21-Mar-2004 -- Since I was attending a conference in Nagoya, I decided to have a try at this confluence which is located about half-way between Tokyo and Nagoya. I left the Shinkansen at Shizuoka and took a JR train to Kanaya. After leaving my luggage in a locker in the station I took another train and traveled the Oigawa valley up to Shimoizumi, the nearest station to the confluence. This train ride was very scenic since the valley is surrounded by high mountains and I could see many small villages and tea plantations from the train. Speaking to one of the locals I later heard that it is one of the major tea growing regions of Japan.
My GPS indicated that the confluence was 8.5 kms west of the station. Unable to find a bus, I decided to walk. My walk turned out to be a very long one since the road leading towards the confluence took many turns, so I needed
almost three and a half hours until I reached the vicinity of the confluence, which is in another tea growing village called Tagochi. I started to wonder whether the confluence might also be in a tea plantation, which would probably set it apart from all other confluences in the world. My GPS indicated that the confluence was somewhere on a hill on the right side of the road. I found a road leading up this hill and came to a tea farm less than 150 meters from the confluence. The owner of the farm was there and was curious to know why I came to his place and what that strange device was that I was holding in my hand. I tried to explain it to him but unfortunately my Japanese was not good enough. Apparently I looked also harmless enough because he left me after some time.
As I did not want to walk cross country through the forest I looked around until I discovered a path which went in the direction of the confluence. As it turned out, it brought me right to the confluence, I managed to get all zeros on the path. Thankful that my long, long walk was over I had a rest and then took pictures. Not much can be seen on them though, the forest is quite dense, so there are trees wherever one looks.
On the way back I hoped somebody would give me a lift, but since this is such a remote place there were hardly any cars. Fortunately after about 10 kms, I came to a bus-stop and even better there was also a bus waiting which
took me back to Shimoizumi. The rest of the journey was uneventful. Next day in Nagoya I had really sore muscles but fortunately I did not to have to walk much.