Nagatoro on a Clear Autumn Day

Since we went to Tokorozawa already yesterday we could have a sleep-in which was really great. When I woke up I took Coco-chan for a walk. We have made it a routine now when I visit. Same route. And he stops almost at the same spots to sniff and mark his territory. Once we had breakfast and got ready we took the car and drove to Nagatoro, about 1 hour and a half drive from Tokorozawa.

We had a walk through a small village to get to the Arakawa river and the Iwadatami along the river. We bought a big sembe (Japanese rice cockie) and ate while walking down to the river.

Sembe grill

The name Iwadatami means stone tatami mat and is called so because it consists of flat stones about the sice and look of a tatami. Coco-chan really enjoyed running there. And to our amazement he also climbed some stairs. Something he usually is too scared to do.

Arakawa    Coco & Chie at Arakawa's Iwadatami

From the Iwatatami we could look at some boats doing river rafting, although it was not much rafting today. But still it was beautiful with all the autumn colors.

After a while we walked back up to our car and past it up to the jinja (shrine) just below the Hodo-san (Mt. Hodo). Unfortunately we could not see much of the shrine since it was under renovation. But we continued to walk up to the rope way (cable car). We just arrived as one car was on its way to depart. Chie hurried to pay our tickets, including a kid’s ticket for Coco-chan (260 JPY).

Contributors to the shrine at Hodo-san's base

At the top we walked around to find another shrine. And a zoo with monkeys. Neither was much fun to see. But the colors and the view was really beautiful. We also had a chance to see Winter Sakura, which is the flowering of a plum tree during the winter time. Quite beautiful. And finally we could climb the highest mountain in Japan… Yes, it is Hodo-san at 4971 meters (see photo) and not Fuji-san at 3376 meters.

Coco and Johan at Hodo-san's top
Coco and Chie outside the shrine on Hodo-san    Coco and Chie at Hodo-san    Winter sakura on Hodo-san

Everywhere the leaves were brown, read, yellow, and green. It was really colorful everywhere we looked. And Coco-chan seemed to enjoy it as well. And who could blame him. Everywhere we went people stopped and said “Ohhh, so cute”. I said thank you… But most of the time it was, to my amazement, directed towards Coco-chan and not me 🙁

Coco and Johan on Hodo-san

When we got back down to earth… Again by cable car. It was getting dusk.

Cable car on Hodo-san    Johan, Chie, and Coco

Back at the shrine they had turned on the light making the trees sparkle in red, orange and yellow. It was really beautiful.

Dragon of Hodo-san    Coco and Johan at the shrine at Hodo-san's base

Although very beautiful we had to get back home. We got back to the car and Chie drove. This is always a trouble since Coco-chan really loves her so much he cannot stay away. And always struggle to get into her laps. But this time it took about five minutes of not so much struggle and whimping before he just fell down in an exhausted heap in my lap. And slept all the way back to Tokorozawa.

We had planned to make dinner at home. But we arrived back home so late we decided to go to Musashi instead. As always it was yummy!

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