Sunday, March 23, 2008
day 81 - Mar 19 -Tsuwano
A slow and picturesque climb by local train further up the mountains. When we arrived at Tsuwano it was raining, making our planned climb up the mountain to the castle ruins difficult, so we wandered around the 'Little Kyoto of The San-in Coast' district.
The story goes that the drainage channels were stocked with koi to insure against starvation from siege or drought. Now no-one eats the colourful carp because they're a tourist attraction! Unfortunately the rain stirred up the silt, so visibility was poor. We sought refuge by warming up with the local sake and stumbled across the very contemporary Katsushiko Hokusai Museum of Art.
Hokusai is probably the best-known of the ukiyoe artists, particularly for his 36 views of Fuji, including Waves Off The Coast of Kanagawa. This one wasn't in the museum, but 14 prints of Fuji In Clear Weather, showing the entire wood-block process and overlaid colours was a rare opportunity. I was especially interested in pages from his manga (which in the 1800s were just artists' sketchbooks) that included wave-studies and Escheresque geometric constructions of waves, fish and birds.
The day ended at the Yoshinoya Ryokan with a sumptuous traditional meal of fresh sashimi with local wasabi (including the leaves, served as a spicy vegetable), braised head of unidentified large fish, miso soup, nabe, ferns in tempura and chestnuts served with local green tea and sake.