Showing posts with label haikyo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label haikyo. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Climb to Senganji Temple


Kawamoto is the next town up the Gonokawa River from my village.

Halfway up the steep hillside across the river from downtown Kawamoto is a small temple, Senganji.

The temple becomes really visible in late Autumn when the trees around it turn orange, yellow, and red.

I have actually only made it up to the temple one time, after walking down from Iwami Ginzan on day 5 of my walk along the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage.

Senganji is temple number 9 on that pilgrimage.

There is no vehicular access to Senganji, only a footpath with more than 200 steps, which is, I think, a large reason the temple has been uninhabited for a long time.

There are numerous statues along the path, inlcuding a lot of Jizo but also some Kannon.

When I visited in the late afternoon in May, the shafts of sunlight illumnated many of the statues quite dramatically.

Tomorrow I will post photos from inside the temple and include what history I have been able to find out.

According to a recent photo I saw, the structure housing this collection of statues has  now completely collapsed.

The temple occuppies a narrow ledge in the steep hillside.

The previous post in this series on the Iwami kannon pilgrimage was Ido Shrine in Omori.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Disappeared Japan Rural Temple Haikyo

Disappeared Japan Rural Temple Haikyo

Disappeared Japan Rural Temple Haikyo.

Nine years ago while approaching Iwami Ginzan while walking the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage I explored this derelict temple. It has now been demolished and removed.

I have actually come across quite a few derelict temples in the Iwami area. As the countryside has become depopulated at an increasing rate, there simply isn't enough people to support so many temples, whose main income is funerals.

Once a traditional Japanese structure is abandoned it doesn't take long for nature to begin its work of returning everything to the earth. The Japanese word for abandoned building is haikyo, and there is quite a sub-culture of people who like to visit them and document their visits.

I found a list of the original temples that made up the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage during the Edo period , and quite a few of the temples no longer existed which is why the current pilgrimage route is quite a different route.

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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Friday, October 4, 2019

Rural Love Hotels

After spending the night near Kirishima Jingu I headed south on my 28th day along the Kyushu Pilgrimage. Pretty much all downhill, my favorite kind of walk, late morning I passed through an area with quite a lot of small love hotels clustered together.

The top photo is a former love hotel that now advertises itself as a lodge. You can tell it's not a love hotel because there are no curtains to hide the vehicle and its number plate, a standard feature that helps protect guests identity. The vast majority of these love hotels are of the cabin / chalet type.

Some of them, like the one pictured above, have been abandoned.

All the cabins were unlocked so I peeked inside a few..... fairly rudimentary and completely lacking in the luxury and exoticism associated with urban love hotels//// though this room did have the mirrors.

A few of them looked a little less run-down with a fresh lick of paint.....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Poison Gas Factory haikyo

Actually this isn't the poison gas factory itself, but rather the power plant that powered the poison gas production facility. Most of the factory was destroyed in 1945.

It is located on the tiny island of Okunoshima just off the coast of Hiroshima Prefecture in the Seto Inland Sea.

From 1929 until 1945 the Japanese government maintained a top-secret installation producing more than 6,000 tons of Mustard Gas which was used in their campaigns in China.

There are still a couple of other structures left on the island but I did not have time to visit them.

There is a very good little museum on the subject on the island.

I wrote a guide to Okunoshima which can be found here

Nowadays the island is famous as Rabbit Island because of the hundreds of rabbits running free that are descended from some rabbits released here in the 1960's.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

School haikyo


Coming into Kawahira I stopped in to explore the old abandoned school


There are hundreds and hundreds of abandoned schools in the countryside of Japan. As the population has fled to the cities student numbers decrease until a community can no longer sustain a school.


Many of them get used as community centers.

This one had some machine tools and so was used for something, and also used for storage of agricultural equipment, straw, etc.


There were many holes in the roof and consequently the floor was in bad condition so I didnt try to explore upstairs.


A few more years and this building will collapse in on itself. Maybe a few years later it will be bulldozed. A few years after that they will maybe try and get it listed as a World Heritage Site.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Love Hotel Haikyo


Halfway up the side of a mountain, miles from anywhere, literally clinging to the side of the mountain. we came upon an a small abandoned Love hotel.


Literally built into a crevice, a stream passed underneath the building.


Each of the 4 rooms were decorated with different themes, though the building had been stripped and vandalized so it was not clear exactly what the themes were....


This one seemed to have an underwater theme.

Not sure how long this place stayed in business. In this part of the country the love hotels are built between towns, not in towns, so this one would have serviced customers from Matsue and Yonago.

Each of the 4 rooms had floor to ceiling windows with fantastic views over Nakaumi (the Inner Sea) and Daisen, but Love Hotel customers are not usually concerned with the view :)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shrine haikyo

I first came across this abandoned shrine on a walk around Nagahama about 7 years ago. 25 year old maps still showed a shrine here, so it must ahve been abandoned in the intervening years.
The torii had been dismantled, but 2 fine examples of local ceramic Komainu still remained on guard.
In the shrine building itself little remained but the tatami.
The only religious objects remaining were a couple of gohei. The shintai, the object in the honden into which the kami descends, will have been transferred to a nearby shrine. This in essence de-consecrates the site.
Ive been unable to find out the name of the shrine or why it was abandoned. Unfortunately I dont know any priests in the Hamada area.
The other building at the site was filled with all kinds of junk