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Friday, September 05, 2008

Japan trip
Day 7 - 12th June - Amanohashidate
(Part 4)

From the lookout point there was a bus up towards, naturally enough, a temple, Nariai-ji.

Bus schedule

Description of temple bell, from English pamphlet the bus driver gave me: "The temple bell which has never been or will be struck
Kenchyo, priest collected votive offerings of money, so that he could raise funds for the project to replace the old bell with the new one... a housewife in a house, which was fine and looked wealthy, 'said, "Since we have many children to bring up, we cannot aford to make a donation to the temple," and refused flatly.
On the day when the metal was casted into the bell, (blank) watch how the bell was made. Among them was the said housewife looking at it, holding her baby in her arms. By mistake itself, she dropped her baby into the fiery melted copper like boiling water. When the finished bell, involbing such a sad and misery accident in the course of completion, was truck... they seemed to hear the baby crying sadly to call for its mother. People felt such pity... that they decided never to strike this bell since then"
This story was very screwy. But they had struck it once, so it has been struck.

Tower housing the bell

Steps up


Building with Buddhas

Up one flight


Peacock deity (probably Saraswati)

More gods


Main building, and a peek in

Washup point

Side of temple main building. Notice the wheelchair lift. How thoughtful (IIRC there was a road behind, so the flights of steps would've been moot)

Inside temple


Prayer wheel. I turned it a bit to upgrade my reincarnation form from pond algae to a cockroach.

Me at the washup point, which this Jap girl offered to me take. Her male companion was quite nasty - I asked if he spoke English (I forgot what I wanted to ask) and he said no quite curtly, even though I was quite sure he did.

More idols

"Nihon Ichi Tembodai" ("Great view ahead. ~1,000m (5 minutes by car)")
Notice they had no estimate of how long it took to walk

I was wondering whether to go ahead, so I consulted the Rough Guide:

"If you have time, it really is worth making the effort to continue on to the Nihon Ichi Tembodai, a panoramic lookout spot around 1km further up the mountain from Nariai-ji. The sublime view across Amanohashidate and Wakasa Bay, as far away as the Noto-hano and the sacred mountain Hakusan on the Hokuriku coast, is straight out of a woodblock print."

From previous experience, I knew that travel guides oversold attractions, and the Rough Guide was particularly culpable (IIRC, the guidebook which waxed lyrical about the village Ethia in Crete, which was a rundown dump in the middle of nowhere, was "The Rough Guide to Crete"). Yet, I had time to spare. I decided not to take the next bit of advice, though:

"Back down in Fuchu you can catch a bus 16km up the coast to the charming fishing hamlet of INE"

Translation: it was a run-down dump. (Since coming back, cursory research suggests it's like a more prosperous version of Tai-o in Hong Kong)

An uphill climb lay ahead of me

Sea view

Another 600m left

Holy Forest (?) and sign

More idols along the road

After a while, I seemed to have reached my destination:

Vantage point


Very helpful guide to the scenery in Kanji. While writing this I found out that Hakusan, which the Rough Guide didn't bother giving Kanji for, was "白山", but you can't see it in the pictures above anyway.


Yet, I noticed that the road still led up:

And there was a sign about "展望所", so I hoisted by backpack and continued up, and arrived at the vantage point to find:

Vending machines *facepalm*. Then again, even the top of Mount Fuji has vending machines, so.

No vending machine surcharge!

Real vantage point

Guide to the view

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