Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Quick trip to Kannonzaki Park

For Thanksgiving this year we decided to take it much easier than we did last year.  No waking up at 0500 to start turkey and pie and all the other yummies that go with it.  No slaving over a hot oven all day long fixing so much food that it could feed a family of eight for four days.  So, with the pies already done (the day before), and the yams cooked and mashed, just in need of heating in the oven, and a little ole turkey breast that only needs a couple hours of cooking, what were we going to do for the rest of the day??  Well, hike, of course!

Once everyone was up and fed, we packed a light lunch, filled our water bottles, and laced up our hiking shoes.  Out the door we went, around 1030 or 1100.  We made our way around the peninsula to Kannonzaki Park.

We drove in on the grey road as it comes into the picture on the
middle left of the map.  We drove it around the coast to one of the
blue 'P' squares in the upper middle of the park.  We walked up toward
the coast and then around to the right, next to the white beach area
in the upper right corner.  Then we walked past the tunnel and back toward
the center of the park.
The drive was easy:  left out of Womble Gate and continue on 16 until you get to Kannonzaki and see the parking lots next to the little lighthouse.  Parking was free (this is on a Thursday).  I think usually the parking fee is around 600 Yen on Saturday, Sunday, and Japanese holidays from September to June.  Then, it is around 900 Yen during July and August.
Okay, so it only took 15 minutes or so to get there and park.  We found a map and Kris pointed which direction we needed to go....off we went!

We were right on the coast, so lots of beach and rocky outcroppings to walk on and explore.  

It was a beautiful day!  Very few clouds in the sky and the haze wasn't very heavy.

After walking on the beach and rocks for a while, we decided to get our shoes back on solid ground and head around the coast on the stone path.  We didn't see many people while we were out.  Well, aside from the two huge school groups that went past us, giggling and practicing their English on us.

We walked up a few stairs.  "Mountain Stairs" as the kids called them; long, gently sloped stairs.

Here is the lighthouse.  There used to be a lighthouse that was built in 1867 by French engineer, Leonce Verny, right at the entrance to Tokyo Bay.  It was the first Western style lighthouse to be built in Japan.  However, like many buildings in the area, it was destroyed in 1922 by an earthquake, then rebuilt and then taken down again during the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.  The lighthouse you see below was built in 1925.  (I didn't get a shot of the ruins of the old lighthouse.  We looked at it, but I didn't take a picture.)

From here we walked back down the stairs we just came up and then made a left, walked through a tunnel and came out next to a road.  After a little walk along the road, we made a right turn back up into the hills and forest.

A look out to the Pacific

Once we walked back up into the hills again, we found a little spot to sit and eat our sandwiches.  All of the explanations in the area were in Japanese, so we were clueless what we were looking at.  Turns out, it is a war memorial.  There is a giant white structure that represents the sail of a ship (sorry, no picture) and then the sculpture below is of men adrift at sea.

Just around the corner from this memorial was a little view of Fujisan.

And, then around the corner a bit more we found....a park!!!  

First, a perilous balancing act along the tracks.

We kept walking along this track curving slightly up and down.

At the end of this track was a little platform where you could go down a rope to a quiet little park.  

Back up on the platform, we headed along the track once more to come around a curve and find a couple roller slides.

A little climbing apparatus. 

The roller slides...always a fun time!  Too bad we forgot our plastic sliders.  Ouch!  The kids and I took a couple trips down the slides and then the kids took off in different directions.

Just beyond the roller slides was a big net thing....technical term, I know!  But, what else do you call that thing?

Wait....there's even more!!  A huge rock climbing wall at the back of the park!  Garytt had a hard time climbing.  I'm not sure why Mackenzie never came back here since she loves to climb.  I tried, but my big ole toes didn't fit very well into the kid sized notches.  Plus, I was a little grossed out by the slimy hole I managed to get my fingers into.  Uch!

We finally convinced the kids that we needed to get going, I had a turkey to bake, after all.  So, they slumped their shoulders and started leaving the park area.  Only to find More.  Fun.  Stuff.  A double zip line!  Woo hoo!!!  Mommy and Daddy got in on this action!  We all took turns swinging back and forth.  Racing to see who was the fastest.

I took a few shots of the almost yellow gingkos that were around us.  Then, we finally (again) decided we HAD to leave!  We were cutting time pretty close now.

A random wall on our way home.  I thought the colors were pretty.

And, our view of Fuji was better on this side of the hill.  It's always surprising to me how much we can actually see from so close to home.

Friends of ours have said they come out here quite often, and now we can see why!  The walk was quiet and the park was pretty fun!  Even for the adults!  There weren't too many people, other than the two school groups and a few crazy runners.  Not a bad way to spend our Thanksgiving morning!  Much better than slaving over a hot stove all day!  :)

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving day (we won't talk about the pudding pie that didn't turn out right.  Or the cranberry sauce that didn't solidify.  Or the turkey that was a little dry, but hey, that's what gravy is for, right?)  We hope all y'all had delicious turkey suppers with family and friends!