Tag Archives: Visiting

Guide Booklet for Kanayama Megaliths

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Kanayama Megaliths Guide Booklet

An English-language guide to the Kanayama Megaliths has been published by the Japan-Insights program of Toshiba International Foundation. The PDF can be downloaded from this URL. There are 28 pages. We hope you will find it an excellent and concise reference book to the viewing spots and solar observations at various times of the year.

Book on Kanayama Megaliths and the Solar Calendar

A book on the Kanayama Megaliths and their solar calendar is in preparation. Written in English and Japanese by the original researchers, the book will be the first thorough description of the megaliths and all their functions, and all the observations possible at the triple site.

 

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The New Kanayama Megaliths Research Center and Gallery Opens

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Kanayama Megaliths Research Center and Gallery has been relocated along National Highway No. 41 on the Hida Highway former post road in Kanayama Town. The opening took place in December 2018.

Location : Kanayama Kanayama 2142-4 (Izumimachi, Kanayama).  Tel : 0909-7306-4119.  FAX.0576-34-0073.  E-mail: oofuku@fancy.ocn.ne. jp.

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Gallery displaying photos and posters of Kanayama Megaliths

 

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Red dot is location of Kanayama Megaliths Research Center and Gallery. Green line is the old Hida post road. North-south on the left is National Highway 41. North-south on the right is the JR Takayama line, showing Hida Kanayama station.

See more (in Japanese) on the Kanayama Megaliths blogsite.  There is also a Google map there.

 

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Hida Kanayama Tourist Association

 

Photo credit: Hida Kanayama Tourist Association

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the 金山巨石群 Kanayama Megaliths and about visiting 飛騨金山 Hida Kanayama, we would like to recommend that you visit this website. It is the official website of the Hida Kanayama Tourist Association. It is full of photos, events, what to do, and how to get there. However, it is entirely in Japanese (at this time). If you do not read Japanese, we recommend that you use the Google Chrome browser and opt for a translation into your language of choice. While the automatic translation is not ideal (for example, it will give you for 金山, the word ‘Jinshan’ instead of ‘Kanayama’), it will give you general information.

You can check some of the details against our own posts about visiting Kanayama here, here, and here. On this Iwakage blogsite, we have much of the same important information, provided by the Hida Kanayama Tourist Association.

We ourselves have been searching the Internet for sources of information about Kanayama. What we have learned is that there are other places called Kanayama. Therefore, to zero in on the place where the Kanayama Megaliths are located, please use the term ‘Hidakanayama‘. It is also useful to know that Hida Kanayama is part of Gero-shi (City of Gero) in Gifu-ken (Gifu Prefecture).

Weather at Hida Kanayama Train Station can be found here.

The Kanayama Megaliths Research Center and the Hida Kanayama Tourist Association are gearing up to welcome international visitors.

ようこそ!

Welcome!

 

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Snapshots of Kanayama: A Walk through Old Town

2017-06-24 10.54.35The Kinkotsu-Meguri walking map of Kanayama Town is featured above. It was created by Shiho Tokuda who also made the poster which you have seen earlier (also below, left). This summer, I walked through Old Town Kanayama, following in part the meguri map. The photo on the right is a close-up of the old post road showing the location of the well.

 

 

I started on the old post road and saw alleyways like that in the poster above. There were folks going down some narrow steps so I followed them. They were on the meguri tour and were being shown the well. They were drinking the clear water from a ladle and exclaiming how good it tastes. There is a shrine honoring the Mizu-no-Kami, the Kami of Water. Looking closely, we see that the sacred objects are ancient stones, a remnant of Jomon times.

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I left them to look for the shop with the rice mill run by Asai-san, on the next block. It is on the way to Okuhida Sake Brewery which I have reported on before. Here are some photos where Asai-san is showing me how he takes a bag of unmilled rice and runs the rice through the milling process. He (and other gourmands) recommend that rice be cooked within a week of milling, for best flavor.

After this stop, I passed by the Okuhida Brewery as I walked over to the Mazegawa (Maze River) which is running south from the Iwaya Valley. See the bridge below.  Here are a few more snaps of the town.

And some of the summer flowers in bloom such as the purple hydrangea and the four-petaled white dokudami. The dokudami makes a wonderful and healthful herb tea. In the middle are flowering soba plants which will later produce seeds from which soba-ko is made for delicious soba noodles.

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Snapshots of Kanayama: Foods

2017-06-22 18.58.35 HobaMiso

Hida Kanayama is a food lover’s paradise. Not only are there fresh seasonal produce deliciously served, there are local specialties as well. Let us show you some of them.

First we introduce you to hoba miso with Hida gyu (Hida beef). Hida gyu is wonderfully marbled and sooo tender! Above we see Hida gyu on a grill plate heated by a sterno burner (which conveniently goes out when the food is about done). It is served with green onions, piman peppers, and mushrooms, with the2017-06-22 19.04.04 Hoba gyu sushifamous hoba miso of Hida. Here is one of the Hida gyu nigiri sushi as served in the restaurant of Karen.Having one of these sushi is heavenly! They come two on a plate, doubly heavenly.

Of course, we must have hoba sushi, a specialty of the area. Here is what it looks like. It is wrapped in a fresh green hoba leaf that grows abundantly in Kanayama. It is delicious the first day, and possibly even better the second day. In case you are wondering, a hoba leaf is a type of very large camellia leaf.

2017-06-28 13.32.42 hoba sushi

Restaurant Hizan レストランひざん offers many popular meals. Look at the lunch you can have for only 1000 yen! And on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Hizan serves the Japanese breakfast called morning service including egg, toast, and more for the price of a cup of coffee!

DSC04054 Hizan lunch menu

DSC04055 Hizan morning service

 

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Snapshots of Kanayama: Hidakanayama Eki

DSC04044 Hidakanayama Eki

Hidakanayama Eki is the train station for Hida Kanayama. Hidakanayama Eki opened in 1928 and has hardly changed since that time. Let us show you snaps taken of and in the train station.

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At top is the front of the station. Below, you see the train tracks (two of them, running north and south), the passenger bridge to cross the tracks (there are no escalators), and the platform for the northbound train.

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Now, let’s take a look in the waiting room. Here we find photo posters of Kanayama attractions created by Shiho Tokuda.

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Inside Hidakanayama Eki you will find the invaluable resource, the Kanayama Tourist Information Center.

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After leaving the station, turn around and you will see the welcome sign of Kanayama Town. The three photos in the center feature the Shirataki Falls, the Gifu-cho butterfly, and the Iwaya Dam. These pleasures await you in Kanayama.

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Snapshots of Kanayama: Nukumorinosato

Visiting Kanayama Series

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We will show you snapshots of Kanayama Town in the Visiting Kanayama Series. We will give links to Google maps showing the locations of the places you’ll visit. Nukumorinosato is located on Route 41. This long name can be broken down into Nuku-mori-no-sato. We wonder what it means. See Pic 1.

DSC03860 Nukumorinosato

Nukumorinosato is a Michi-no-eki, a roadside station with restaurants and gift shops. The sign says, “onsen station” because it has two onsen spas. Onsen is written  温泉, where the first character means warm and the second means spring water. There are many public baths in Japan, but only those with natural mineral water are called onsen. Not only do onsen baths do wonders for tight muscles and stressed minds, they offer health and beauty benefits as well.

Pic 2 shows the Nukumorinosato roadside shop, where on the left is the shop selling local produce and other products. Pics 3 and 4 are snaps of the outside and inside of the shop. 

DSC03863 Karen

Nukumorinosato is anchored by the onsen-restaurant-hotel called Karen. It is written:  かれん. Perhaps it’s a Japanese girl’s name, for  is pronounced in the Japanese fashion Ka-ren. It has a restaurant on the right, a gift shop on the left, indoor-outdoor spa for men and women in the basement, and nine Japanese and Western rooms on the second floor all of which overlook the Maze River.

Across the street is the other onsen, Yuttarikan.  Yuttarikan  湯ったり館  means place of relaxation, and the large character in front is the hiragana yu,  ゆ.  Yu means hot water, hot bath water.  Yuttarikan has a nice gift shop, and a restaurant with traditional meals for lunch and dinner.

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Shopping finds

The gift shop of Karen displays many foodstuffs for home and for gifts. Very popular are gifts of miso, pickles, and of course sweets. There are four choices of boxed sweets with the Kimi no Na Wa theme, including (on the right) a box of Kataware-doki Caramels.

2017-06-23 08.18.23 kiminonawa cookies

2017-06-24 09.10.13 Katawaredoki caramels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can buy the locally made herb tea at the Nukumorinosato roadside shop or at Yuttarikan. Our favorite is a blend that contains lemon balm, lemon grass, mint, and chamomile (Yuttarikan). Among other specialty products is a bottle of hinoki essential oil which releases stress, and hinoki tissue boxes (both at the roadside shop). The Japanese cypress hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa) grows in Hida and is a high quality wood. There is a brand of Hida-bobo hand cream that contains collagen and smells nice (Karen). And each of you must have a Hida-bobo, the lucky charm of Hida, a hand-made red monkey boy (Karen, Yuttarikan).

Medical needs

Just in case you need a hospital (as we did), rest assured that the Kanayama Hospital is conveniently located next to Yuttarikan. The service is excellent, even if you have no Japanese insurance. The intake nurse communicated with us via a smart phone which translated her words into English text. Payment (reasonable enough) is by cash only. We had the doctor’s prescription filled at the adjacent Asahi Pharmacy bearing the icon of a green cross.

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All in all, Nukumorinosato is a convenient place to shop, eat, and stay — and have your medical needs met.

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