亀 kame—turtle

There is a small river near our house called 西除川 nishi-yoke gawa. It flows in a northerly direction through Matsubara city, about a mile east from our house. Then it takes a sharp left turn to flow north-west until it joins the Yamato River.

Last weekend we walked east from our house until we reached the river. Winter is very dry in Japan, so there isn’t much water in it at this time of year! There were many places where it was possible to cross without getting your feet wet.

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Looking north along the river, we spotted an attractive orange-painted bridge leading to a shrine, which was flying the Japanese flag. We decided to go and take a look.

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The shrine is called 布忍神社 Nunose Jinja. It turned out to be a very interesting place, and a pleasant spot to sit and take a break. Yuko pointed out a memorial to the Russo-Japanese war. There were lots of colourful banners and a sort of corridor of torii gates.

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There was a notice saying that there would be a Setsubun lantern ceremony on the evening of Sunday 3rd February. We decided to come back a week later for that ceremony.

(And indeed we did, today; it was very interesting and I will write about it in a later post.)

 

Earlier today, while Yuko was shopping, I took the dogs for a walk further down the river.

This sign, standing on the south bank of the Nishi-yoke river, indicates a waterways boundary; the Nishi-yoke river (in the foreground and upstream, to the right) is the responsibility of Osaka prefecture, while the larger Yamato River (in the background and downstream, to the left) falls under  the national ministry of land, infrastructure and transport. The small blue sign shows the 0.0 km point of the Nishi-yoke river.DSCN4826

Here is the confluence, the point where the two rivers meet (the Nishi-yoke on the left, the Yamato on the right). On the right (north) bank is Osaka city, on the left (south) bank is Sakai city. The Yamato River forms the boundary between the two.

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This piece of land between the two rivers is a fairly tranquil place. We found a man sitting, reading a novel and enjoying the peace and quiet and the warm sunshine.

Also taking advantage of the sunshine were a lot of turtles.

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Unfortunately, as we approached, they all dropped off into the water and swam away, leaving the dogs disappointed.DSCN4823

 

Walking upstream, there is an attractive pedestrian promenade laid out along part of the river’s length.

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This brought us past the outfall from the water-treatment plant I wrote about last week.

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And then, more turtles!

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I should explain at this point that Shiro loves turtles. He even tried to eat a baby turtle once (I took it out of his mouth and sent it on its way, unharmed). They don’t love him, however, and always make their escape before he arrives, much to his frustration.

He took off in pursuit, but they stayed out of reach.DSCN4837

But that wasn’t the last of the turtles for today. This afternoon we went to Fukai city, to take part in some Setsubun events. It didn’t work out as planned—the area was very crowded so we wandered off and went for a walk around a pond instead.

There was no access to the pond itself, which was separated from the path by a fence. But something by the water’s edge caught Shiro’s attention:

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Do they look like they care?

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