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August in Japan [3]
drinking bird
mit_souko
After Matsue we went on to Hagi. It is famous for its pottery, and there were pottery stores everywhere. I enjoyed walking around the older part of town, its samurai houses or rich merchants' places. Hagi played an important role at the time of the Meiji restoration.


A typical older house

On the hill to the east of Hagi is Tôkô-ji, an attractive temple where 5 Hagi lords are buried. Their vassals erected over 500 stone lanterns in their memory.


March of the lanterns


More lanterns



We continued our journey in this beautiful region and took a long walk along the Chomonkyo Gorge, where luckily the path was shaded.



The river at the bottom of the gorge

Then we headed for the Akiyoshido cave, the second largest cave system in Asia. This was huge and very impressive. It was quite cool, naturally, and a great relief. Unfortunately the lighting is very low [to prevent excessive algae growth], and I only had on this trip my little pocket camera. A mistake, as my large Canon has much greater possibilities, and I was often frustrated. I think the general quality of my pictures is mediocre for this trip. Gomen nasai!

There are many curious formations in this cave, apart from the usual stalactites.


tiers of ponds


scalloped ponds

a strange light effect

Afterwards, we continued on to Tsuwano, which I will talk about in a 4th [and last!] installment.

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