|Amanohashidate from Kasamatsukoen|
I guess I should begin by explaining what Amanohashidate is. It's a spit of sandy land that makes a small land bridge closing off a bay. One of Japan's most unusual geographical features and one of Japan's three most beautiful landscapes. I went there 6 years ago before I was married or had a job, and when I took too many photos. Here's 118 photos I uploaded to flickr from the experience. It was my first trip as an exchange student. Who would have thought that I would be coming back to the exact same place but going to a temple. I had gone there just to check out what this place was and look at Amanohashidate between my legs as the the custom says. I wasn't that interested in temples back then.
|A family on the new viewing platform|
|Walking up to the cable car|
Yuko was a little worred about the snow and getting there, but we had no problem. The freeways get you right there and the roads in the city were all plowed. It was actually a great time to go as there really weren't that many people there. Only a few families out and about as it was Dec 30th and everyone was heading to their homes for the New Year's celebrations.
|Cable car station|
|Yuko hiking up the mountain|
|The pagoda and a ton of snow|
|The temple entrance|
As part of a JR West promotion the Saikoku temples have been giving out smaller sange for the last two years or so. We've been collecting those also, but the special sange we got at Nariai-ji is something special that we'll always treasure.
After exploring the inside of the temple we headed back into the snow. In front of the temple was a large tub with ladles for purification. The tub was originally the bath for the monks in the temple although they would never actually climb in it, but only ladle water from tub.
|Drying the ink|
On the way home we had dinner in the local shopping center and stopped in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto to check out the super-sento there, Fukuchiyama Onsen. I'll post a review on I Love Yu soon.
|The single track of stairs|
- Photos of Nariai-ji in the summer on taleofgenji.org
- Miyazu Amanohashidate Tourist Information Center [Japanese]
- Nariai-ji homepage [Japanese]
- A tale from Nariai-ji and a song mentioning its name from "Songs to Make the Dust Dance: the Ryōjin Hishō of Twelfth-century Japan." Google Books.
- A postcard, most likely pre-war as the Japanese is written left to right, showing a women dressed in a kimono being carried up to the temple. See how wide the stairs are when they aren't covered in snow. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
- A woodblock print of Nariai-ji in the snow from 1858. From the Japanese Art Open Database.
- There's a few more photos in the flickr set for our trip.
Some family shots from the viewing area. Mia slept most of the hike up and at the temple, but she woke up and started crying on the way down. We're both doing are boo-boo faces. She's also too small to look at Amanohashidate through her own legs so I let her use mine!