Random Trip Report

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Using the invented rules I described in the previous post, we ended up a Chuo Express bound for 青梅
(Ome) leaving from track 9 at 13:51. Looking at the route map, we saw we'd be getting off at Tachikawa and transferring to the Nambu line. When we got on the Nambu line train, we scanned the route map for stations with 'koen" but there were none, so looked again for a station with a "water feature" in its name. Second stop: 矢川 (Yagawa). That was our destination.


Yagawa is a suburb of a suburb of Tokyo. Like most places in Japan, though, it has its points of interest. We left the station and headed for our water feature, the Ya River, with a plan to stop at the Kunitachi Kyodo Bunka-kan and a forest park that were marked on the map at the station.


Within ten minutes we'd stepped into the country side. Fields and farmhouses lined the narrow roads. At some of the houses, we saw "veganimals" made from cucumbers, eggplants and chopsticks. I think they were part of a summer o-bon offering, but I don't know for certain.

The local museum was beautifully designed and full of local archaeological treasures and a history of the Kunitachi area. We had a great time in the library, leafing through books on flora, fauna and urban sightseeing. Libraries are always extremely entertaining.

Our next point of interest was the forest walk, which was refreshingly shady in the scorching afternoon heat. But we were soon through it an finally had our first sighting of the mighty Yagawa:


It wasn't much of a river, or even a creek. It was a stream. But I guess 川 can mean stream as well as river, so it wasn't a trick to fool visitors. We got a little lost on the way to the next station, but a helpful man set us straight and suggested we pay our respects at the Yaho Tenmangu shrine.


A flock of chickens greeted us very loudly as we approached the stairs. People came by to feed them while we took photos. They were perhaps my favorite part of the day - completely unexpected and so incongruous.

We walked from Yaho station up the perfectly straight Daigaku Dori to Kunitachi station, and along the way bought a steamer pot, popped into a tobacconist to inhale deeply, found fresh beets on sale, ate at an amazing restaurant (I'll tell you all about it tomorrow) and decided that Kunitachi, a college town established in the Taisho era, was a place we'd visit again.

But we'd never have come here if we hadn't traveled following our random rules.

Tod took a lot of photos.

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I guess you get the good seats if you have a child stuck to your torso, a radiant boil, or a candy cane or giant golf tee thrust through your leg. The candy cane must hurt more - look how he's doubled over in pain!

I like the chickens. Hooray for random rules!

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  • Jenn: I guess you get the good seats if you have read more