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This time, I went 80 km away from my city for a spectacular view that takes the place of cherry blossoms. I don’t mean I like flowers especially, but in Shizuoka, somehow they boast flowers in major sightseeing spots.
Look at this magnificent view with…with gondola again ^^;
This is Panorama Park, located on the top of Mt. Katsuragi in Izunokuni City.
And you know what? This gondola is longer and higher and smaller than that of Nihondaira, with all conditions that scare me more…7-minute ride and 1800m long to the height of 452m. But remember, anytime you go up a steep mountain, you can find a fabulous view, and that word never betrayed me! It provides 360-degree panoramic views to everyone up there! The sea, the sky, mountains, cities, rivers and voices of every spirit! Listen to it, and you will find another yourself.
I’ll show you some pics that I saw at Panorama Park. I know I can’t express what I felt there enough no matter how many words I try to make. And I know pictures won’t tell sufficiently.
Seeing is believing!
Now, go for it and find it by yourself!
Telling the truth, I visited Panorama Park for the seasonal event, “Azalea Festival”. Azalea is a flower designated as that of Shizuoka Prefecture. Imagine 35000 trees of azalea on the hillside! If only they had been in full bloom…when I was there to see azaleas, they opened up just around two-out-of-ten because of unstable weather. But spring has come for sure, as the butterfly in the picture declares. ^^
Here, you can admire flowers all year round. Azaleas in spring, hydrangeas in summer, crimson maple leaves in autumn, plum blossoms and camellias in winter.
Walking along the promenade, you can see not only flowers but also other things such as a small Shinto shrine, the statue of Yoritomo Minamoto, a gift shop, athletic play-set and a snack shop. Oh, and I must say that there is an “Ashi-yu”, a hot-spring footbath, that anyone can enjoy free of charge. Soak your feet in the spectacular view!
Now, time for gourmet!
This time, I tried two orders. From the left, Konjac with sweet miso sauce and Rice-Dumpling with salty-sweet sauce.
I don’t say they took me to the symphonic world but each of them surely took me to the good old days. Bite the rice dumpling and feel the simplicity and profound sweetness of sticky rice. Taste the sweet miso sauce to go through our tradition.
We say “cuisine tells its culture”.
I would recommend you to take a bite of local snack wherever you go, not hamburgers, because taste remains in your memories.
Have a good trip!
Izunokuni Panorama Park
From JR Mishima Station ⇒ IzuNagaoka Station by IzuHakone Railway (20 minutes) ⇒ Izunokuni City Hall by bus ⇒ 1-minute walk to Panorama Park
※Direct bus available from Shinjuku （Please get it off at Nagaoka-Onsen 長岡温泉）
Ropeway charge ¥ 620 for one-way / ¥1220 for round-trip (*as of April 11, 2010)