Thursday, July 6, 2023



Walking up the right bank of the Gonokawa, Kawahira is the first main inlet coming into the river. From Kawahira the road heads into the mountains and then forks with the older road heading into Gotsu from behind, and the newer road heading further inland to Atoichi and onto Arifuku.

One section of Kawahira has been completely re-engineered and raised several metres, ostensibly to prevent flooding. Lots of free, new houses for the few residents remaining, and of course lots for the construction and concrete companies. Kawahira no longer has any shops but it does hve a Post Office and a Koban, a rural police box.

It also had the first proper station on the closed Sanko Line. The other two stops between here and Gotsu, Chigane, and Gotsu Honmachi, were just "halts", platforms with a small shelter, whereas Kawahira has a building, toilets, and what used to be a ticket office.

Kawahira has the first bridge across the Gonokawa after those at its mouth in Gotsu. Though my plan is to walk up the right bank I have to cross the river at this point to the left bank. From here up to Kawado, there is no road on the right bank, the only section along the whole river. The rail line is on the right bank, and back when it ran the trains were so infrequent that I have walked along the line several times in this section, but since the line closed down the tracks have become choked with undergrowth and its no longer possible to walk it.

Ive been to the main shrine in Kawahira several times for matsuri to watch kagura, and one time to watch  Omoto Kagura, the shamanic form that only survives in this area of Japan, but the most common reason to visit Kawahira is for the Tauebayashi, the rice-planting festival.

As my plan is to explore the left bank by walking downstream from the source, I hop on a bus and plan the next leg from Kawado on up. The previous post in this series "To The Source" was To Kawahira

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see this latest installment in the series.