Nigouhan Zaka

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Yesterday afternoon, Tod & I were enjoying one of our Sunday rambles through local but unfamiliar territory when we encountered Nigouhan Zaka δΊŒεˆεŠε‚, which translates to Two and a Half Measure Hill. Funny name. What could it mean? A historical marker gave us the answer.

Back in the day when Tokyo's buildings were a lot shorter, you could see the upper half of Mt. Nikko from the top of the hill. The "measure" in the name is of mountains. Japan's tallest mountain, Mt. Fuji, is divided into ten gou from the base to the summit. Since Mt. Nikko is half the height of Mt Fuji, it is 5 gou tall, and you could see only half of it from Two and a Half Measure Hill.

The sign gave an alternate explanation, as well. The hill is purportedly so steep that if you drink one measure of sake and walk up the slope, by the time you reach the top it feels as though you've drunk 2 and a half measures. The hill didn't seem that steep to me and I had no sake to experiment. Maybe next time.

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