After passing Zagyoso villa boring modern road goes on and on. Lone pine tree along the road is the surviving tree of once a pine avenue. About one and half hours from Okitsu I found something of Tokaido relic. It was formerly a pine avenue but none remained. In Ejiri it is difficult to find the trace of lodging station day buildings. Yamanashi House is a rare old building resisting to get devoured into urbanization. It is unfortunately a private house not open to public. So I could only take the photo from the distance. Yamanashi house is only about 300 meters from JR Shimizu station. After crossing the street to the station, I walked further until I met Tomoe river, one of the dirtiest rivers in Shizuoka prefecture. When I walked along the Tomoe river more than ten years ago it had unbearable stench. When I walked the riverside I didn't feel such smell. The river became a lot cleaner. Turning right at the shrine, I walked about five minutes to reach today's checkpoint Chigo Bridge. Adorable statues are kappas, imaginary pranky water creatures. From Chigo bridge I walked toward Baiinji temple. To be continued on my Shimizu page.
Walking Tokaido from Okitsu to Ejiri(Shimizu) seems to prove my oft-mentioned statement that there are only a few segments in Tokaido that walkers can truly enjoy. So this guide is intended for perfectionists who believe that every Tokaido trail must be covered. The hike starts from JR Okitsu station. To get to Tokaido walk toward the ocean. About two hundred meters walk you will see a wide road heavy in traffic. Turn right for Ejiri. About three minutes walk you will find a nice park with information board (Okitsu-shuku Park). You can find a board about Okitsu-shuku in English and Korean. Five more minutes you will find what remains of Minaguchiya on the left side. About 500 meters walk on the right side you will find the Seikenji temple, the highlight of Okitsu travel. After taking the entrance gate photo, try the passage to cross the railway line. You will find a nice small gate. Many tourists turn around from Seikenji temple and go toward Sattatoge Pass eastward. But this time I go against the grain and walk west along the Tokaido. Two more minutes westward you will find a inn-like old house on the left side. It is Zagyoso villa of early 20th century politician who retained great influence in prewar Japanese politics, Kinmochi Saionji. Few people ever go beyond Zagyoso villa and walk westward to Ejiri-shuku currently Shimizu. But that day Shimizu is part of my destinations so I went further.