Izushi clock tower: an ode to the power of coming second
A small town in Hyogo, Izushi is home to the second oldest clock tower in Japan.
Note: SECOND oldest.
It was thought to be the oldest, until Sapporo noted theirs was completed a few weeks earlier. At which point, Izushi could have been relegated to the first of the losers" status so often reserved for second place.
Instead the town has made something of a name for itself on this quirk of history.
There's a splattering of temples, some beautiful "traditional" streets and castle ruins to also draw the visitor in. Not that many from the tourist trail make it. With no railway station and an infrequent bus service, this is a place that demands a car. Which might explain why the number of foreigners I saw during my visit could be counted on one hand.
One other thing worth mentioning. Izushi is also famous for its Soba noodles. Served on small plates and eaten with a sauce that's gradually intensified as you add more ingredients to it, it's something special.
If you happen to rent a car (or own one), Izushi is worth a visit. Not just for the town but also for the beautiful countryside.
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