When I’m Not Blogging, I Possibly Visited … (Part 5)

 The Toilet! 

this toilet will self-flush in 5 seconds ... good luck planetross.

“Your mission, Planetross, should you decide to accept it,
is . . . to go to Shikoku and see if anyone is really there at all.
 As always, should you or any member of your P.R.
be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow
any knowledge of your actions. This toilet will
auto-flush in five seconds.”

You know Shikoku … one of the 4 main islands of Japan. If Japan was a band, Shikoku would be the bass player.

I freely admit my knowledge of Shikoku is spotty.
I know that: it’s kind of roundy on the map, it’s connected to Honshu by 3 bridges, it has 88 temples that you can visit, if you’ve got loads of time … and really like temples … and I’m not talkin’ ’bout those Shirley type ones … or those ones on your head.

I asked my co-pilot “don’t put me on your blog … unless I’m distorted and yawning” what Shikoku had to offer. She said, “it’s kind of roundy on the map, it’s connected to Honshu by 3 bridges, and it has 88 temples“.

She said she used to work with  someone from Shikoku once and they were nice, but sometimes arrived at work 5 minutes late.

After that scary story, I rolled up my window and locked the doors.

Nice Parking!

 On arrival, I could tell these Shikokuites were going to be a sarcastic bunch. I liked them immediately.

unfortunate work uniforms

They were a bit out of fashion though. But I could live with that because …

Super Deluxe Giant Bonsai Tree!

 they had giant bonsai trees  everywhere!!!!

With only one day to see anything, the decision was made to go to Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture.well that makes it easy

 It was a tough decision about where to go first:
Ritsurin Koen (not in the top 3 parks to visit in Japan, but an edgy contender to nudge out the top 3 and my garden),
Yashimaji Temple (#84 of the 88 big ones), 
Shikokumura (old building from around Shikoku).

We went Ritsurin Park first because it was nearest … and the other 2 attractions were close together about 5 km away … and we didn’t really care about them that much other than day fillers.

Ritsurin Koen (park)

Ritsurin Park was great: giant bonsai everywhere, little bridges conveniently located in areas between land, and even ice cream vendors!

I want this in my frontyard

Next stop was the Temple which was pretty good to wander around. All I remember about it was a surviving apple/cherry tree planted by some monk about 800 years ago. He wrote, “If someone asks ‘What tree is this?”, tell them ‘It is my tree.‘” … selfish bastard. 

After that I said stuff like:
If someone asks whose van is this? Tell them it is Ross’ van.
If someone asks whose gum this is? Tell them it is Ross’ gum.
If someone asks whose smell this is? Tell them it is the dog’s smell.


The sleeper attraction was definitely “Shikokumura”.

traditional replica vine bridge ... with steel cables in it

It started with a cool bridge.

that's a lot of soy sauce!

And then went on to produce a sugarcane farm building, a No theatre, old farmhouses, a very old soy sauce factory, ….

octopi pots

old fishing equipment stuff for catching octopuses … or octopi if you are being anal, and even a lighthouse which supposedly was erased from all Japanese maps during WWII because it was very important. I didn’t take a photo of it …  because why break tradition.

inspiration for Peter Gabriel's "Steam" possibly

During the evening I visited the longest covered shopping arcade in Japan; visited a nice bar/restaurant which had great seafood, but pretty crappy chicken, and  saw this little “Butaman” (pork dumpling shop) which reminded me of Peter Gabriel’s  “Steam“.

The next morning, it was back on the road with only one more stop before back home for rest … and an end to this serialized series.

Winnie the Pooh Truckin'

I’d like to say that I was at highspeeds when I snapped this big rig’s doll collection, but I think my mirror gives me away.

Another traffic jam!

another bridge on the horizon

Finally there was the bridge off of Shikoku … and a big Ferris Wheel!

Overall this one day trip to Shikoku was just a teaser. If I’m still blogging next year this time … or this year next time,  it will probably be about a return visit to Japan’s secret island and all the amazing stuff that is … Shikoku!


note: the last installment of this series is last … and next!   … and then it will be back to little short small tiny quick fast speedy stuff … hopefully.

double note: little short small tiny quick fast speedy stuff actually takes more thinking than these big long tall lothargic gigantic loquatious lengthy big things.



12 responses to “When I’m Not Blogging, I Possibly Visited … (Part 5)

  1. The last installment of this series is last … and next! … and then it will be back to little short small tiny quick fast speedy stuff … hopefully.

    Thanks for clearing that up since I thought the last was partway through the third and would start at the end of the blog that you posted this time next year.

  2. Thanks for the fab tour! Beautiful photos!

    I personally wouldn’t tease a trucker about his doll collection.

  3. Another fantastic planetross adventure! I like the stone with the hands pointing in different directions.
    Can’t wait for the last and next in your series.

  4. Sounds dangerous, better take visor man along for protection next time….

    BTW I started another blog, please don’t hit me….
    I just love Blogging too much to quit for long. I went with Blogger for a change & gave Dixie her own. Currently putting old posts back on as they were all stored in my desktop blog publisher program

  5. Can we expect any Visorman adventures in the near future

  6. The giant bonsai trees are great!
    The bridge was also a favorite!
    Once again, I really enjoyed the photos and story!

  7. Shikoku sounds like a strange and interesting place, and for some reason, it appears to be a word that Opera’s spell-checker knows. So I guess it might be a secret to some, but not to Norwegian programmers.

  8. Now I know where that song “99 bottles of beer on the wall” started.

  9. How on earth do they grow those little trees in to those monsters?!? It must take ages!

    Seriously though, fantastic pictures. I particularly like the “nice” parking. That’s the lot to pick! Much better than the bastard parking.

    -Turkish Prawn

  10. Thanks for all the comments.

    BlackLOG: hee hee!

    S. Le: thanks.

    Tammy: The stone hands were everywhere … usually at forks in the road!

    Tony: Welcome Back!
    I haven’t seen Visorman around recently, but you never know.

    Doraz: that garden had quite of few trees that looked like giant bonsai.

    Dennis the Vizsla: those Norwegian programmers are everywhere in Shikoku. hee hee!

    razzbuffnik: 99 bottles of soy sauce on the wall!
    hee hee!

    Turkish Prawn: The “nice parking” people were everywhere around the city.

  11. You make me want to take up Bonsai growing but I think I’ll be dead by the time any miniature tree of mine gets as big as the Shikoku examples. Talk about making a person feel their mortality…

  12. epicurienne: I’ve got no time to waste on cultivating tiny trees; I’ve got better things to do. … like growing giant flowers!
    … possibly mobile man eating ones will be next if all goes well.

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