SYNOPSIS:  About one of the largest silver mining areas in the world and what you can see of it today.  About rain and an incredible landscape at the North-Western coast of the Honsho Island of Japan.

Most likely I covered about 10 km on foot today in little over 7 hours — all of it in the rain.  For the first three hours I did not mind that much — the rain was light, it was warm and there was no wind.  But then temperature dropped, the wind tried continuously to wrestle the umbrella out of my arms while I was fidgeting with my camera, which unfortunately requires two hands, the rain picked up in intensity and by then my camera, my backpack and I were wet…

But who is complaining?  I was way to busy being in awe of the beauty around me and I got relief in several areas such as one of the mine shafts, the Kawashima Residence, the house of one of the local samurais, the incredible house of the wine merchants, the Kumagi Residence, and the municipal museum housed in the former magistrate’s residence; not to forget a few shrines and temples here and there.  The Kanzeon-ji was towering over the village just where it took a distinct bend and it was so beautiful and peaceful up there that I spent 45 minutes resting on its porch without even noticing how time passed.  There was perhaps only another handful of visitors scattered throughout town and the occasional tour bus went by, but I felt practically alone.  I covered a lot of ground in this fourth UNESCO monument  — 9 more to go — as it was stretched out into a  one of those long, narrow valleys (see the 3D model image).… VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY