I was in the neighbourhood today so I drove to Ichinoseki and made it to Geibikei (猊鼻渓 or Geibi Gorge) just in time for the last 90 minute gondola trip down the Satetsu River.
Our gondolier was a charming old guy, too bad I didn't catch his name.
First stop on the tour was Kyomei-Gan or Mirror Rock. Sorry, I didn't get a reflective shot of the river.
There's a cool little basket trolley hooked up to send supplies across the river.
Around the first bend was a photographer who snapped a souvenir photo of everyone. When I inquired as to its cost, I balked at the 1600 yen price tag, which was the same cost of the entire ride!
As we rounded the next bend, we espied the Fuji-Iwa, the Wisteria Rock. I only wish it were in bloom.
Ducks on the shore, they would be a constant travel companions with hopes of gobbling up some goodies thrown their way.
I'd always known that アヒル (ahiru) means duck. Checking a dictionary it refers more to a domestic duck. The word 鴨 (kamo) refers to a wild duck. Everyone was chanting, "Kamo, kamo", especially our toddler companions. I thought at first they were saying, "C'mon, c'mon."
About 15 minutes into the journey, a motorized boat joined us and a trio of folks embarked upon our vessel.
As we bade farewell to our sailor, we met Ryoun-Gan, the Cloud-Kissing Rock.
I think this might be Sofu-Gan (Mighty Man Rock), I didn't manage to capture his spouse, Shofu-Gan (Little Woman Rock.)
As we approached the Bishamon-Kutsu (Bishamon Cave), I was hoping we'd see some of its inhabitants, bats, but we were too early.
Within the cave is Bishamon-Ten, a shrine for the Treasure God. This gal flung a coin into the basket on her first try. (I overshot.)
Next, we approached Amayoke no Iwa or Rain-Shelter Rock, used on rainy days as protection against a downpour. Though cloudy, we didn't have to worry about the rain.
We passed another gondola heading back to dock.
And, the ducks are back!
Some trees and rocks and stuff.
What follows is Toun-Hou or Cloud-Spewing Peak. "When the river mists
envelop the Gorge, it appears just as if the rock is spewing out
clouds." That didn't happen.
A glow-in-the-dark carp.
I'm not sure what these bluffs are. Maybe Kinpeki-Gan (The Brocade Wall), Byobu-Iwa (Sheer-face Rock) or Baryo-Gan (Horse's-mane Rock) or maybe I'm bluffing.
We went ashore to stretch our legs and check out some more rocks. Ransho-ga-oka (Victory Hill), Daigeibi-Gan (Great Rock of Geibi) and Sentai-Gan (The Hermit's Sash) but darned if I know which is which.
This one is Shishigahana, The Lion's Snout.
For 100 yen, you can choose 5 stones and then for luck try and toss them into the mini-cave in the cliff. I sure hope no birds or bats nest there. The same gal who nailed the coin toss landed her first shot into the hole! I could barely make it to the mountain; I "throw like a girl" but certainly not that girl. On the plus side, I wowed everyone including the gondolier with my stone-skipping prowess!
Back on the boat. One of the more colourful carp. Striking!
A few more rocking shots on the way back.
To top off the ride, the gondolier serenaded us with an Enka style tune.
The above in English, (he sang a couple of tunes, the one listed may not be the one in the video.)
Song of Geibi
As I pole my boat
On the clear waters of the Satetsu RIver,
The clouds that dull my heavy heart
Are dispelled by The Lion's Snout.
Come see for yourself in Old Iwate, This wonderful sight, unrivalled elsewhere
Take the Ofunato Line
It's not far from Ichinoseki.
Can you find him in this picture?
A fun day's outing, I'd like to go back and check out some of the nearby caves someday.