Showing posts with label tottori. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tottori. Show all posts

Monday, February 24, 2020

Garden Borders

Japanese Gardens

Japanese gardens have borders and edges. In some traditional gardens the walls or fences are an integral part of the aesthetic. Where the garden meets a building is also an important border that also has architectural input.

Temple architecture was imported from China and Korea, but because of the heavier rainfall in Japan one of the modifications was to extend the roof out further away from the edge of the building to protect the foundation stones.

These 4 photos show different ways the garden border where it meets the building have been practically and aesthetically designed at Kannon-ji Temple in Tottori

The garden at Kannon-ji is well worth a visit.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Manhole Bridges

Misasa in Tottori is a famous hot spring resort in the middle of the prefecture not too far from Kurayoshi. Several bridges over the river are symbols of the area, and opoen air pools under the bridges contain the highest level of radon for any hot springs in the world.

Mount Kasayama is a small, 100 meter high volcano just along the coast from Hagi in Yamaguchi. It is known for its "forest" of camelias. At the base is a small pond with a bridge leading over to an Itsukushima Shrine.

The Ichinosaka River runs through the middle of Yamaguchi City, but I have no idea which particular bridge this is or its significance.

Tabuse on the south coast of Yamaguchi has this bridge named Sakura Bashi, cherry bridge, for its famous promenade lined with cherry trees. In the middle of this modern bridge are a pair of tall steel sculptures, symbols of the sakura festival.

A little further down the coast is the town of Obatake where the Oshima Bridge connects to Suo Oshima, the third largest island in the Inland Sea.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Some More Round Windows


My posts on the round windows of Japan have been popular, so here is a selection of ones I've found recently. This first one has to be one of my favorites. It is in an outbuilding in Henshoin Garden, in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture.


This one is in the Ohashi House, a wealthy merchants home in  Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture.


This one is in a shelter in the garden next to Fukuyama Castle in Hiroshima Prefecture.


Korakuen garden in  Okayama.


The Chinese garden Enchoen, on the shore of Togo Lake in Tottori.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ube Shrine

Ube Shrine is located a little south of Tottori City and was/is the Ichinomiya, first-ranked shrine, of the former Inaba province. In the Meiji period is was classified as the second rank of government supported shrines.

The main shrine building and a picture of the enshrined kami, Takenouchinosukune, were printed on the 5 yen note in the early twentieth century. He is usually depicted with a full, long beard. (very handsome if I do say so myself :)

Within the grounds is a massha, secondary shrine, Kofu Shrine that enshrines, among others, Takemikazuchi, Yamato takeru, Izanagi, and kukurihime.

The main kami, Takenouchinosukune, was of royal descent and served 5 emperors and is most well known for serving the mythical Empress Jingu on her mythical invasion of the Korean Peninsular. He lived to be almost 300 years old, and a set of rocks in the shrine grounds is supposedly where he left a pair of shoes.

28 Japanese clans claim descent from him, most notably the Soga and the Katsuragi.

Now he is known as a guardian of children and while we were there several ceremonies were held for kids even though it was a few weeks after the "official" shichigosan.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Garden at Kannon-in

Kannon-in Garden in Tottori

The main reason to visit Kannon-in, a Tendai Temple in Tottori City, is for the garden.

Kannon-in Garden in Tottori

The garden took ten years to build, beginning in 1650, 11 years after the temple was rebuilt on this site.

Kannon-in Garden in Tottori

It is a "Chisenkansho-shiki" style of garden which roughly translates as "pond viewing garden", and is meant to be viewed from a fixed viewpoint, not strolled around in.

Kannon-in Garden in Tottori

The viewpoint at Kannon-in is from the veranda of the study hall.

Kannon-in Garden in Tottori

The 600yen entrance fee includes a green tea to enjoy while contemplating the view.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kannon-in, Tottori.


The Sanmon (main gate) of Kannon-in, a Tendai sect temple in Tottori City. Built originally in 1632 it was moved to its current location in 1639.


The temple was built for the Ikeda family who had been installed as Daimyo of the Tottori Domain.


The main deity is Kannon and supposedly the temple was given a statue of Kannon carved out of local rock by Gyoki in the 8th Century.


It is temple number 32 on the Chugoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage Route.


The main reason to visit the temple, if you are not a pilgrim, is for the garden.....


Monday, April 2, 2012

Ochidani Shrine


Ochidani Shrine is at the far end of Ochidani Park a little to the south of Tottori castle ruins in Tottori City. There is a long approach and obviously it was a grand shrine in formner times. before Meiji it was named Inaba Toshogu.


The Nio that once inhabited the gate would have been removed after shinbutsu bunri , the separation of the buddhas and kami, which is also when the name was changed. Toshogu shrines enshrine Tokugawa Ieyasu as  Toshu Daigongen, and the most famous Toshogu is the original one at Nikko.


There were once 500 Toshogu throughout the country but now only 130 remain.


This one in Tottori was built in 1650 by the local Daimyo, Ikeda Mitsunaka, who was a great grandson of Ieyasu.


The gate, haiden, and heiden, are registered as Important Cultural properties.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hidden Crosses

When Christianity was outlawed in Japan in the early 17th Century many people took their faith underground and are now known by the name kakure kirishitan, "hidden christians". They employed many subterfuges to disguise their faith, perhaps the most well-knoiwn being to equate the Virgin Mary with the Goddess Kannon.

Another was these stone lantern pedestals which originally had a lantern on top to form a cross with truncated horizontals. Hidden Christians are associated most strongly with parts of Kyushu, especially the area around Nagasaki, but these three examples are not from there.

The top photo is from a temple in Ehime, Shikoku, the second from Hagi in Yamaguchi, and the bottom one is in a temple in Tottori.

Friday, March 9, 2012



Yamabikokan is the name of Tottori City History Museum.


Its located near Ochidani Park to the south of the castle area.


I didnt have time to go inside and see what they have on display and I have been unable to find out who the architect is, though I found its color scheme quite pleasant.


Its closed on Mondays and entrance is 500yen for adults, though there is a small reduction for foreign visitors.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Jinpukaku Tottori

Jinpukaku is a European-style mansion originally planned as a villa for the Ikeda family, the former Lords of Tottori. It was built in the first decade of the twentieth Century.

There is a nice Japanese-style garden to the rear. The mansion is located at the base of the ruins of Tottori Castle.

It was the first building in Tottori to get electric lights.

Crown Prince Yoshihito, later to become the Taisho Emperor, stayed here on his tour of the San-in region in 1907

The house has a small collection of items relating to the Ikeda Clan, and the rooms are elegantly furnished, but the main attraction is the spiral staircase.

There seems to be a much more continental feel to this building than with many other "Western" buildings built in te late 18th and early 20th centuries, like the Mansion for Foreign Engineers in Kagoshima.