joy. She looks like she's having a great time.

YTSL said...

Hi sarah sbk --

I'm glad you like the photos -- and it sounds like you did check out the enlarged versions of the panoramic shots.

And I'm so glad that there are people out there who share my Puppet Ponyo adoration. She really does add something special to the travel photos I take of her, I feel. :)