Thursday, May 15, 2014

They say getting lost is good for the brain

The other day I set out to locate the park where the white Shogun’s memorial was displayed. If you aren’t familiar with it, its William Adams, and the book “Shogun” was written about him. It turns out his monument is actually in the town I’m staying in. I looked it up and discovered it was a simple 15 minute walk from the apartment.

This was great news, so I made sure to map it out and have it on my phone to follow, since I may or may not have a hard time locating things here.

At one point I came to a fork in the road (you may see where this is leading…). If you looked at my map, it showed that I would need to veer to the right, but the right had me go down the hill, when I knew that where I would eventually end up was up the hill. However, following my map and knowing I was 85% sure I was going the wrong way, I went right and walked down a steep slope to the base of the hill. I can’t quite say why when being 85% sure I was going the wrong way I kept going, but I did. I figured if anything else, it would let me explore the little town I’m in and see what it has to offer. I admit, the whole time I’ve been here I haven’t gone beyond the apartment and the train station (which is a straight shot), so I was okay going the wrong way.

I walked and walked and as I passed old rickety homes, I saw through overgrown weeds and limbs a shrine gate at the top of a lot of stairs built into the hill.
The stairs were blocked by flower boxes, but undeterred, I stepped over them and made the climb to the top to see what and why it was there. The whole way had a bit of a spooky vibe to it. It was eerily quiet except for the sound of the bugs humming and the closer I got to the top, the more the brush thickened. I passed through the gate and there sat stones protected by two fox or animal statues on each side; at least I think they were there as if to protect. There were no signs or descriptions, so I had no way of knowing what or who it was for.
After a short time I felt uncomfortable and oddly vulnerable and began making me descent back to the street. It was a long street. At the very start of my walk, there was an old man sitting, hunched over his walker. I passed him and made my way down the long road and when I came to the very end of the road, there were more stairs. This time, even steeper than the previous ones I found. They started out and veered to the left, but also continued into nowhere. I can only imagine what used to be at the top of these stairs.

I went left and climbed up up up along the hillside never once coming across anyone. I felt a bit uncomfortable the whole time. Partly because I was in a dress and sandals (not the best hiking gear), partly because I had just read a blog post about all the deadly bugs in Japan, and partly because no one else was around and I was nervous I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. But I kept on.  After climbing and winding my way along the pathway for a good 20 minutes, I figured I had to be close to the park even if I came in from the wrong direction, but then I saw a guy and I got nervous I was going to get in trouble, so I high-tailed it before he could see me and made my way back down. Call me a scaredy cat.

After making the long trek back down the road, I passed the old man making his way inch by shuffled inch down the road. It must take him hours to walk what would take a normal person twenty.

I finally accepted defeat and went back to the fork to go left, but even then I wasn’t sure where this park was. I walked for another 15 minutes unable to find it and at that point I called a truce. I’d been walking in flat sandals for almost two hours in all types of terrain, and my feet couldn’t take anymore. On my way back to the apartment, I stopped to take a (terrible) picture of the view.

..and of the beautiful flower bushes.

..before finally getting back safely to the apartment. I looked up online where I was in relation to the park, and it supposedly claimed I was just mere steps from the entrance. All I had to do was round a corner. hmm we’ll see next time I go if that’s true. This park boasts spectacular views of the Yokosuka harbor along with beautiful grounds and Shogun’s monument, so I plan on finding it; I’ll just be sure I’m wearing hiking gear next time in case I take one of my famous wrong turns.

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1 comment:

The Heart Of A Woman said...

I would have been so afraid!!! The scenery was beautiful though!


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