Mariko Day Trip and Togeppo Saiokuji

Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2011 | 4 comments

  This past Sunday, we visited Mariko, a nearby village. We'd gone there once last year to attend the well-known monthly morning market, but we'd never taken the time to explore the rest of it until now. My previous post has some background on the town, so click HERE if you're interested in the history.
  The Mariko area is also famous for tororo, which is Japanese mountain yam. It's rather expensive due to the fact that it's hard to dig up, so a lunch of tororo soba (grated yam served with buckwheat noodles) runs about 1200 yen. I'd post a picture of it, but we opted for a 1200 yen set lunch that seemed a much better value. We ate at Takumitei, a restaurant in the Mariko hand-craft arts center...aka the Mariko tourist center. This little set of buildings was built to recreate the feel of Edo-era Mariko, and while it's all obviously new, it's still a nice place to look around.
  After lunch, we took a short hike up the hillside to view some early-blooming plum blossom trees, and then we continued on to Togeppo Saiokuji (Togeppo Saioku Temple). This little temple was established in the early 16th century for the poet Saikuken Socho. It's modeled after Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion in Kyoto. Togeppo has been known for centuries as a famous spot for moon-viewing, and it is also called The Temple of Bamboo, due to the massive bamboo forest surrounding it. A old sign in English at the entrance also informed me that they served tororo soup, but apparently that custom was as outdated as the sign, since none was proferred on our visit. Soup or not, I would still recommend it if you're looking for a peaceful day excursion!

                                                      Keila put Dad's lunch on hold

                                  Tuna sashimi with wasabi and a shiso leaf

                               Japanese radish with plum sauce (the white 'flower), shrimp stuffed with potato salad, and an egg sushi roll

                                                Tired Mom with lovely William Shatner

                                     Overlooking Mariko

                                 Plum blossoms

                                   The famous moon-viewing garden of Togeppo Saiokuji

                                          Togeppo Saiokuji, main building

                                              Old village houses

                                    Another small temple, name unknown (ie, I can't read the Chinese characters on the building that state its name)

                               My favorite picture of the day


Douglas Lee said...

Thank you so much for these pictures; I spent a year teaching English in Shizuoka in 1981, visited Togeppo Saiokuji often and came to love it very much. Over the last 34 years I have often tried unsuccessfully to locate it online - until today! While researching a forthcoming return visit to Japan I stumbled across your blog and was overjoyed to see your pictures. Thank you for reuniting me with a place that gave me great pleasure and many happy memories. Douglas Lee, London, UK

Kristel said...

Hi Douglas, thank you for your comment! I'm glad that this post was helpful to you. My family was transferred to England for 3 years and have only just returned to Shizuoka. We have plans to return to the Mariko morning market at the end of this month....

Kristel said...

Maybe I will start blogging again and post some new pictures of Togeppo Saiokuji. Enjoy your trip back to Japan!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog. I forgot the name and was glad to find it for friends. I have been in Japan nearly 30 years, starting also in Shizuoka (Shimokawahara area) and Shizuoka feels like my Japanese hometown though I no longer live there. Thank you for the blogs and photos.