Showing posts with label nagaoka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nagaoka. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More round windows


Photos of round windows have always been popular when I have posted them before, so here are some recent ones from my collection. 3 earlier posts can be found here

This first one is from a tea room at Nagaoka Tenmangu Shrine.


This one is from a temple in Takahashi, Okayama Prefecture.


From a restaurant on the approach to Hofukuji Temple in Soja, Okayama Prefecture.


A shop in Hirado Town on Hirado Island in Nagasaki Prefecture.


An abandoned building in Oda City, Iwami.

Sunday, January 23, 2011



This is the draincover for the city of Nagaoka, the place that was briefly the capital of Japan before it moved to Kyoto. The design shows bamboo and bamboo shoots (takenoko) a major product of the area.


The hills behind the town are covered almost exclusively in bamboo and there are plenty of trails and small roads that let you walk through the area.


I have an earlier post on takenoko here


Whereas we don't maintain the bamboo in any way, other than harvesting the root and the poles, here the bamboo is cultivated.


One method seems to be layering rice straw with soft earth. In places this has built up to a depth of 2 meters with narrow paths between.


The bamboo sculptures at Komorikate Shrine were popular with you, so here is a close-up of the tiger, made completely out of bamboo save for the glass eyes....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hatsumode, January 1st, Nagaokakyo


Hatsumode is the Japanese custom of the first visit of the new year to a shrine or temple.

We were up in Kyoto visiting Yoko's family, and our first visit was to Nagaoka Tenmangu, a big, and therefore popular shrine.

It was late afternoon, and still the line waiting to get to the shrine was over 400 meters long.


Most of the bigger shrines will hire many temporary miko to help out over the new year period. For these shrines Hatsumode supplies the biggest chunk of their annual income.


Next we headed to Hashirita Shrine, the local shrine for my sister-in-law's family, nestled on the hillside above Nagaoka. It was a far more intimate and friendly affair.


Every small altar within the grounds had their own offerings.


Around the other side of the hill a small, unmanned Inari Shrine.



We walked further along the edge of the bamboo forest and as dusk settled visited Komorikate Shrine where I was able to chat with 2 older gentlemen from the shrines ujiko (parish group) about the history of the shrine that was moved here from Nara when Nagaoka was the capital of Japan.


Each year a local man makes a sculpture out of bamboo of the new years animal. Behind this years rabbit you can see last years tiger and 2009's boar.