In the forest on the ridge of Rokko, I found a secret place where a mysterious anecdote between Mr. Groom and a fox with a white tail remains.
This is a place called Mikuniike on Mt. Rokko, which has flourished as a villa area since the Meiji era.
I knew from the map that there was a villa of Arthur Hesketh Groom, a trader who came to Kobe in the Meiji era, but I stepped in to find out why Mr. Groome, who loved Japan, Kobe, and Mt. Rokko, built a villa here.
Groom was born in Vernon Terrace, a coastal city overlooking the English and French Straits, and came to the Kobe Foreign Settlement in 1868 (Keio 3/Meiji 1st year). In this way, he was involved in the trade of Japan tea and Chinese tea, and eventually in 1895 (Meiji 28), he built a villa named 101 House here on the banks of Mikuni Pond.
One day, when Groom hid a lost fox chased by a hunter, he stayed near the villa and fell asleep on Groom's lap.
Eventually, after Mr. Groom's passing, a man who said that this fox had moved to his family came to visit him, and the surprised family built a shrine on Mt. Rokko to enshrine the fox.
The man who visited had no connection with the Groom family and had a dream (was told by you?). It was said that he had arrived at the Groom family. Because the tail was white, this shrine was named Shirohige Shrine.
Actually, I found this Shirahige Shrine first, visited it to learn about its origin, and this time I came to the site of the villa site of Mikuni Pond.
Now, when I entered the mountain a little from the bus stop of Mikuni Pond, I heard the sound of a frog like the sound of a cello of a stringed instrument and the murmur of the water flowing smoothly. Soon we reached a path overlooking a large pond through the bushes. There was a small island in the pond, and I could see in the distance how the frog, startled by my presence, jumped to the surface of the water and its ripples spread soundlessly.
That's when I was stunned.
A short tree stands on the other side of a small island with trees...
The surroundings were slightly bright, and I could feel the children of families who had come to hike and running around. I felt like I had seen Mr. Groom as a young child.
At that moment, oh, yes! !!
I felt convinced.
I'm sorry if it's just my imagination, but this is a mountain with the same atmosphere as the waterside of the happy memories that Mr. Groom spent with his family when he was a child...
Perhaps this Kobe, which faces the Seto Inland Sea, was very similar to his hometown Vernon Terrace facing the English Channel.
The sense of security of hometown... For some reason, I couldn't help but imagine that this was conveyed to the white-tailed fox.
Since building his first villa here, Groom has embarked on resort development, tree planting, and mountain trail maintenance on Mt. Rokko.
I am sure that this is a power spot where various ideas are excited.
This time it was 😊 a piece from a "secret place" surrounded by such healing greenery.