Hitachinaka city in Ibaraki prefecture #One day trip 1

Trip begins suddenly.

I like to take travel brochures at train stations home, and enjoy looking at them. This time, I happened to do of "Let's go by Joban train line." Joban train line runs between, from south, Tokyo, western part of Chiba and Ibaraki prefecture. I used to use it from Chiba to Tokyo when I was in college. But I never went for Ibaraki. That's why I decided to try going north by Joban line.

Our trip always starts that way. Just a little thing makes trip plan before I knew it. I love it.

Our destination was decided as the last stop of Joban train line is Tsuchiura or Katsuta in Ibaraki prefecture. We found a local train called Hitachinaka Kaihin Minato train line (call it Minato line here) runs from Katsuta train station that works with diesel engine, not electricity. It sounded interesting so we'll go to Katsuta then transfer to Minato line.

It's been a while since I sit on a green seat of JR train line. Green seat is so-called high grade seat. You need to pay extra fee that is different by destination. The seat is wider and you can lower it. There's nothing quite like it. Also the car of the green seats has two floors. In our case we sit in the second floor and it feels like we're being on a journey. I want to ride it even when going snowboarding.

At Katsuta train station we transfer to Minato line, then first we go to Ajigaura train station, the final stop.

Chrysanthemum, topknot and beard in the sign are after the train station's name "殿山".

While riding I find that the signs of the stations are very unique. It's not a normal letter. The sign expresses not only the station's name but also what famous are here in illustration. I enjoy thinking "what the illustration in the sign means?"

In Japanese the train station's name Kokimae means "factory".
Can you see screwdriver, electricity and saw in it?

Our destination in Ajigaura is a shrine called Sakatsura isosaki shrine. When we saw a picture of the path inside with trees like a arch, that made me get interested to visit. On the way to the shrine, there are local signs of destinations. And they are even designed like that too. Very interesting.

Even local signs are unique! Mix of Kanji and illustration. Interesting.

Trees in the shrine are living strongly and wildly. I get energy from them. They show their power living like this. That reminds me of one in Malawi. I can keep looking at them. I like the trees standing up straight, most of all, I like the twisted and not thick trees. They both have good points. There are a statue of horse to be honored and of turtle said to bring luck for money.

 

-------- Information on what I write here ----------

Hitachinaka city tourist spot http://www.hitachinaka-sa.com/
Minato line http://www.hitachinaka-rail.co.jp/
Sakatsura isosaki shrine https://sakatura.org/

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旅の始まりは突然に。


私は駅で旅行パンフレットを持って帰って見るのが好きで、今回持って帰ったのが「常磐線で行こう!」というタイトルのパンフレットだった。
常磐線は大学時代に柏駅からよく使っていたけど、言われてみればそれより北には行ったことないなぁって。土浦、勝田行というのは知っていたけど行っても柏までだったから、常磐線で上の方に行ってみようということが急遽決まりました。
私たちの旅はいつもそんな感じで決まる。だから楽しい。

土浦、勝田周辺で観光スポットを探していたら、ひたちなか海浜鉄道湊線が勝田駅から出ているということで勝田行の常磐線に乗車することに決まりました。
久しぶりにグリーン車乗ったよ。テンション上がる~!2階建ての2階席、後ろまで倒せるシート、これ以上最高なものはない!ぜひスノボの時に乗りたいわ…!

勝田駅から湊線に乗り換えて、終点の阿字ヶ浦へ。湊線の面白いところは、駅の表札が普通の文字じゃないところ!その場所にゆかりのあるものが文字の中で使われていて、「この絵は〇〇を表しているのかな」と想像するのが楽しい。

阿字ヶ浦での目的地は酒列磯前神社!参道が木のアーチになっているのを見て、ここ行きたい!となって。神社に向かう途中の道に観光名所の矢印が立っているんだけど、これも、普通の文字じゃなくて、ゆかりのあるものを使って文字を表していて、見てて楽しかった!


酒列磯前神社には、生命力溢れる木がいっぱいありました。力強く生きているのを感じた。マラウイで見た木を思い出したよ。ずっと見ていられる。上に真っすぐ生えている太い木も好きだけど、うねうねと生えているそこまで太くない木も好き。どちらにも良さはあるよね。
神社では馬が祀られていたり、金運を呼ぶ亀がいます。

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