Showing posts with label sasebo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sasebo. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Yonkacho Shopping Arcade


Yonkacho is a shopping street in Sasebo, Nagasaki. It is now covered and pedestrianized so counts as an arcade.

Its name means "four towns", with the word "cho" being translated as "town", but really means a kind of district, or sub-division of a town, and the shopping street passes through four different "cho".

Yonkacho connects directly with Sankacho, another arcade that passes through 3 "towns", and the two combined have a total length of almost one kilometer.

There are longer arcades in Japan, but apparently, they have slight bends or turns in them, but Yonkacho/Sankacho is dead straight, so is known as the longest, straight, arcade in Japan.

I do not consider shopping in any way a fun or pleasant activity, but these shopping streets sometimes are good for finding somewhere to eat, but mostly their use for me is as  a dry route to walk in rainy weather.

The previous post in this series on day 66 of my walk around Kyushu was the nearby Daiichi-in Temple.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Kurokamizan Daiichi-in Temple 104 on the Kyushu pilgrimage


Daiichi-in, the 104th temple of the Shingon Kyushu pilgrimage is located on the hillside overlooking downtown Sasebo in Nagasaki.

It was founded in 806 on Mount Kurokami near Takeo in what is now Saga.

It burned down in 1891 and because of the growth of Sasebo due to it being a major naval base, it was decided to rebuild there rather than its original site.

It opened in Sasebo in 1901, though most of the current buildings were built post 1978.

Kobo Daishi is said to have visited Mount Kurokami and prayed there before his journey to China.

On his return from China he revisited the mountain and while there carved a small Fudo Myo statue "with his fingernails". It is the "secret Buddha" enshrined in the Goma-do, photo 4 above.

After its founding in 806 it became a powerful temple in the region with 80 subsidiary temples under its control.

It is considered to be the first temple founded by Kobo Daishi in Hizen, the former province that now is largely Nagasaki and Saga prefectures,

The honzon is considered the Fudo statue carved by Kobo Daishi. In the main hall are enshrined Yakushi Nyorai, Amida Nyorai, and Senju Kannon. The temple is locally popular for the Seven Lucky Gods.

The previous post in this series on Day 66 of my first Kyushu pilgrimage was Seiganji Temple in Sasebo.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Fukuishi Kannon Seiganji Temple


Fukuishi Kannon is the popular name for Seiganji Temple in Sasebo, Nagasaki.

It's origin lies with a visit by Gyoki to the area in 710. While here he carved 3 statues from a sacred tree, one of which, a two metre tall 11-faced Kannon, he enshrined here.

It is classed as one of the Seven Famous Kannon statues in Kyushu.

When Kobo Daishi visited the area about a century later he established Seiganji Temple.

It is also said he placed 500 rakan statues in the cave behind the temple.

Rather than a cave, it is actually a wide, curved overhang in the cliff.

Over the centuries many of the statues disappeared but there still remains a collection of assorted statues, many not rakan, in the cave.

The current main hall was built by the local lord, Matsuura Seizan, in 1785,

He became Daimyo of the Hirado Domain when only 16 and later became a renowned swordsman.

It is a Shingon temple and the honzon is the Gyoki Kannon.

Held in August, the Sennichi Festival is one of the major festivals of Sasebo.

It is claimed that coming here and praying here for just one day during the festival is the equivalent to praying for 46,000 days, hence the name of the festival Shiman Rokusen Nichi, which means 46,000 days.

I visited on day 66 of my walk along the Kyushu Shingon pilgrimage, although the temple itself is not part of the pilgrimage. The previous post in the series was Jozenji Temple.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Kyushu Pilgrimage Day 65 Nagaura to Haiki


Friday March 7th 2014
It's set to become yet another great day as I wake before the sun and go out and sit on the sea wall to watch the sunrise.

Once the show is past its peak I head off north up the coast. Yesterday was a pretty easy day, but today I have further to cover.

For the first few hours there are fine views over the bay and numerous inlets and small islands. There are shrines to visit and the traffic is not too bad.

At Katagami the road heads inland over a large headland protruding into the bay. Coming down the other side towards the water again there is a huge vermillion torii towering over the rooftops and as I approach it I realize I actually have driven through here many years ago. It leads to Ryugusumiyoshihongu, and it may look like a Shinto shrine but actually, it is the headquarters of a “New Religion”. Seicho No Ie claims to have a million and a half members worldwide and was founded in 1930. Though now they use torii and their main shrine building looks traditional Shinto, albeit made out of concrete, when founded prewar it would not have been allowed as the state monopolized those symbols. There are a few ponds with bridges and nice landscaping including cheery trees around the main building, but I forgo a second visit as I am pressed for time.

 A little further along the road I see another structure looming over the rooftops, this time a Dutch Windmill!! As I get closer I can see Dutch-style buildings on the waterfront below the windmill. This is Nagasaki Holland Village and is a miniature version of the much larger Huis ten Bosch theme park. This one was built first, and the same company then built Huis ten Bosch. The latter facility took away all the trade and visitors from this one and so it closed down in 2001. I believe it was bought by the local government and they are attempting to reopen it. I decide not to go in so I have no idea what kind of exorbitant entry fee they are charging.

The road curves around one of the many inlets in the bay and again I am struck by how scenic and pretty this area is with all the small islands offering an ever-changing view. A little further and the main road, and thankfully most of the traffic, heads a little inland and I stay on the smaller road that hugs the coastline. After a while the road starts to rise and I pass under the expressway that has started.

From the higher ground, the views are more expansive but no less pretty. Soon I reach the bridge that crosses over the narrow Hario Strait. On a map, Omura Bay looks like a lake, but two narrow inlets connect it to the sea. The other inlet over by Huis Ten Bosch is so long and narrow that it looks like a river.

This strait is also very narrow and looking down from halfway across the bridge I can see how fast the water is as it funnels through. There is a park with viewpoints on the other side and I stop for a while and check the tourist maps and signboards for any interesting things to see in the area.  From here the road stays above the coast and gradually starts to become more built up. Across the way I can see the high rise hotels around the Huis Ten Bosch resort.

I descend to what I think is a river but is actually the Haiki Strait and now it is completely urban. At Haiki I take a train north into Sasebo where I have a great deal on a room for three nights. Tomorrow I will come back to Haiki and head into the hills but in the golden glow of the setting sun I have time to explore the recently redeveloped port area of Sasebo.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Sasebo Port


Sasebo Port is mostly a new redevelopment that seamlessly integrates the port facilities with the number one Japanese pastime of shopping.

Several ferry terminals primarily service the Goto Islands but also a few of the smaller, closer islands, as well as offering port cruises.

The Japanese Navy, called the Marine Self Defence Force, has a presence as does the US Navy.

While travelling around Japan I sometimes meet people who try to speak English to me, presuming me to be a visitor. In Sasebo almost everyone I talked with spoke good English.... a byproduct of the US base I suspect.

I also had the best Mexican food I have ever had in Japan in Sasebo... another byproduct methinks

The previous post was on the Kujiraze Ferry Terminal.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Kujiraze Ferry Terminal Sasebo


The Kujiraze Ferry Terminal is one of several new terminals at Sasebo Port in Nagasaki.

The main building is a two-storey brick-faced building, but attached to the end is this gleaming glass block.

Each of the floors is completely empty and so it seems just like mere decoration.

However, in the setting sun, it afforded me the opportunity for the kind of photographs I like to take.

The previous post in this series was the nearby Miura Catholic Church.