Showing posts with label takeo onsen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label takeo onsen. Show all posts

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Higashikawanobori Kifune Shrine


Kawanobori is the last settlement along the old Nagasaki Kaido in Takeo before it comes into Ureshino. In Higashikawanobori I was surprised to find a Kifune Shrine, a branch of the famous Kifune Shrine in the mountains north of Kyoto. Banners were raised telling that a matsuri was in session.

Kifune Shrine enshrines Tamayorihime, the mother of mythical emperor Jimmu, and is said to be a kami of water and rain, so it was not surprising that this Kifune Shrine backs onto the river rather than up against the mountainside like most shrines.

Architecturally it was almost identical to the previous shrine, Uchida Tenmangu,  with a pavillion-style main hall and also a large sacred Camphor tree. The ceiling of the main hall also was covered in small paintings.

The original Kifune Shrine near Kyoto is famous for two things. One is that it is considered the origin of ema, the votive plaques found at most shrines and some temples. According to the story, the Emperor used to donate a horse for sacrifice to the shrine, a white horse to pray for rain to stop, and a black horse to make rain. Later a painting of a horse was used, and these became what are now ema.

The other things strongly associated with Kifune Shrine is in many senses a kind of Japanese voodoo called Ushi no Toki Mairi which involves nailing a straw figure to a tree at the shrine. The story has complex roots but is mostly known through the Noh play Kanawa.

While I was visiting a ceremony was taking place. The men taking part were dressed in everyday work clothes so I suspect it was some kind of Spring agricultural ritual.

The previous post was on Uchida Tenmangu.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Yumeginga Saga Prefecture Museum of Space & Science


Yumeginga is the name given to the Space & Science Museum in Saga Prefecture.

It is located on a hilltop outside the town of Takeo, famous for, among other things, its hot springs.

The museum and its landscaping were designed by AXS Satow, the company set up to continue the legacy of Takeo Satow who died in 1972. The museum was completed in 1999.

It is said that the design represents a spacecraft taking off from a spaceport.

There are five main areas, Space, Earth, Saga, an area of interactive exhibits, and a kids area. A 200-seat planetarium is housed in a spherical structure.

I was here the first time on the 58th day of my walk along the Kyushu Pilgrimage but couldnt wait until opening time to explore inside, but most reviews are very favorable

The previous post in the series was about the many shrines I visited on day 57.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins


Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins is the title of this installation by the art collective Teamlab at Mifuneyama in Saga, Kyushu.

Mifuneyama is a park and hotel near Takeo Onsen, and each year Teamlab put on a series of installations, some indoors, but mostly outdoors throughout the patk.

The interior pieces can be viewed by visitors during the daytime, but most people will visit in the evening.

The installations mostly consist of computer controlled lights, sounds, and projections. While the technology is certainly state-of-the-art I do find Teamlabs stuff to be somewhat retro and 70's-ish

The original bath house for the hotel is no longer operational, but for the artwork they fill the pools up with water.

I visited in the winter of 2019 while walking the Kyushu Fudo Myo Pilgrimage, but I read today that the exhibition, called A Forest Where Gods Live: Ruins & Heritage, is open again from now until November.

I have posted earlier about another Teamlab installation I saw in Tokushima called Luminous River.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Keishu-en Garden


Keishi-en is a fairly modern Japanese garden attached to Yoko Museum, a small gallery specializing in Chinese ceramics and art. The garden uses Mifuneyama as "borrowed scenery" behind the garden. It was designed by Kinsaku Nakane whose most well known garden is the one at Adachi Museum in Shimane.

There is a large pond filled with koi, behind which is a karesansui garden with many azalea bushes which bloom in the late spring. Unusually the upper part of the garden is a tea plantation with rows of tea plants following the contours.


The path around the garden passes over a bridge by a small waterfall and also leads to a teahouse where you can get traditional tea and sweets.

Most visitors to the area visit the Mifuneyama Rakuen Garden which is very close by and also uses Mifuneyama as a backdrop, but Keishu-en is well worth a visit, especially if you appreciate the work of  Kinsaku Nakane

Buy dokudami tea from Japan