Showing posts with label sunset. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunset. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Mukai-an Temple Koshin-do Temple & Saisho-an Temple on the Shodoshima Pilgrimage

Mukai-an Temple


Christmas Eve, 2015, was fast drawing to a close, and I still had three more temples to visit on the route back to my ryokan. I had just come down  from Mount Dounzan and the amazing cave temples, Dounzan and Goishizan, and then stopped in at Jokoji, temple 8, on this, my first day walking the Shodoshima pilgrimage.


Temple number 7, as with 9 and 10, was just a small unmanned building. The honzon is an Amida.

Just a couple of days past the winter solstice, the sun was rushing down and it becane obvious that it would soon be dark so I did not tarry nor explore

Temple 9 was Koshin-do, a site of the very popular Koshin cult. A Daoist cult/faith, it is most well known nowadays for the three monkeys. Many Koshin sites also have these strange looking dolls called Sarubobo in some places.

Many Koshin sites are now classed as Shinto shrines, and some, like here, as Buddhist temples. The honzon here is a Fudo Myoo.

My route now took me along the main road of Noma. There was some nice traditional architecture, though my favorite of the day was the old school house that was made famous in a movie.


The sun dipped below the hills as I passed through the biggest soy sauce factory of the island. 

It was almost dark when I reached  Saisho-an, number 10. It was created in the separation of shrines and temples, and the honzon, an Aizen Myoo was originally in the shrine next door.

It was completely dark by the time I got back to my room, and a little while later there was a knock at my door. It was the old priest I had met at Kannonji, and then later at Dounzan. He had brought me a gift, a delightful print of Fudo Myo!! A truly excellent day to start the pilgrimage with, that bodes well for the coming days.

Wild Japan

Monday, June 14, 2021

Down the Kikuchi River


December 20th, the 48th day of my first walk around Kyushu and I left Yamaga to head down to Tamana. First stop was the burial mounds museum I posted about here and here. Pictured above are some of the haniwa reproductions. Haniwa were the ceramic figures placed on top of the burial mounds. Horses and chickens appear here. Houses, deer, and human figures are also common.

My route takes me roughly alog the Kikuchi River, though here the land is fairly flat and the river meansers so the road sometimes cuts straight. I am still surprised by how much agricuture takes place under plastic. I have no idea what was growing here, though being December 20th, the coldest weather had yet to arrive.

A statue modelled on a clay haniwa marks the entrance to a cluster of tombs, the largest being the Etafunayama Mound. The grave goods excavated from the burial chamber included multiple swords, mirrors, and jewels, collectively known as the three symbols of Imperial power, or the Imperial Regalia.

November and December are my favorite times for walking around western Japan. The weather is usually good, the light is great, and the lack of mosquitoes makes sleeping out more pleasant, but the days are somewhat short.

Arched stone bridges would not be particularly noreworthy in many places, but in Japan they are somewhat unusual. Introduced by Chinese monks in Nagasaki most of them seem to be in areas near to Nagasaki. Therevwere several more in Tamana.

Being the solstive eve I found myself a nice high-point to spend the night.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fall Colors... Sunset... & Illuminations at Sogi Falls

At Sogi Falls in the mountains of Kagoshima around Isa City the fall colors were in full swing. A big park is there and that was where I was planning to sleep out, but I did not forsee that the place was lit up at night so there werelots of security guards to protect the generators and lights and such.

As the sun went down I headed across the old bridge and found a suitable place to lay out my bag and then headed back to the park to take some more photos.....

There were very few people and with the illuminations of the waterfalls and the river gorge as well as the foliage it was unusual and a nice surprise

Sogi Falls is not so well known but certainly worth a visit if you are in the area

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Sunset from Mount Kannomine

425 meters above sea level, Mount Kannomine is the highest point on Osaki Kamijima Island in the Inland Sea off the coast of Hiroshima.

I had walked up from the coast below to spend the night at the end of my second day walking along the Aki Nada island chain. I have a fondness for sleeping out on mountaintops where I can get a good view for sunset and then sunrise.

The islands of the Inland Sea are particularly good for this, with great views across dozens of islands and islets. Unfortunately, on this day it was quite cloudy.

The first shot is from part way up and then the shots move from southeast to southwest. In the middle of the second shot you can clearly see some of the bridges of the Shimanami kaido.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hyuga City to Takanabe: Day 20

The weather was improved on my twentieth day walking around Kyushu. It was a long day but filled with sights. The route hit the coast at several points during the morning.

The village of Mimitsu was a pleasant surprise. With a historic district of traditional buildings but not a big tourist destination it seemed a little more authentic and lacking in gift shops and cafes.

There were three of the pilgrimage temples to visit today, with one having a delightful waterfall for purification with the attendant Fudo Myo statues.

There were also lots of shrines including the Ichinomiya, the highest ranked shrine of the province, with a nice koi pond and gardens.

I will be walking this section in a couple of weeks on my next leg of the Kyushu Fudo Myo Pilgrimage and am looking forward to doing some deeper explorations of the area.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Kyushu Pilgrimage Day 13 Bungo Ono to Usuki

Friday, February 22nd, 2013, my 13th day walking around Kyushu and my route takes me pretty much downhill back to the coast at Usuki. There are no pilgrimage temples today but plenty of shrines along the route for me to explore.

After lunch I am about 5k from Usuki and arrive at the Usuki Stone Buddhas, a collection of ciff-carved stone statues, 48 of which are registered as National Treasures. The original paintwork is still plainly visible on many of them givin an indication of how impressive they must have been centuries ago.

by mid afternoon I arrive in the city of Usuki, spread out along the coast. My hotel is at the opposite end so walk the length of the main shopping street, somewhat dilapidated as so many businesses have moved out to the outskirts.

I rest up for a while before heading out to the port area for sunset.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Candle Rock Sunset

While the coastline on the evening cruise was impressive, the trip was times to coincide with sunset at Candle Rock.

Rising about 20 meters high up out of the sea, the rock is so named because when the setting sun sits on top of the rock it looks like a candle.

It was a cloudy evening so I did not hold out much hope of getting a spectacular view, but as the sun got closer to the horizon there were some breaks in the clouds and lo and behold.....

There were several boats out for the show, and the captains are expert at positioning their boats to achieve the perfect shot........ doing it for the passengers on each side of the boat and also backing off and letting the other boats in......

Monday, November 14, 2016

Nakatsu Sunset

At various times in my life I have lived in places where I could view either the sunrise or sunset. For some years before moving to Japan I lived where I could see both.

For the last 14 years I have lived in a narrow valley and so see neither, unless I am off travelling somewhere, so apologies if these pics are boring to you

I approached the castle town of Nakatsu as the sun was setting at the end of my seventh day walking the Kyushu Pilgrimage.

Not outstandingly spectacular, but novel enough for me to enjoy.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sunset at Nameshi Dam

At the end of a very long first day of my walk over and around the Kunisaki Peninsula I stopped for the night on the banks of the reservoir behind Namiishi Dam.

I had now reached the high country in the middle of the peninsula by walking up one of the numerous valleys that radiate out from Mount Futago, and  the landscape was dramatic with features that made it an obvious site for early Yamabushi to inhabit.

There is a small park here, and that is where I spread out my sleeping bag....

All the posts of this days walk can be found by clicking here, though they will be in reverse chronological order.

Tomorrow I will pass over the high center of the peninsula and hopefully reach the east coast.