|The Kakizawa Kokeshi Shop|
Naoko and I tend to like to replicate elements of previous trips, and like last year we once again stopped at the Kakizawa 柿澤 family kokeshi shop on the way up the hill. It's a really nice shop, and the Naruko-style kokeshis of 72-year old Mr. Kakizawa Koretaka 柿澤是隆, his wife Mariko 眞里子, and son Yoshinobu 是伸 are absolutely exquisite. Oddly, like last year we went in, were offered tea and pickled vegetables, perused the kokeshis, made some purchases, and then when Naoko drew a slip of paper for the chance to win something she won another beautiful full-size Kakizawa kokeshi. That's exactly what happened last year too!
|Naoko is chatting with the elder Mr. Kakizawa. The kokeshi down on the left next to the fan is the one that Naoko won.|
|Inside the shop with all those beautiful kokeshis. That's my father-in-law in the middle sitting patiently -- he was a good sport as we dragged him throughout kokeshi-land.|
|Some standard Kakizawa kokeshis, and some Hina kokeshis as well.|
|Look Mom. I won a kokeshi!|
|Katanuma, a small crater lake in the hills above Naruko Onsen. We had had really nice weather when we got to the lake.|
|It was worth going up to the lake just to see the steam vents like this.|
|Here's a close up of a steam vent covered with sulfer. It's not a cave -- just a small hole.|
|On the way back down the hill we crossed the river and I spotted this road sign and bridge.|
|I'm pretty sure this represents a kokeshi head.|
|I also found this old, decaying phone booth with a giant kokeshi head on top. It would probably get more attention if people still used public phones.|
Next blog: The Naruko Kokeshi Museum!