Showing posts with label waterfall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label waterfall. Show all posts

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Sakurai Samurai Mansion Garden


The garden at the Sakurai samurai mansion in Okuizumo, Shimane, has one of the biggest waterfalls of any Edo Period garden in Japan.

Located high up in the remote Chugoku Mountains, the Sakurai were a high-ranking samurai family who moved into the area to control the very lucrative iron and steel production of the area.

Many of the surviving buildings of their estate date back to the mid-Edo period, as does the garden.

The garden's main feature is the waterfall cascading down the rocky hillside into a carp-filled pool.

The garden and the area around the estate is especially popular in Autumn. However, the site has been used as a location in a popular TV drama called Vivant, and so has recently become popular year-round.

The mansion used to host the Matsue Daimyo when he toured the area.

The most famous Matsue Daimyo was known as Fumai and was a renowned master of the Tea Ceremony. He named the waterfall Iwanami and it is registered as a National Scenic Spot.

The rustic teahouse on the edge of the pond was designed by Meiji-era painter Naoiri Tanomura while staying here as a guest of the Sakurai.

The previous post was on the interior and exterior of the mansion.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Goto Falls Bato Kannon Temple 70 Sasaguri pilgrimage


Temple 70 on the Sasaguri pilgrimage is located in the valley above Narafuchi Dam.

Just above the temple is Goto Falls which was not particularly impressive, at least when I visited.

However, being a waterfall there was an abundance of Fudo Myo statues.

The honzon is a Bato Kannon, a "Horse-head Kannon" and there were also multip Bato Kannon statues.

As with its equivalent temple on Shikoku, this is the only temple on the pilgrimage with a Bato Kannon as a honzon.

According to the legend, a long time ago (probably the Edo era) horses and cattle in the area fell ill and it was discovered that pollution from the Kuroda Clan gunpowder factory had poisoned the river, so  a Bato Kannon statue was erected.

My reason for suggesting Edo period is that the Kuroda were the clan controlling Fukuoka at that time.

Along the path to the waterfall are lots of other statues, not just Bato Kannon and Fudo Myo.

The previous post in this series on day 1 of my walk along the delightful Sasaguri pilgrimage was on the Fudo Myo statues at the previous temple, Jimyoin.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Urauchi River & Mariudo Falls


The Urauchi River is the longest river in Okinawa Prefecture, and it is found on Iriomote Island, the largest of the Yaeyama Islands.

As Okinawa consists of many small islands, its perhaps not surprising that the longest river is only just over 18km in length.

the river source is in the middle of the mostly uninhabited island at 311 meters elevation and reaches the sea at the NW of the island.

Boat trips go upriver about 10 kilometers and from where they stop a trail runs another kilometer or so to Mariudo Falls.

A three stage falls of just 16 meters, Mariudo Falls is not the tallest on Iriomote, but possibly the most visited. It is possible to hike further upstream to another waterfall, and several smaller falls are passed on the way to Mariudo.

Many sources use the word "jungle" to describe Iriomote, but while it is certainly different from mainland Japan, I would use "sub-tropical" forest.

What Iriomote does have is plenty of mangroves, trees that grow in the salty water of intertidal zones in tropical and sub-tropical environments.

The guide on the boat was very excited to point out this bird which, I believe, was a Crested Sea Eagle.

Its also possible to cruise the river in guided kayak tours.

The previous post on Okinawa was on Mount Nosokodake on neighboring Ishigaki Island.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ryuzugataki Dragon Head Falls


Ryuzugattaki Waterfalls are among the 100 top waterfalls of japan and are located in the mountains directly south of Izumo City.

There are two falls, side by side, with the larger being 40 metres tall and the smaller just 30 meters. They are considered male and female.

The falls are reached by a very pleasant footpath along a river with the final approach being up a wooden staircase through a grove of huge, ancient trees that you would normally encounter nowadays approaching a shrine.

Also of interest is the cave in the cliff behind the falls that can be entered. Here you will find an altar to Fudo Myo.

In the autumn when the leaves are changing color is especially good for a visit.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Kiyomizu Temple number 2 on the Kinki Fudo Myo-o Pilgrimage


Located a little to the west of Shitennoji Temple in an ancient part of Osaka with many interesting shrines and temples, it is the second of the 36 temples on the Kinki Fudo Myo pilgrimage.

Its full name is Arisusan Seikoin Kiyomizudera and is now a Tenda sect temple. It is not known when it was founded, though I suspect it was a long time ago. Kiyomizu means "pure water" and there are a lot of temples with that name, not just the famous one in Kyoto.

Its honzon is a Kannon statue and the temple is one of the Osaka Kannon Pilgrimage temple, but I did not visit any of the buildings, instead went straight to what is called the only natural waterfall in Osaka City.

It may well have been "natural" at some point in the past, but has been much "improved" as the Japanese would say. It is made for purification by water rituals, and Fudo is almost always present at such sites.


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sogi Falls... Niagara of the East

A little before sunset I arrived at my planned destination at the end of my 37th day along the Kyushu Pilgrimage. All day I had pretty much followed the Sendai River upstream and I was bushed as I reached Sogi Falls.

A grand 12 meters in height and about 200 meters across, they are certainly pretty waterfalls, but "Niagara of the East"?

Downstream a short way is the brick facade of a power station built in 1868. Now partially submerged  by a reservoir created by the big dam downstream, the local tourist literature proclaim that it is reminiscent of a medieval European castle........ I personally think these spurious analogies are absurd.

The bridge you can see in the photos a little upstream of the falls has now gone. It has been replaced with a new cable-stayed bridge just downstream of the falls. My plan was to sleep out at the falls, but that was not to be.....

Monday, May 11, 2020

Dangyo Shrine & Waterfalls

Deep in the forested mountains of the interior of Dogo, the largest of the Oki Islands, are Dangyo Shrine and its pair of waterfalls. Just outside the torii are a pair of huge, ancient trees. The story is that when Izumo Taisha was being rebuilt the shrine was ordered to supply any such trees for timbers for the construction. The local people moved the torii forward some meters so that the trees then fell outside the shrine grounds and so were spared the felling.

There are two waterfalls here. The smaller is considered female and the larger male. With Japan's obsession with ranking, the waters here are ranked one of the 100 Best Waters of Japan. The water from the female waterfall is considered "winners" water, and is drunk by competitors in human nad bull sumo tournaments.

a couple of small shrines are inside the overhang over which the male waterfall cascades. The male kami here is Oyamakui, an Izumo kami who is famously enshrined at Hie Taisha below Enryakuji. The female kami is Seoritsuhime, not a well known kami but said to be the kami of waterfalls, rapids etc.

Bronze mirrors and other artifacts have been excavated here suggesting that this has been a sacred site since prehistory. Well worth the effort needed to visit, as are all the Oki Islands.