Showing posts with label Izumo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Izumo. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Dragon Guardians of Yakumo Shrine

Japan Guide

Rather than Komainu, Lion-Dogs, Yakumo Shrine in downtown Izumo City is guarded by a pair of what appear to be dragons.

Yakumo Shrine is a branch of Susa Shrine, dedicated to Susano and with many branches across Japan. This one was established in the Meiji period and is locaed between the main train station and city hall.

The shrine did have standard komainu guardian statues, but they were replaced quite recently with the current ones. Though appearing to be dragons, the sword held in the tail of one suggests they're meant to be Orochi, the 8-headed serpent of Susano fame...

To fill out this post here are some more shots from the area around the shrine....

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Gardens at Yakumo Honjin

Yakumo Honjin 八雲本陣

The Yakumo Honjin is a former wealthy merchant's house from the Edo Period located on the south shore of Lake Shinji about halfway between Izumo and Matsue.

The title "honjin" indicates that it was used as a guesthouse by the local lord as he traveled around his domain.

I had expected the gardens to be more interesting than they turned out to be, though that may be because it was in the winter and the sun was low and cast big shadows,

Like other Izumo gardens I've visited, there seemed to be a big emphasis on the stones laid out as paths.

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure if visited at the right time of day and year the gardens would be more impressive.

On the other side of the lake there is another honjin in Hirata, and it's garden is much better tended to.

Buy Japanese Taketombo

Friday, August 13, 2021

Yakumo Honjin

Yakumo Honjin

Yakumo Honjin.

Yakumo Honjin is the name given to this large, traditional residence located in settlement Shinji, located about halfway between Matsue City and Izumo City on the southern shore of Lake Shinji.

akumo Honjin is the name given to this large, traditional residence.

It was formerly the residence of the wealthy Kowata Family who had been here since the early 16th century and were major landowners and also involved in commercial activities.

It was formerly the residence of the wealthy Kowata Family.

Located on the San-in-do, the major highway that ran through the region, the residence was used as a honjin, a place where lords and high-ranking officials could spend the night while traveling. Another honjin was in Hirata on the north side of the lake.

Located on the San-in-do, the major highway that ran through the region.

The main building dates back to 1733, however, the property is now huge as several other Edo Period buildings that belonged to high-ranking vassals of the lord in Matsue have been reassembled here.

Yakumo Honjin.

One room has been left as it was when the Crown Prince stopped here for lunch while toring in the Taisho Period. The carpet, table, decirations etc are original.

Yakumo Honjin.

On display throught the property are artworks and artifacts, some of which I will post later. The property also has a fine Izumo-style garden which I will also post later.

Tatami room with view of garden.

Koinobori & Children's Day in Japan

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Izumo Folkcrafts Museum


The Izumo Folkcrafts Museum is located not far from Nishi Izumo Station and is located in the grounds of what was a wealthy farming families estate. I have to admit that I lived here 18 years before I finally got around to visiting, but was pleasantly surprised.

The main display is in a former granary that has had a small second floor added. Mostly from Izuo but also from further afield, there is a lot of ceramics but also textiles, lacquerware, woodwork, and other crafts.

A second building, a former timber warehouse, displays contemporary mingei, again with a heavy emphasis on ceramics. Outside this building is a display of farming implements and straw raincoats, hats etc.

In the gatehouse is a small shop selling a selection of crafts made in the region. Worth a visit if yu are into mingei.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Izumo Folkcrafts Museum (exterior)


For years I had driven past signs pointing to the Izumo Mingeikan, but it wasnt't until recently that I visited it, and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised.

It is housed on the property of the Yamamoto family, one of the wealthiest familes in the Izumo region in historical times.

The main house is still a residence and neither it nor the garden can be visited.

The museum is housed in twolarge warehouses-storehouses, one dedicated to historical pieces and the other to contemporary pieces. They also have a small shop with a good selection of books, crafts, etc.

Photos and info on the works on display will come later........

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ryuzugataki Dragon Head Falls


Ryuzugattaki Waterfalls are among the 100 top waterfalls of japan and are located in the mountains directly south of Izumo City.

There are two falls, side by side, with the larger being 40 metres tall and the smaller just 30 meters. They are considered male and female.

The falls are reached by a very pleasant footpath along a river with the final approach being up a wooden staircase through a grove of huge, ancient trees that you would normally encounter nowadays approaching a shrine.

Also of interest is the cave in the cliff behind the falls that can be entered. Here you will find an altar to Fudo Myo.

In the autumn when the leaves are changing color is especially good for a visit.

Monday, November 23, 2020

A Daimyo Garden at Hirata Honjin


Honjin were a kind of lodgings used by daimyo, feudal lords, as they travelled around their domain. They were usyually the homes of wealthy merchants or farmers who could provide the luxury that the daimyo needed.

One such honjin is in Hirata, near the shore of Lake Shinji in Shimane, the former Matsue Domain. The honjin was the home of the wealthy Honkisa family who made their money from cotton and sake and for which Hirata was known. For the Matsue lords one of the facilities needed seems to have been a nice garden.

I am by no means an expert, but it seems to me that the stone pathways, or tobi-ishi, in Izumo-style gardens are somewhat more prominent. I have read that one distinguishing feature of Izumo-style gardens is the combination of rounded and rectilinear stones.

The honjin and its garden were actually relocated to its current spot. Hirata is also home to a unique type of art called Isshiki Kazari and I highly recommend checking out these recent posts on it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Tachikue Gorge Fudo Myo

Tachikue Gorge in the mountains south of Izumo City is a scenic spot with cliffs and strange rock formations.

Just the kind of place Yamabushi used to like so it's not surprising that it was a center for Shugendo.

There are hundreds of small statues in ledges and at the base of rock faces including many of the 500 rakan or arhats.

There were half a dozen small Fudo Myo statues as well.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Iwasaki Shrine, Usa.


In November of 2012 I went for a 5 day walk around and over the Kunisaki Peninsula, one of my favorite areas in Japan. I had been wanting to walk an old Shugendo pilgrimage route, but at that time had not yet found a reliable map of the route, however I did know that it started from Usa Jingu and headed east towards the peninsula and that is the route I followed.


Several hours into the walk I was approaching Usa Station and came upon Iwasaki Shrine. There was no information board at the shrine but I have been able to dig up a little info.


It was founded in 723 and the list of main kami is headed by Ojin and Jingu, and yet curiously its not called a hachimangu.


There are a lot of secondary shrines in the grounds, including Kibune, Konpira, Sugawara, Inari, and Izumo.


When I have finished all the posts on this walk I will post a chronological list, but for now all posts with kunisaki fall will suffice