Whilst millions of people with a Tokyo address do, at least to a certain extent, live in the kind of close-quartered neon-lit landscapes depicted in foreign films and media, countless others lead a rather more relaxing life. The latter being especially true in regards to those living in Hinohara-mura on the metropolis’s western outskirts — the only village in the Japanese capital.
Yet despite being a considerable distance from the city’s downtown area, the residents of this sleepy little settlement are still a part of Tokyo, presumably meaning that they have to put up with all the high prices associated with the capital without any of the benefits. The place doesn’t even have a convenience store for goodness sake.
That said, they do have a nice two-tone tarmac road that is ideal for driving on, or (weather permitting) even walking along.
And should meandering along this road somehow become a little mundane, Hinohara also has a river running through it. The village even employing a local old man to sit on the bank and wave to those foolish enough to have ventured so far in the vain hope of seeing something interesting.
To be fair though, it should also be added that the village is relatively well known for the foodstuff konyakku, which, perhaps rather aptly, is somewhat on the bland side.
I think we drove past this place on the way to Fujigoko. There was indeed, an old man sitting along the side of the river. Not really an exciting job, but it looks like he’s got job security.
My goodness, that’s one big konyakku indeed. When I first came here to Japan it took quite some persuasion from my Japanese friends before they convinced me its edible. :]
Danny Choo says
Nice pics. Apparently some folks use Konbu instead of Tenga…
Alright, what in gods name is konyakku? It looks like a slice of smokers lung.
I’ve been out there in past summers for swimming/hiking. Some stretches of the river are nice and clean. At some parts, however, the local youths make no attempt to pick up their garbage, and it’s strewn with piles of old bento boxes, etc.
Bruce Anderson says
Konyakku is a gelatin made from yams. It’s got a firmer texture than American gelatins (which believe it or not are still mostly made from animal-derived collagen) and almost no flavour.
Hinohara seriously has no konbini? Wow. I didn’t think there was a single town in Japan without at least fifty Lawsons, 7-11s and FamiMas. Is that even legal?