In early January, 2010 I was visited by three friends from YouTube who were travelling in Japan and who had contacted me with an interest in experiencing a little of the Japan countryside I feature in many of my videos. Wes, Alex and Mike are American film makers who share a passion for Japan and a curiosity for what might be found beyond the big cities. Over a two day period we explored some of my favorite locations in the rugged mountains between Mt. Fuji and the Japan Southern Alps. On the second day we decided to try and visit a small Shinto shrine hidden amidst the forest on the outskirts of a nearly deserted mountain village. I had seen the shrine gate across the river on a previous hike though at the time was unable to approach the shrine due to high water in the narrow river gorge. On this day we were fortunate in finding the water level low and could cross the water on a narrow wooden footbridge which had been upset by the river. A little bushwhacking was required to reach the shrine which we found in surprisingly good condition though otherwise seemingly abandoned and without regular visitors. Before leaving we took care to reset the footbridge among the river stones in order that future visitors might have easier access.
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