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Wish Granting Shrines

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2016

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

All Pictures

Spring is for traveling

As long as it’s special.

The weather was getting nice and Mark and I wanted to go somewhere and take nice photos of Japan. We sat in our living room reading through websites with lists like “Top 10 Must Sees in Hiroshima”. I clicked on one site after another reading through non-sense and getting more and more annoyed by the moment.

Me – Isn’t there one non-shrine related thing left for us to do here?

Mark – Nope.

Me – How many shrines and temples does one country need?

I started a little soliloquy about how much more fun Japan would be for us if they had as many themed parks as they did temples, when Mark cut me off.

Mark – Why not just see a few shrines?

Me – Only if by going to the shrine I get to confront Buddha about all the temples he has.

Mark – I think you’re confusing two different religions.

Me – Am I?

Torri = Shrine = Shintoism = no Buddha

Then Mark picked up his computer and showed it to me. “I think this is what you’re asking for.” He was smiling behind his laptop. I looked at the photo at the top of someone’s blog. “Mark, that’s just a round rock.”

“No. Not just a round rock,” he said taking back his computer. “It’s the roundest rock and it has magical wish granting powers.” “What on earth would I wish for?” I asked scrolling through the website I was previously looking at on my own laptop. “Better tourist attractions for us to visit,” he replied.

What am I supposed to wish on?

On Sunday morning we got into the car and Mark typed the destination into the Garmin. “Wish city here we come,” I exclaimed. “First,” Mark said waving his index finger in the air, “we must make a stop at another wish granting shrine.” “Two wish granting shrines in one day!” I was amazed.

Our first stop would be at Yaegaki Shrine. Many singles go to this shrine to look for help in finding love. Mark and I have been married for sometime now, so we’ve both already been pretty lucky in love. But, we could always ask for more.

Looking for Love

At Yaegaki, down a path behind the main shrine is a pond. It’s called Mirror Pond and it has oracle-like powers. It cannot tell you who you should marry or even who you should ask out on a date. All it can do is give you a vague idea of how long your wait for love will be.

A single person should buy a special paper from the shrine in front and take the paper to the pond. Get a coin and place it on the paper. I think most people use a 100 Yen coin. Then float the paper, with the coin on it, in the water. The longer the paper floats before sinking, the longer your wait for love will be.

Exactly how long of a wait, I don’t know. There was no mathematical formula given, like for every minute afloat you’ll have a year of waiting. Some papers sank quickly, others sank after awhile.

There goes all your hopes.

Then there were some papers that would not sink. Once the paper got damp enough, the coin just fell through. The paper on its own will float for a very long time. The weight of the coin is what drags it down to the bottom of the pond. If the coin breaks through, the paper will not sink.

Climb those steps for a wish.

Next, we drove to Tamtsukuriyu Shrine. Here we could wish for anything, not just things related to love. I paid for a small wish charm and was given an instruction booklet. Of course, it was in Japanese, but it did have lots of pictures. There was also a lady who got there right before Mark and I did, so I just followed her lead.

Clean enough to make wishes

It was a bit of a process. There were about 6 steps to it. Mark and I would look at our booklet and then at what the lady was doing. She went from the washing area, to the shrine, then to the round rock and back to the shrine. Mark and I followed her as closely as we could while still being completely respectful.

“I get my power from my roundness.”

In the end we took home a little charm, but I’m not sure what I am supposed to do with it. Do I continue to wish on it? Would it be wrong for me to make a bracelet with it?

I should have wished for 5 more wishes!

The street the Tamatsukuriyu Shrine is on, is a wonderfully charming street. It’s a street of beauty. I don’t mean that the street is beautiful, though it is. I mean, the water that flows down the middle of this street is believed to have magical beautifying properties. Along the street there are unmanned stands where you can buy spray bottles of the water to take home. Just squirt it on your face to look years younger. If you want to spend more money, you can buy expensive skin care products made from the water.

The whole street is lined with things that give you luck, like the many expensive luck beads you buy in the shops, or beauty, like Seiganji Temple with the Oshiroi Jizo that heals skin and makes one prettier. There are also many onsens, cafes, restaurants, and shops that give the place a very “treat-y0-self” feel.

Smiling while his feet cook

For people like Mark and me, people on a budget, there are many free foot onsens. Unfortunately, the water is 2 degree short of boiling. Maybe it would be more fun in the winter.

All Pictures


Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • International ATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask what ATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

Matsue
(松江市)
(Matsue-shi)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°27’49.9″N 133°03’51.1″E

Address:

〒690-0846 Shimane Prefecture, Matsue, 末次町86

Phone:

Websites:

Downloads:

Videos:


Yaegaki Shrine
(八重垣神社)
(Yaegaki Jinja)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates

Address:

  • 〒690-0035 島根県松江市佐草町227
  • 227 Sakusacho, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture 690-0035

Phone:

  • tel 0852-21-1148
  • fax 0852-22-9156

Websites:

Cost:

  • 200 Yen, but no one will collect it.
  • 100 Yen – Special Fortune paper
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00

Videos:

Notes:

  • Take the Special Fortune paper to the Mirror pond. Put a coin on it and set it afloat in the water. The time it takes to sink is related to the time it will take for you to find your true love.

Tamatsukuriyu Shrine
(玉作湯神社)
(Tamatsukuriyu Jinja)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°24’49.4″N 133°00’42.2″E

Address:

  • 522 Tamayucho Tamatsukuri, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture 699-0201
  • 玉作湯神社 松江市玉湯町玉造522 〒699-0201

Phone:

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • Free
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • 24 hours

Videos:

Notes:

Map:

Posted in Honshū, Japan, Matsue 市, Shimane 県 | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Garden Garden Bridge

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 19, 2015

Saturday, May 2, 2015

All Pictures

Yesterday’s liqueur becomes today’s breakfast treats.

Starting Off Every Morning

Mark and I are early risers. We don’t mean to wake up with the sun every damn holiday morning, we’re just cursed with this ability. We have the hardest time getting up in time for work, but we have seen just about every sunrise of every holiday and weekend for the past 3 years. Maybe this is a sign of old age.

We would have gone through everyone’s stuff, if we weren’t so lazy.

In our party, we were always the first up. We would quietly sit around, watch the sun come up, while reading e-books or listening to audio-books. Mark would start boiling some water and make us some coffee. It would be 2 or 3 hours until Freda and Roland emerged from their tent. In the mean time we would relax and lounge about the camp.

The garden makes Mark rethink his whole life.

Roland’s Flower Quest

This morning, as Roland announce the day’s schedule, he made a plea for us to not see him as a person who only thinks about gardens. He wanted us to believe that it was a mere coincidence that today’s (and yesterday’s) itinerary was so garden heavy. He tried to assure us that after today there would not be so many gardens in our lives.

Is that a new macro lens!?

I didn’t buy it for one second. Roland had recently bought a new fancy-shmanchy camera along with a few changeable lenses for it. After spending about 10 minutes at the Adachi Museum of Art, our first garden of the day, we knew why we had come. Roland was going to take a picture of every flower, rock, and blade of grass!

It’s easier just to steal Roland’s photos.

Not only did Roland have a better camera than any of us, he took photos that no one thought to take. At first I started to mimic his photo-taking. I would crouch down where Roland had just been, to get a similar picture for myself. But then I would look at his photo and compare it to mine. There was no contest; his was clearly better.

There is something a little cruel about a garden you cannot go into.

When we got to the museum Mark and I expected to be bored the whole time. We aren’t art loving people. We like art, but we don’t love it. It helped a lot that the 2,300 yen entrance fee was sliced in half after we showed our ARC cards. We were only going to pay half as much to be tormented by art.

But the museum was much more than art. At the Adachi Museum there was art you could look at, but not take photos of, and a garden you could take photos of, but not enter. I loved the garden. And, at the very least, it gave me something to photograph as a keepsake of this experience.

The museum, the art portion of it, goes on and on and on. Every time we thought we had gotten to the end of it, someone in our group would discover another floor, passageway, bridge, or whole other section.

I bought a postcard in the gift shop before realizing that we were only halfway through. I wish I had known, because I liked the pictures in the second half of the museum better, and would have much preferred a postcard of one of them.

I’m sure Roland’s photo of these flowers don’t have that bar in it.

Next we drove to Daikon island to check out their Peony Festival. Before this trip I had no idea what a peony was, much less that there are many types of them. I don’t really know that much about flowers. I can distinguish sunflowers, tulips, and maybe carnations. I thought I could tell a rose from a non-rose, but I mistook a bunch of roses at the festival for peonies, so…

Mark is more than happy to pose for any and everyone!

This was a garden done right. It more than made up for our not being able to walk in the earlier garden. Here we felt free to walk up to and pose with the many flowers. I even got several sniffs in. This place smelt so good. It gave me an idea of what those Glade Plug-in people are trying to do. But, the garden was 10 times better than any Plug-in.

Mark loves the drapey flowers.

Just be aware that, with this many flowers around, there are many bees. No one got stung. Most bees have the attitude that if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. They are not unlike tired people on the subway after work that way.

Lots of photopportunities!!

At one point during the garden, Freda and I sat down waiting for all the guys to take their obligatory 200 photos. We found an ice cream vendor in the garden and hoped that they had peony flavored ice cream. (You can usually count on tourist sites in Japan to have a themed ice cream flavor.) But, this time the choices were yogurt, matcha, or honey.

“Hey, it’s a few blocks away from here!”

On our way back to the parking lot we found this poster. Since the bridge it advertised wasn’t too far away, we went to check it out.

Half those people are on the bridge just to be on the bridge.

We stopped to take photos of it, then we drove across the bridge just to drive across the bridge. It looks a lot scarier than it really is. When you’re on the bridge, it’s no big thing.

Let’s end this with one of Roland’s photos.

All Pictures


Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

Hoshikami Star Park
(星上山スターパーク)
(Hoshikamiyama Star Park)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°23’14.5″N 133°07’55.6″E

Address:

星上山スターパーク
〒690-2102
島根県松江市八雲町東岩坂3050−3

Phone:

  • 0852-54-2450

Websites:

Downloads:

e-mail

Cost:

  • For Camping per night:
    • 300 Yen per person +
    • 510 per tent
    • and an additional 300 per night for use of the kitchen
  • Bungalow one night basic charge 6500 yen
  • 100 per non-timed shower

Hours:

  • Reception: 9:00~18:00
  • Check-in 15: 00 ~ Check out 10: 00

Notes:

  • Reservations are needed to stay at this campsite. Call before you go.

Adachi Museum of Art
(足立美術館)
(Adachi Bijutsukan)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°22’47.6″N 133°11’38.8″E
  • There is a free shuttle from JR Yasugi Station, JR Yonago Station, Tamatsukuri Spa, Kaike Spa and ANA Hotel Yonago.

Address:

320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi, Shimane, 692-0064, JAPAN

Phone:

  • ( +81 )0854-28-7111

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • 2,300yen
    • Bring your passport or ARC for a 50% foreigner discount
  • They accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners and JCB.
  • It’s 500 Yen for audio devices that offer information in Japanese, English or Mandarin.
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • April-September: 9:00-17:30
  • October-March: 9:00-17:00

Videos:

Notes:

  • It takes about 2 hours to see the whole museum.
  • Do not leave the museum until you are sure that you’ve seen the whole thing. Re-entry is not allowed.
  • Don’t shop at the first gift shop, until you’ve seen the second gift shop.
  • Photos are not allowed inside the museum. You can, however, take photos of the gardens.
  • You are not allowed in the gardens; you can only look at the gardens.

Yuushien garden
(由志園)
(Yushien)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°29’26.3″N 133°10’31.7″E

Address:

1260-2 Hanyu, Yatsuka-cho, Matsue-shi, Shimane-ken

Phone:

  • 0852-76-2255

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • 600yen
    • Bring your passport or ARC for a 50% foreigner discount
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • 8:30 – 17:30

Notes:

  • Every year around the end of April and the beginning of May there is a Peony Festival.

Ejima Bridge
(江島大橋)
(Ejima Ohashi)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°31’08.5″N 133°11’59.3″E

Phone:

  • 0859-42-3706 (Sakai Port)

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free
  • There is an area where you can park for free for a short time.
    • This parking area is on the Shimane side of the bridge.
    • This would give you enough time to take several photos of the bridge.

Hours:

  • always avaible

Videos:

Notes:

Map:

Posted in Daikon Island, Honshū, Japan, Matsue 市, Shimane 県, Yasugi 市 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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