Thursday, September 5, 2019

Tanokami, Eggs, A Church, a Giant Torii, & A Dragon

On the 26th day of my first walk around Kyushu I headed directly north from Shibushi towards Miyakonojo where I had a room for the night. As usual I stopped in at any shrines I passed, and after leaving one that was down a track I noticed a statue in the corner of a rice paddy.

This turned out to be a statue of Tanokami, the god of the rice paddies, and though I had come across this kami before, this was the first time I had seen one in statue form. I had heard that southern Kyushu had plenty of these statues and hoped to find lots more over the next week or so.

One thing Japan is renowned for is the huge number of vending machines, and in the countryside you can find some strange ones. Vending machines for fresh eggs are actually not all that unusual.

Walking through the outskirts of Miyakonojo I came across this church. It's a real church, a Catholic one built in 1933, not a fake wedding chapel, which incidentally I saw a little later. The fake wedding chapels are usually much bigger and grander, with plenty of soaring spires and elaborate gothic decorations.....

After checking in to my room I went for a walk and couldn't miss a huge torii straddling the road. This led to the towns main shrine set in a big park. Kamibashiragu Shrine seems to be connected to the arrival of the Shimazu Clan in southern Kyushu, though now it has plenty of imperial kami enshrined.

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