An Introduction to Kisarazu

10 05 2009

Today we rode our bikes around Kisarazu, following the temples and filming sites from the TV show Kisarazu Cat’s Eye.

We rode up a hill past a video rental store, and then beyond the train station with a statue of a tanuki and to a small temple called Komyo-ji Temple. Not that exciting- on to the next one.

Yatsurugi Hachiman-jinga shrine seemed quite popular- several young Japanese were offering prayers. The shrine contains one of the largest portable shrines (mikoshi) all coated in gold and used in festivals around July. Out the front of the shrine was a small fish pond with one of the largest koi we have seen. It totally dwarfed the rest of the gold fish in the pond.

We went down the “Mimachi Shopping Street” which was used for a lot a filming in the Kisarazu Cat’s Eye show. Unfortunately most of the shops that featured in the show are non-existant now. It’s a bit said to see all the closed shops and empty streets. One thing that has stayed are the little stone statues of Kisarazu’s animal mascot, the Tanuki. Every statue features large balls. The statue of Ozzy the Tanuki (from the show) is still in the street.

We had a little rest in the Shojo-ji Temple where we looked at the large bell they ring.

Then we crossed the river thinking we might see the strip club from the TV show, but all we saw in the street were closed-up shops and houses. We rode on past the fake chapel for getting married in and past Hotel Christmas (huh?) to the Red Bridge (Nakanoshima Ohashi Bridge). The bridge doesn’t really go anywhere- just to a made made island that is a park for people to picnic in. It seemed to be a popular spot as there were many families with picnic baskets and fisherman lined up by the water. There were some stalls and we ate a toffee apple. It was really warm spring weather today – about 24 degrees and humid but nice weather for a leisurely cruise around the city.

We rode back home past the Kisarazu Touei cinema (it also featured in the TV show and is looking very neglected now, although it was open).

We had miso-seasoned grilled eggplant with carrot flowers, cauliflower and rice for dinner. I also made peanut butter and banana biscuits for our lunches this week.