Sunday, July 28, 2013

More Umbrellas & Parasols


So, the rainy season is officially over, but there are still showers and thunderstorms to contend with, so umbrellas are still ubiquitous.


Of course umbrellas also double as parasols, and as such are very much in evidence when the sun is shining, mostly used by the females....


As I am busy walking around Kyushu at the moment I don't have time to write much


So, these photos will have to do......


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Japanese Pond Turtles


Freshwater turtles can be found all over Japan, in castle moats, shrine and temple ponds, lakes, irrigation ditches, etc etc


I'm no naturalist, so am not sure exactly which species these are. They might be Japanese Pond Turtles ( mauremys japonica), or they may be Chinese Pond Turtles or a hybrid as the various species are able to interbreed.


They are reptiles, so need to spend time basking in the sun, which is when they are easiest to see...

One day in Shimonoseki 858

This last photo shows one crossing a road early in the morning heading to a small river...


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tairyuji Ropeway


The Tairyuji Ropeway in Tokushima goes from the small town of Naka on the Naka River up to Tairyuji, the 21st temple of the Shikoku Pilgrimage.


As you would expect there are some stunning views on the 10 minute journey


The journey between the two stations is 2.7 kilometers and difference in altitude is 422 meters.


Near the top one can see back to temple 20, Kakurinji.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Kyushu 108 Pilgrimage, Temple 2 Hannya-in

Hannya-in is the second temple on the Kyushu Pilgrimage I am walking. Its located in a hilly suburb of Fukuoka City.

Like all 108 of the temples on the pilgrimage it belongs to the Shingon sect. The honzon is an 11-faced Kannon, and in the main hall there are also a Yakushi Nyorai, a Fudo Myoo and a Kobo Daishi statue:

There was a small Inari shrine in the grounds, and this shrine with a carving of a snake eating its tail. Unfortunately the sign was illegible.

I would have asked the priest but he was busy with a ceremony. The nicest thing at the temple was the big Fudo Myo statue.

The origins of the temple lie with a tea-master of the Fukuoka domain who dies about 300 years ago.

Apparently it was moved to its current location because of the  construction for the shinkansen line.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kanaya Tenmangu


Kanaya shrine is south of the river in Hagi and therefore a little off the main tourist track, but it was the premier shrine for the castle inhabitants at least. This big gate once held Nio, the Buddhist guardians that were removed in 1868 with the separation of Buddhas and Kami.


It was moved to this site in 1720, though I have been unable to find out exactly from where. Its location is just outside what was a major gate into the castle town. Whenever the daimyo had to travel to Edo for sankin kotai, the forced residence in Edo in alternate years, the entourage would stop first here and pray for a safe journey.


The main enshrined kami is Tenjin, the deified identity of Sugawara Michizane, and this is a branch shrine of Dazaifu Tenmangu.


Being patronized by the rulers, the shrine has lots of donated artworks..... which I will show in a later post...


Friday, July 5, 2013

More Beppu Flowers


Beppu in Oita styles itself "flower town" and is reflected in its choice of designs for manhole covers. A previous post can be found here. This post shows a few more. This first one is of tsutsuji, azaleas.


This may very well be another azalea design or possibly hibiscus.


This ones easy.... cherry blossoms and tulips.... but I couldn't find it in color.


Not sure what this one is....