Showing posts with label tokushima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tokushima. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Zuiganji Temple Tokushima


After visiting Taisanji, the first temple on the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage, I headed down the mountain and returned to my room in Tokushima City. There was still some hours of daylight left so I went to the Tourist Information Office and asked about any good gardens for viewing the Fall colors.

They only had one to suggest, Zuiganji Temple at the base of Bizan Mountain. Founded in 1614 it is a Rinzai Zen temple though they say the garden is Momoyama-style.

I had visited Zuiganji many, many years ago on my first visit to Tokushima, and found the garden very lush and to my mind somewhat overgrown. At that time I had not learned to appreciate Japanese gardens as I do now.

Whether you appreciate Japanese gardens or not, Zuiganji is certaily worth a visit in November for the autumn coors.

Buy tatami direct from Japan

Friday, January 3, 2020

Raked Gravel and Rock

Raked Gravel and Rock

Raked Gravel and Rock.

Considered quintessentially Japanese, gardens with raked gravel and rock are ubiquitous in Japan. Generally called "karesansui" they are often known in English as "Dry Gardens". Heavily associated with Zen, they are found not just in Zen temples but almost anywhere, secular or sacred.

Great gravel.

The first photo is from Kanyoji Temple in the mountains of Yamaguchi Prefecture. I believe it was designed by Mirei Shigemori, one of the great garden designers of the 20th Century. The second photo is from the Yuushien Gardens on Daikon Island in the Nakaumi Lagoon between Shimane and Tottori. An excellent garden well worth a visit.

Rock on.

This third one is within the entrance area to a hot spring resort in the Okuizumo area of Shimane.

There is no shortage of karesansui gardens in Kyoto, but this 4th photo shows one of the lesser known ones. It is in front of the main hall of Shogo-in, a monzeki temple, which means it was home to a member of the imperial family.

Dry Garden.

This last one is also not such a well known garden, bgut also one that is well worth a visit. It is in the grounds of the ruins of Tokushima Castle and was part of the palace there.

Rock garden.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The last shrines in Tokushima

After leaving Saba Daishi I headed off down the coast on my 11th day of walking along the Shikoku Pilgrimage. By the afternoon I will have crossed over into Kochi Prefecture. I stopped in at every shrine I passed, as is my habit.

Shrines are great spots to take a rest in the shade. Even in urban areas they are quiet and peaceful. The architecture can be interesting and I'm always searching for stories and legends, and it is  at shrines are where you can find signs of them.

The art,... the statuary, masks, etc can also be quite diverse and yet something else I seek out....

And of course there are the trees..... shrines are often home to the oldest trees in the area. All in all I visited more than a dozen on this walk doewn the coast of Tokushima....

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Portraits of Rakan

Rakan, sometimes referred to by their sanskrit name of Arhat, are generally considered to be disciples of the historical Buddha, and in Japan are often found collectively as a group of 500 statues.

One of their features is that every single face is different with a different expression, and that you will be able to find at least one that reminds you of someone you know.

In the rakan hall of Jizoji, temple number 5 of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, there are nowhere near 500 of them, but they are unusually large.

On my first morning walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage I started at Jizoji before heading up the mountain to the first Fudo temple.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sunrise at Yasaka Yahama

On the night of my tenth day walking the Shikoku Ohenro pilgrimage I stayed in the tsuyado at Saba Daishi Temple .

Next morning, Saturday September 24th, I awoke to a glorious sunrise.

This section of the Tokushima coast is named Yasaka Yahama, which means 8 slopes & 8 beaches.

Just offshore was a small group of islands, and the sun rose from behind the largest.....

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Luminous River

I spent some time in Tokushima last December at the start of my walk along the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage and so had the chance to see some of the illuminations.

Rather than the usual style of illuminations, Tokushima has been holding an LED Digital Art show at many sites around the city center. The biggest displays were executed by teamLab, an international arts cooperative. Luminous River, the biggest, was just a stones throw from my hotels so I got to see in many times.

More than 100 giant plastic white spheres floating on the river. Once the sun went down the spheres lit up in an everchanging sequence of colors acccmpanied by new age music piped from speakers along both banks.

The two bridges at either end already had permanent LED artwork installed on them, and on one of the bansk there was also many sculptural artworkd using lED's. Combined with all the normal illumination from the buildings it made for quite a sight....

Monday, October 24, 2016

Shikoku Pilgrimage Day 10..... a morning of shrines

Friday September 23rd, 2011, the tenth day of my walk along the Shikoku Pilgrimage and I was still in Tokushima.

By 8:30 I had finished visiting Yakuoji, temple number 23 of the pilgrimage and I spent the rest of the morning heading down route 55 towards Mugi.

Along the way I passed numerous shrines some small, some a little grander, and I stopped in to check them out.

I didn't bother taking notes so I don't know their names nor the kami enshrined therein. Almost all the pilgrims I encountered on my walk just walked past these shrines, concentrating on reaching the next pilgrimage temple, but I believe in the old days pilgrims would have done what I was doing, and stop in at every sacred site along the route.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hiwasa Hachiman Shrine


In the morning of the tenth day of my walk along the Shikoku Pilgrimage I came into the small fishing port and town of Hiwasa. Right next door to a museum displaying information about the turtles who lay eggs in the area was the local Hachiman Shrine.


It was not a very big shrine, but had the usual collection of big trees, komainu, shimenawa, ema, zuijin, etc, some of which are shown here. However there were 7 very large storage sheds, each of which held a "chosa", a kind of matsuri float often translated as Taiko Yattai. Each one weighed more than ton and held a taiko drum and several drummers. They are carried on  huge frames made of giant bamboo measuring about 6 x 6 meters.


Each chosa is carried by members of each of the seven communities that make up the town, and along with the mikoshi are paraded around the shrine grounds before being carried down to the sea into which they are dipped to ensure good fortune for the fishermen.


The Hiwasa Hachiman Aki Matsuri takes pleace each October.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Shikoku Pilgrimage Day 10


On the morning of my tenth day walking the Shikoku Pilgrimage I awoke in Kiki to the promise of a fine day as I headed to Hiwasa and the next pilgrimage temple Yakuoji. The main road headed through a long tunnel so I decided to take the longer, but more scenic route on the small,  windy road that headed over the hills.


From the top I could see the distinctive tower of Yakuoji and also the reconstructed castle in the small town.


Before the construction of the new tunnel this would have been the main road down the coast, and there were several small Shinto shrines along the way.


Dropping down into a small bay there were nice views down the rocky coast.


I am guessing this would have been the original pilgrimage route as there were also numerous wayside Buddhist statues, most with fresh offerings placed in front of them.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunset at Kiki


As the ninth day of my walk along the Shikoku Pilgrimage was drawing to an end it was time to seek out a place to spend the night.


After passing through the fishing village of Tainohama I passed through Kiki in a small bay. Outside of the village I settled in on the narrow beach.


It was quiet and with a great view but the high water mark was almost as high as the sea wall and I didn't fancy waking up in the middle of the night with the water lapping at my feet, so I packed up and headed back towards the village.


Back at the edge of the village I had passed a small, wooden observation tower. It had a roof, wide benches, a toilet right next door, and a vending machine, as well as views, so this would be my spot to spend the night. It was not an official rest hut for pilgrims, but it was already dark and I woud be gone by first light and there was no-one around. Stealth camping.