Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts

Monday, January 15, 2024

Turtle Rock at Tozenji Temple


I suspect that we all have specific images or scenes that encapsulate our experience of Japan. While an icon is usually a visual image  that has a very broad or near-universal meaning, Mount Fuji as icon of Japan for instance, for many of us something more personal and related to our own environment and experience is more iconic.

For me, one of the defining images of Japan is of red-bibbed statues set in a green, mossy background, as I encountered behind Tozenji Temple. The first two photos were taken from Hasami Shrine next door, suggesting that the sacred spring behind the temple was also shared by the shrine.

A path running behind the temple that follows a small stream leads up to the source of the water, with statues set along the rocks.

The water is coming out of some rounded boulders that had been given the name Kameishi, or Turtle Rock.

A signboard at the temple now proclaims this to be a "power spot", a term that seems recently to be applied to just about anywhere. When I first came to Japan I noticed that the moniker "powaa supoto" was applied to mostly sites connected to imperial myth, but now is very widespread and applied to many sacred springs and sacred trees etc

The previous post was on Tozenji Temle itself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Kawai Springs Chiburijima

Chiburijima is the smallest of the four inhabited islands that make up the Oki Islands of the coast of Shimane. With only 600 residents there are not a lot of shrines or temples, and one of the most popular sacred spots is the springs just outside the village of Kawai.

Springs will often have a statue next to them, but here there are lots including a Fudo Myo I was glad to see. There were numerous other Buddhist figures, but the most were of Jizo including a large one and multiple smaller ones.

To say that Japanese culture has an obsession with ranking things would be an understatement. The spring here is classed as one of the Top !00 Exquisite and Well Conserved Waters of Shimane.

Also unusual for the Oki islands is the statue of a tanuki. They are not native to the islands and Chiburijima is the only island with some because of an accidental introduction about 60 years ago. They are said to now outnumber the humans by three to one.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Spring reflections


There's a freezing wind howling outside, and a couple of inches of snow have fallen in the past day, so winter has certainly arrived a little earlier than usual, so for some reason my thoughts return to the fine spring we had.


In April I went for a 50k bike ride, starting up in the mountains near Mizuho, coming down to Kawamoto, then down the river home. The last 15k coming down into Kawamoto I didn't have to touch the pedals at all,... my kind of cycling :)


Up in the mountains the growing season is shorter, so the paddies are flooded and planted earlier than down here on the river.


It was a still. windless day, and almost cloudless, perfect conditions to capture the reflections.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spring has sprung!

lens test 4014

Though the official start of spring, Setsubun, was a few weeks ago, for me the sign that spring is here is the arrival of the plum blossoms.

lens test 4010

Like the Chinese, I find the plum blossom more enchanting and exciting than the cherry blossom.

lens test 4013

We have quite a few plum trees in the area...and at least they grow fruit, which is more than can be said for the cherry blossom.