Mar. 20th, 2017

Muroto peninsula is reknowned as one of the wildest places in the country, getting battered by Pacific typhoons on a regular basis. Fortunately for us, it wasn't today. It is known as being the place the Budhist monk, Kōbō Daishi, achieved enlightenment about 1000 years ago. Consequently, there are places labelled his 'living cave', 'meditating cave', 'bathing pool' etc. What is particularoly striking is the geology. Or rather, not so much the geology itself, which has analogues in the UK, but the timescales. When geological explanations are offered in the UK, you read about timescales in the millions of years. Here, they show geological timescales ranging from 1000-2700 years. The reason is that there is a subduction fault just off the coast and there are sections of the coastline that were raised a metre or so only back in 1949 and even the most striking bit of geology barely makes it further back than 1000BC.

There is a well made footpath along the coast with explanation panels at important items of interest - and in English too, which was nice. Then we had a stiff climb up to a temple and lighthouse before returning to the main road via a rather spectacular switchback road, at least half of which was out in mid-air, supported on piers. As we descended the thought struck that now would be a very bad time for an earthquake to hit. High enough to avoid the inevitable tsunami (for which there were many warning signs and advice), but possibly risky if the piers decided to give way. (I'll try to give a link to Facebook photos.

Back on terra (a bit) firmer, we drove back to our lodging where we'd organised a trip to a local restaurant with our host. One story he told was accompanying the Olympic torch in 1964. Not actually carrying it, but part of the procession through this part of Japan.



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