January 4: Oita River Bank Walking (Part 1); From Yokose to Kaku Bridge.

by Mie

The red line indicates our walking course of the day.

The refreshing sunlight tempted me out onto the bank of the Oita River that originates in Kinrin pond in Yufuin basin. We have started our home in Fujimigaoka community located in Yokose district to walk the bank along the river. (Left) A view from Kokubu bridge looking Mt. Yufu and Mt. Tsurumi in the distance. (Right) The signboard reads "Oita River."
As we are afraid that we may get tired on the way, my husband Ken rides a newly bought bicycle. As we have just one bicycle, we will ride it alternately. I have to recall how to ride a bicycle, because I have away from it for a long time.

On the bank is a bicycle road. Who litters beautiful nature with trash like this? The sign reads "Absolutely no parking. The road will be used for emergency vehicles."
A lovely dog like this is also happy in walking. I recalled a small Japanese dog that we had once kept in my house.
The foaming flow from a small dam reflects the sunlight.

The current becomes slow down stream of the dam, providing a rest place for many ducks and other drifting waterfowls.

Anglers are doing something on the bank. I found big fish just caught by the nets. Several big carps and two crucians are still alive and quivering in the sunlight. An angler said to me, "Take it if you want." However, it was so big to cook. I said "No, thank you."
Another angler brought a basket to return the fish into the well of a boat to keep them alive. Will the fish survive somewhere in a pond?
Under the bank sleep big construction machines such as bulldozers and excavators. The work seems to be off because of the New Year's holidays.
We walked down to Kaku shrine, a resort spot of our walking. The distance from my house to here is about five kilometers. A new Shinto straw festoon decorated with cut paper is hung at the entrance gate and a tent is put for the believers who visit the shrine. We prayed as well.
Passing by the shrine, we crossed Onozuru Bridge then Kaku Bridge. Soon, we have come up to a point where smaller Kaku river (front right) merges to bigger Oita river (above) at the downstream of Kaku bridge.
I saw for the first time in this winter a piece of white Ume flower blooming in a sunny spot of a house near the junction of the rivers. It is very pretty.

to Part 2