Tokushima to Tsurugi, Japan

Tuesday 28th May 2024
Oh well, the weather has foiled our plans for today. We had a big drive day with lots of little side trips along the way. Unfortunately the weather is pretty ordinary. It has rained heavily all day. We left Tokushima around 9am and drove north to the Takamatsu, through lots of farmland which were lush and green. We passed many rice paddies. We arrived at the Ritsurin Gardens which are supposedly magnificent. Unfortunately it was still pouring with rain, with nowhere to go as we couldn’t checkin until 4pm and it also being difficult driving conditions, we decided to go through the gardens anyway. We donned on our rain jackets and traipsed through the wet grounds for over 2 hours. Gumboots would have been a better option, luckily we replaced ur little umbrellas with bigger ones free of charge from the Garden. They truly were beautiful gardens but the conditions definitely impacted their beauty. We enjoyed afternoon tea in the cafe to warm us up before heading on our way.

We decided to desert our afternoon plans of sightseeing and head to the accommodation straight from the garden, it was still an hour drive south to Tsurugi. It was still miserable and we drove through some flooded streets, winding our way through more farm and bushland. We arrived at our accommodation which is a room in a share house. Our first for this holiday. The area was quite limited for places to stay unless you wanted to pay over $250 a night and stay in a spa hotel. So share accommodation it is. As it turns out there is us and a single cyclist guy. So not a big problem. We had our first fail with dinner tonight, we both fell asleep this afternoon for a couple of hours and when we woke it was already almost 7pm. There were a few restaurants around but some were close to closing time, we walked to one which was closed today and decided on a convenience store microwave dinner. They wren’t too bad, which was lucky.

Hopefully the weather will improve tomorrow for our hike and scenic drive through the Iya Valley.

“Ritsurin Garden is the largest Cultural Property Garden in all of Japan, and is an important cultural asset that has been maintained for nearly 400 years. Originally created in the Edo period for the daimyo (feudal lord), the garden features six ponds and thirteen landscaped hills in front of the green vista of Mt. Shiun, along with stunning rock arrangements and a wide variety of beautiful plants. Seasonal flowers and one thousand carefully maintained pine trees create gorgeous scenery that changes throughout the seasons. The garden was designed to be leisurely strolled through, and each step offers a new perspective on the garden’s scenery. Passed down through the generations, Ritsurin Garden is truly an invaluable cultural treasure. It is believed that Ritsurin Garden was originally created in the late 16th century, from a garden belonging to the Sato Clan located in the southwest corner of the present garden.”