Showing posts with label awaji. Show all posts
Showing posts with label awaji. Show all posts

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Disappeared Japan Awaji World Peace Kannon

Awaji World Peace Kannon

Awaji World Peace Kannon.

This is the first of an occasional series of posts I plan on things I've seen that have now disappeared. Having been in Japan for more than twenty years, the number of things that have disappeared is only growing.

Awaji World Peace Kannon.

First up is the giant statue that used to stand on Awaji Island known as the Awaji World Peace Kannon. At 8o meters in height, when it was built in 1982 it was possibly the tallest statue in the world. Since then Japan, China, India, and other Asian countries have continuously been building ever taller statues, and ones of Kannon are quite common.

Awaji World Peace Kannon.

Built by a local businessman on Awaji Island, he also built a temple with a ten-storied pagoda at the site. Like many of these monumental statues, there is a viewing deck near the top where members of the public could climb up and enjoy the view.


Following his death in 1988, his wife took over running the site but apparently with little enthusiasm and it became rundown and dilapidated.  Following her death in 2006 it was immediately closed down and deteriorated further. 


The statue was made out of gypsum, hardly a resilient material, and the highest standards of construction were not used and so the statue and pagoda were in danger of collapse and have recently been demolished. These photos were taken in November 2018.

I have visited several of the other giant Kannon statues in Japan.

I have visited several of the other giant Kannon statues in Japan,  but the only one I have posted about on this blog is the one near Kurume in Kyushu. It was also built in 1982 and is only 61 meters tall, but is a more professional statue.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Best Vantage Point in Japan


Japan is home to a multitude of observation decks atop high-rise buildings and towers, with Tokyo Skytree being the tallest and most famous. Most of the high-rise buildings are in the biggest cities, but the many towers are often found on the coast with views along the seashore.

At 289 meters in height5, the observation deck on top of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is taller than most of the others, and the views are astounding.

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge opened in 1998 and connects the main island of Honshu with Awaji Island. It has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world at almost 2 kilometers. The total length is almost 4 kilometers.

To visit the observation deck you must book well in advance as there are a very small number of places on the tour and though relatively little-known is quickly booked up. After being kitted out in a hardhat and hi-viz vest you first have a lecture on safety protocols and how the tour will be conducted. Then you get a guided tour of the bridge museum which showcases the amazing technology that went into building it. Then you are taken out under the bridge on a walkway to the public observation deck below the bridge, 50 meters above the sea below.

Then you walk out about 1 kilometer under the bridge to the base of the tower on the Akashi, Hionshu side of the bridge where a small elevator takes you up to the top of the tower.

The observation deck is open to the elements, and there is no glass or fence obscuring your views. This makes it somehow more exciting.

The views are 360 degrees, as well as down on the bridge roadway and the ships passing underneath. Akashi is the closest view, and then west along the Okayama coast, then east to Kobe and Osaka beyond that.

I should really amend the title, as I have seen some amazing views from the tops of mountains on islands in the Inland Sea, but the views from the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge are the best I've seen from a man-made vantage point.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Some more Ema

Ema 絵馬

Votive plaques, called ema in Japanese, were originally paintings of horses given to shrines with prayers. Nowadays they are mostly small wooden plaques and can be seen at many shrines and temples. By far the most common are pictures of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, but some shrines and temples have designs that are specific to their site. This first one is at the biggest shrine on Awaji Island, Izanagi Shrine. The ema shows Izanagi, along with his wife-sister Izanami, creating the island of Awaji, believed to be the first created.

At a temple in the mountains of Yamaguchi, these ema quite clearly are accompanied with prayers for ample breast milk and for good childbirth. I have seen a lot of these around the Sanyo region, the southern coast of western Honshu.

Rituals blessing your car are a staple income at many shrines and some temples. These ema are for traffic safety.

Increasingly popular are ema for finding a good love match. With Japans falling birthrate and growing numbers of singles,  the number of shrines that "specialize" in love matching prayers is on the increase.

Not sure what the meaning of the peach is.....

Purchase a selection of ema from GoodsFromJapan

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge


Higashiura is a town at the northern end of Awaji Island and its manhole cover depicts the nearby Akashi kaikyo Bridge which connects Awaji to the mainland.


It is a suspension bridge that has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world and it opened in 1998.


The central span is 1,991 meters, but was originally planned to be 1,990 but during construction in 1995 the area was hit by the Kobe Earthquake and the two bridge towers moved 1 meter apart.


The bridge is 3,911 meters long in total.