Showing posts with label shodoshima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shodoshima. Show all posts

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Down the Mito Peninsula


The Mito Peninsula extends out to the south of Shodoshima Island towards Shikoku.

In fact, the southern tip of the peninsula is, I believe, the closest point to Shikoku.

On Boxing Day (December 26th) 2015 I walked most of the way down the East coast of the peninsula.

Earlier that morning I had visited 6 temples of the Shodoshima Pilgrimage that all lay close to each other. Now I had a 2-hour walk to the next one.

Shikoku was clearly visible and one of the many car ferries passed by

Perhaps the strangest sight was a line of about 20 TV antennas along the side of the road. I suspect it was the only way to get a signal in the fishing village down below.

Across the Uchinomi Bay I can see the smaller peninsula I walked along 2 days ago on my first day when I visited the famous "24 Eyes" movie location and the theme park where a later remake was made.

The weather was glorious......

The previous post was on the cluster of temples I visited earlier.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Temples 24 to 27 Shodoshima Pilgrimage


Early on my third day walking the Shodoshima Pilgrimage I visited a small group of temples in close proximity to each other. Temples 24 to 27 are just off the main road on the south coast,  adjacent to one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island, the Olive Park.

Temple 24,  Anyoji, has a Daisho-do, Jizo-do, and a bell tower as well as the main hall and the priests residence. The grounds have some nice Camelia trees.

The buildings are all fairly modern, circa 1990 with several nice kinds of onigawara tiles.

It is claimed that the temple was founded by Gyoki and later revived in the 17th century. The honzon is a Kannon.

A footpath leads up the hill to the next temple which has no vehicular access.

Temple 25, Seiganji-an, is a much smaller, more rustic establishment.

At the top of the hill, the honzon of Seiganji-an is a Yakushi Nyorai.

A little further along the trail is a well with a Jizo-do.

This is the okunoin of temple 26, Amidaji.  The well, called Omizu Daishi, is very popular and is one of countless water sources attributed to Kobo Daishi himself.

The Jizo is an Enmei Jizo, a "long life" Jizo.

Near the well the asphalt starts again and leads down to temple 27 before coming to 26. Sometimes the route for walking pilgrims differs from that for the more numerous car pilgrims.

Temple 27 is Sakuranoan, so named because of a famous cherry tree that stood here earlier. The honzon is an 11-faced Kannon.

Just a short distance away is temple 26, Amida-ji.  Like Anyoji, it also claims to have been founded by Gyoki and revived in the 17th century.

The previous post was on temples 22 and 23.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Minenoyama-an & Hondo Temples 22, 23 Shodoshima Pilgrimage


Boxing Day, December 26th, 2015, and I set off on the third day of my walk along the Shodoshima Pilgrimage.

Its another glorious day of blue skies and my plan is to go down and then back up the Mito Peninsula that protrudes from the south of the island.

But first there are the last couple of temples in the old town part of Kusakabe.

The first is Minenoyama-an, on some high ground with great views over the Inland Sea and surrounded by a large cemetery. It is unmanned and the suffix -an tells that it is classed as a "hermitage", though the main building is a bit larger than most hermitages I've come across so far and is more like a large farmouse. The honzon is a Thousand-Armed Kannon.

Nearby, literally on the other side of a small elementary school, is temple 23, curiously named Hondo, which means main hall.

It is said to be the main hall of the pagoda of Seikenji, temple 21 which I visited yesterday and is not too far away. Whether the pagoda stood here or if the hondo was moved to this spot is not clear.

It's quite an elegant building that I would describe as Chinese-style.

The honzon is a Shaka Nyorai said to have been carved by Genshin, a prominent Tendai monk from Enryakuji of the late Heian Period who is known mostly for his writings, but is said to have carved the statue at Yasakaji, temple 24 on Shikoku.

Next I head along the main coast road to the next settlement which has 4 pilgrimage temples to visit. The previous post in this series was on the last 4 temples I visited yesterday, Christmas Day.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Kankakei Gorge Ropeway Shodoshima


The view from the top of Kankakei Gorge, which  is located roughly in the middle of Shodoshima Island.

It is considered one of the Top Three gorges in Japan.

It is splendid at any time of the year but becomes very, very popular in the Autumn when the changing colors are spectacular.

A ropeway runs above the gorge and offers a great way to enjoy the views.

It runs from the lower station at approximately 300 meters altitude up to the top at roughly 600 meters.

It takes about 5 minutes and covers just over 900 meters in length.

At the top are souvenir shops, restaurants, scenic viewpoints. etc

There are two trails, one that roughly follows the gorge and is about 2k and another about 3k.

I was on the second day of my walk along the Shodoshima Pilgrimage and took the ropeway down after having climbed up the East Trail, which is the subject of the previous post in this series.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Anger From the Bottom by Beat Takeshi

As I was climbing up towards the first mountain temple on the Shodoshima Pilgrimage I spied ahead of me what I guessed was a kind of shrine. When I got to it I was faced with a stainless steel figure with big red eyes and an axe embedded in its skull.

Anger From the Bottom is a sculpture by "Beat" Takeshi Kitano and Keniji Yanobe, originally produced for the Setouchi Art Triennale that takes place in the area. It is one of the artworks that is now permanently on display.

Originally there was no roof over it, and the statue was below ground only rising up for 5 minutes every hour. Takeshi is famous in japan as a comedian and TV presenter, but internationally he is known as a film-maker. The unexpected and surprising is a large part of why I enjoy my walks around rural Japan......

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Original 24 Eyes School

24 Eyes ( Nijyushi no Hitomi ) was one of the most popular Japanese movies ever. The original was made in 1955 and was set in an elementary school on Shodoshima which was also the actual location for the filming.

In 1987 the made a remake of the movie but development had made location filming difficult so a fake village and school was built a few k down the road and is now a  movie theme park...

There were far fewer visitors at the real school.

There are hundreds and hundreds of these old schools abandoned all across the Japanese countryside, a few being conserved, but most not....