Showing posts with label Sakura. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sakura. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Imayama Daishi

At the other end of the hill known as Imayama on which Imayama Hachimangu Shrine is located is a small temple, Imayama Daishi, dedicated to Kobo Daishi the founder of the Shingon sect.

Among the cherry trees and numerous statues of Jizo, Kannon, 7 Lucky Gods etc is a massive statue of Kobo Daishi himself.  17 meters tall and weighing 11 tons, many sources claim it to be the biggest statue of Kobo Daishi, but actually was superseded by the one built down at Cape Muroto in Shikoku.

Unfortunately when I was there the statue was encased in scaffolding while it was being refurbished. You can pay an entrance fee to enter the small building on which the statue stands and go up to view it at close quarters.

In April, on what was the 21st day of the third month according to the old lunar calendar, a big festival is held here involved a huge parade of locals dressed in period costume.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Nobeoka Castle Ruins

Origunally called Agata Castle, Nobeoka castle was never very big and didn't even have a keep, ony a three-story turret that only lasted 30 years before burning down.

Built on a small hill at the junction of two rivers, a succession of clans controlled the castle with the Naito holding it until the castle was decommissioned in 1870.

There are no buildings left but the gate was rebuilt in 1993. Like most castle ruins the grounds are now planted in cherry trees.

a more than twenty meter high wall supposedly would collapse and crush 1,000 attackers should a single keystone be removed. Saigo held the castle briefly in 1870.

Now it is a popular ohanami spot.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Seen on a walk into Nobeoka

After leaving the Saigo Takamori Memorial Museum, I still had a couple of hours walk to get into downtown Nobeoka and the pilgrimage temples to visit. Along all roadsides in Japan you will find statues of Jizo, often well protected against inclement weather.

Far more common in the big cities, I was surprised to see this group of gaisensha, propoganda buses, belonging to one of the far right, nationalist groups in Japan. Blaring martial music and nationalistic slogans at levels decibels above what is legally permitted, these groups seem to get a free pass from the cops....

There were tunnels to walk through, but unusually one of them had a separate tunnel just for pedestrians and cyclist.....

It was still peak cherry blossom season of course....

Close to the castle, a group of pleasure boats.....

Friday, August 3, 2018

South from Saiki: Day 17 of my walk around the Kyushu Pilgrimage

heading south out of Saiki, my next stop would be Nobeoka, and I had a couple of choices of route. Probably the prettiest would be the coast road, but I opted for the inland route over the mountains, pretty much following the rail line, as it would save me 20k. I left at sunrise.

The route went upstream one of the tributaries of the Banjo River. There was nothing of note along the route that I planned to visit.

I stopped in at a couple of interesting looking temples, and quite a lot of shrines.

Pointing to some kind of forest park, this giant Stag Beetle was a curious sight. It was still the height of the cherry blossom season. By sunset I had gone over the pass and was on my way down the Kitagawa River which would take me all the way to Nobeoka.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Manhole Ohanami


The annual cherry blossom viewing season is now over for most of Japan, but the cherry blossom can be seen year round by looking down. Not surprisingly given its cultural prominence the sakura appears as a design element in many, like this first one from Tadotsu in Kagawa, Shikoku.


It features as a minor design element in countless designs, like this one from Kamo Town in Izumo.


As I sorted through my files to find these I was expecting sakura to much more common than it is. I was surprised to find the Azalea being more common. The sakura above is from Mizukami in Kumamoto.


From Miyahara, also in Kumamoto, also featuring a rose.


From Toyoshi in Kagawa, with azaleas in the center.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013



Time for the obligatory cherry blossom pictures......

I don't have to go far for Ohanami..... after we moved into our house we planted a cherry sapling in front of our front door and its now a decent size....


Actually I much prefer the Yamazakura, the wild cherry trees that grow on the mountainsides..... as I understand it these were the trees that historically were viewed.....


The species that now dominates the cities are a fairly modern hybrid and have been planted since the Meiji period. It has pure white blossoms and only blooms for a much shorter period. This species was also aggresively planted in the countries colonized by Japan and adopted as a symbol for the cannon fodder who were supposed to sacrifice their short lives for the glory of Japan and the Emperor.

 I much prefer the other species that have some color in them

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sakura madness finale


Well,.. the sakura are in full bloom now, and still no sign of blue tarps!

I've come to the conclusion that Ohanami is pretty much a thing of the cities and towns.

For the first few ohanami seasons I experienced in the countryside I asked my neighbors if they had been cherry blossom viewing, and they just looked at me quizzicly.


The main reason I think is because cherry trees are everywhere round here! In any direction you look there are cherry trees. In fact they cherry trees outnumber the people, whereas in the towns and cities people outnumber the cherry trees by a factor of many hundreds. So, round here cherry blossom viewing is not a special activity, its just something you do everyday.

A drive to Ato 6820

I prefer the wild cherry trees that are scattered all over the mountainsides rather than the ones planted densely in lines.

A walk from Ato to Tsuwano 6878

But my favorite view is at night.

A walk from Ato to Tsuwano 7012