Showing posts with label gingko. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gingko. Show all posts

Friday, April 14, 2023

Mountain Shrines Autumn Foliage


Route 34 runs roughly East-West along the lower slopes of the southern side of the conically-shaped Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita, Kyushu.

At the end of November, 2012, I was walking along on the 5th, and final, day of my walk exploring the peninsula and was on my way towards the road that heads directly north to the central high point of the area.

Along the way I stopped in at any shrines, temples, or roadside  altars, and as this is an area with a particularly rich religious landscape, there were many of them.

Curiously the first group were all called Yama Shrine, which simply means Mountain Shrine.

A lot of the shrines in the Kunisaki Peninsula are connected to a religious system called Rokugo Manzan which is very much a Buddhist-Shinto hybrid, and so many of the shrines here have Buddhist Nio guardian statues, but this group of shrines did not.

I was also unable to find out anything about any of the shrines.

However it was a glorious morning and once the early morning sun penetrated the narrow valley there was a lot of autumn colour, esecially the golden ginko....

The previous post was of the frosty flora I encountered in the shadows....

Friday, December 10, 2021

Kannabiji Temple's Gingko

Kannabiji Temple's Gingko

Kannabiji Temple's Gingko.

It's that time of the year when I post some pics of this year's autumn colors. About three weeks ago Yoko had a day off that coincided with a beautiful sunny day so we headed off on a local trip to see if we could find some color. The first stop was Kannabiji Temple, a few kilometers upstream on the Gonokawa River.

The first stop was Kannabiji Temple, a few kilometers upstream on the Gonokawa River.

Kannabiji moved to its present site at the end of the 19th century. Formerly it was a large monastic complex on the mountainside that dated back to the Heian period.  About twenty years ago a friend took us on a bushwacking hike up to the old site where the foundation stones of the main hall still remained in a small clearing in the forest.

Kannabiji moved to its present site at the end of the 19th century.

At the end of the 16th century, many of the buildings burnt down. I suspect this was part of the Warring States conflicts but have not had that confirmed. The temple continued on its mountain site until the late 19th century. In 1872 a big earthquake closed the spring that supplied the temple with water, and in combination with having much of its land confiscated by the new Meiji government, it was decided to relocate the temple at the foot of the mountain.

At the end of the 16th century, many of the buildings burnt down.

All that remains now is the main hall, a large residence for the priest, a gate, and a large storehouse. I went inside the main hall many years ago and was surprised by a mural on the ceiling and the brightly-painted woodwork. I really want to go back and take a lot of photos. I've also been inside the old priest's house though he now lives in a newer house in front of the temple.

Gingko leaves.

The gate contains a fine pair of Nio guardians and is overshadowed by a large Gingko tree. We were a little early. In a few weeks, the whole temple will be carpeted in golden leaves. The storehouse holds the temple treasures, foremost of which is some samurai armour. Apparently, it is the third-oldest samurai armour still existing, and suggest how important the temple once was.

Main Hall of the temple.

Koinobori & Children's Day in Japan

Monday, August 10, 2020

Kosenji Temple number 42 on the Kyushu Pilgrimage

Hachimanyama Kosenji Temple is at the eastern end of the Ebino Valley in the higjlands around the Kirishima Montains in Miyazaki. It is number 42 on the 108 Shingon temple pilgrimage on Kyushu.

It is a fairly modern temple founded in the early Taisho era, so is about 100 years old. I'm no expert, but it seems that the Gingko trees were a little older than that.

It has an unusual hnzon, a statue of Dainchi riding a cow, though I didn't get to see it. Also unusual for the Kyushu pilgrimage is an actual Daishi-do.

There was quite a bit of interesting statuary which I will post on later, and also one building had quite a few masks on display, severa; of which were from the Iwami Kagura tradition.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Taisanji mountaintop temple in Tokushima

Located at about 450 meters above sea level, Taisanji is the first of the bangai temples on the Shikoku pilgrimage known commonly as Ohenro, and the first of the 36 temples on the Shikoku Fudo Myo O pilgrimage. Most pilgrims on the Ohenro don't make the steep detour up to it, as I didn't when I walked it, , but I was on my first day of the Fudo pilgrimage.

According to the legend it is a very ancient holy spot for Buddhism being established in the 6th Century. Later the monk Gyoki, who is credited with founding many of the Ohenro temples, practised austerities here, and later still Kobo Daishi came here and built a building and put a statue of Senju Kannon here. It is said he received the statue from his master when studying in China.

There was a giant, ancient Gingko tree in the grounds but the leaves had all fallen. I had passed through some fall colors on the way up the mountain but at this height it had all gone. I had become intrigued by Taisanji after reading a little about Tachikawa Ryu, a school of Shingon that espoused a type of tantric practise utilizing sexual energy, and Taisanji was one of its centers. It became outlawed and actually classed as heresy by the head authorities of Shingon so all records were destroyed or locked away.

Of course there was no sign of it anywhere I could see.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Yasaka Shrine near Sakai, Bungo Takeda


By lunchtime of my first day walking across the Kunisaki Peninsula I was approaching the foothills and the valley I was going to follow up to the center of the peninsula. In the middle of the rice paddies in a small village east of Bungo Takeda I came across this Yasaka Shrine.


Being a branch of the famous Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto, and formerly known as Gionsha, it enshrines Susano as well as various members of his "family" Like most of the shrines I'd visited today there was a carpet of golden gingko leaves.


There was a small secondary shrine in the grounds but there was no sign so I could not find out which kami was enshrined there.



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fall colors: Gingko trees


2 weeks ago we took a drive up into the mountains near where Shimane and Hiroshima Prefectures meet. We were heading for Hikimi Gorge to see the Fall colors as down where we lived the leaves had only just started to turn.

hik888Align Center
On the way we stopped at several shrines that I had not visited before and I was please to find Gingko trees in their full golden brilliance.


I prefer the gold of the gingko to the scarlet of the maples, especially the carpets of leaves that cover the steps and ground.


Originally from China, the gingko is often planted at shrines and temples.