Day 5 - Suganuma Village

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The entrance to Suganuma Village was relatively easy to find, so we paid our 500 Yen to park the car, got out our umbrellas and rain coats, visited the excellent toilet facilities, and braced ourselves for more adventures!

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Suganuma Village is linked to Gokayama Gassho no Sate by a tunnel. There are just a few farmhouses at this latter end of Gokayama, so not much of interest to see except this chair shown below. These chairs were used to send criminals across the river on a single line rope bridge. Once on the other side, they were left to their own devices! 

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So, we walked back to the bigger Suganuma Village for more exploration.

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Suganuma Village has two museums of interest, so to get out of the rain we decided to step inside. In Japan, you must remove your shows before entering a building. Most museums will provide slippers for you, but they do not seem to fit the large feet of Westerners!  So, if you are inspired to visit Japan, please try and find some slip-on walking shoes as life will be much easier.

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This building above is the Folk Museum, where upstairs they have a collection of everyday materials used on these farms. Practically everything is made of wood or string; even their musical instruments which look like wooden clangers linked together (there is one hanging by the door). This region of Japan was once famous for its silk. All this was explained by a useful folder of information in English provided by the museum. Not so though for the Saltpeter Museum where there was very little information in English, so we did not linger there too long.


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By now it was time for a sit-down, so we searched for the one and only source of food in this village; good thing it was a small village! You really cannot beat a bowl of hot noodles on such a day. Each of us had a different type of noodle (mine shown here are udon noodles) , but all had the same broth and selection of local vegetables. The Japanese tourists on the table next to us were clearly impressed by our chopstick skills; no way could we tell them that we had spent more than 20 years in Hong Kong.

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© Helen Gray 2019