Promenade of willows and the simple stone bridges
Around "Shirakawa", a small river flowing east of the shopping street, is our oasis.
The water flowing under the willow trees is clear as fireflies dance in summer.
Benches next to the south bridge are the best palce to take a break.
There is a simple stone bridge which is about 60 cm wide.
Since ascetics pass over the bridge during the 1000-day-circumambulation,
it is called "Gyoja(ascetic) bashi(bridge)" or "Ajari(high monk) bashi".
Crossing another stone bridge, there is a sweets shop, "Mochitora".
When we crave Japanese sweets, they always help us.
Their sweets change every season.
It was autumn on this day, so there were chestnut and potato sweets.
On the back of the shop, there is a shrine which they have kept for generations.
The shrine is connected to Akechi Mitsuhide, a general of the 16th century.
The famous "Mitsuhide manju" is marked with bellflower which is Akechi family's emblem.
This "Fu manju", gluten cake, which is only available during summer.
The chewy and tender cake wrapped with bamboo leaf has rich flavor of mugwort.
You'll love it for the rest of your life!