Friday, April 09, 2010

Kyushu by car II (Miyazaki and Kumamoto)

Haniwa, a bit of a trip theme

ritual cleaning basin at Aso-jinja

Aso-san, recently burnt for new growth

clouds wisping out of the crater

I was reprimanded for not posting the "money shot" from the love hotel

Takachiho gorge


the waterfall at Takachiho

J pretending he's falling

more Takachiho

Down the river from the gorge, rocks are stacked vertically in Buddhist tradition, to make a safer and happier place for the spirits of the dead.

every direction you looked, as far as people could reach, there were stone piles



businessmen walking to Aoshima-jinja

Aoshima-jinja and an Obachan (grandma)

J investigating the Giant's Washboard

within Udo-jingu's cave

Udo's cliffs

a view down and into the cave

secret island cave shrine near Udo-jingu

views from the cave

Kumamoto castle

flowers and lantern

yukizakura (cherry blossom snow)

in my natural habitat

walking up to our final shrine in Kumamoto-shi

sakura petals

That just about wraps it up. From Kumamoto, we headed back home to Toyama. The return trip was a rainy affair, but we are back, safe and sound.

Next up is a Golden Week camping trip. Not sure if we'll head to Gifu's mountain area, or somewhere coastal and therefore warmer. I suppose it depends on the weather. Either way, we're doing cheap and local this time around!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Kyushu by car

Last Friday around 3 am, we woke up and headed down route 8 to the highway. J drove till nearly 4pm that evening, when we arrived in Shimonoseki, just north of Kyushu. We stopped, visited a few temples, had dinner, and did a bit of yoga in a nearby park with a view of the bridge we'd soon be going over to the last island we had to thoroughly investigate. The map on our wall is covered with pins marking where in Japan, J and I have visited over the past 7 (for him) and 5 (for me) years we've been here. Poor wall is going to look like Swiss cheese by the time we're out of here.

I won't go on an on, but will post pictures from the trip, with some short descriptions. Hope you enjoy!

so, they're a little fugu (blowfish) crazy in Shimonoseki
did I mention the fugu?

fugu fins posted to dry outside of a local store

inside the Akama Shrine

J's shot of the boat at Akama's gate

Miko sweeping at Tenman-gu

J captured a shot of a Miko training troupe

path to Tenman-gū shrine in Dazaifu

lest you think we take ourselves too seriously

shishi antics

raked rock garden

vampire dog (check out that cape!) at the shrine Saturday market

the one that J likes at Sofukuji in Nagasaki

"shattered glass" door design at Kokufuji in Nagasaki

J discovering Nagasaki in Ryoma Sakamoto's boots

me too!

don't mess with carpentry donkey/horse

Suwa Shrine from a distance

the approach to Suwa

wandering the hillside temples

my new friend and her mom next to the single tori in Nagasaki

the martyr's monument

yup... that's Kannon riding on the back of a massive turtle

he's yelling at you to remember about beef

learning about pork is also important

Nagasaki Peace Park (beefy statue in distance)

bask in his beefiness

J peeking out

tree after the blast

the tree's great comeback!

a fat pony at Yutoku

Yutoku Inari-jinja

sakura in full bloom

a very subtle love hotel advertisement we saw on the way to Aso

heading into the Aso-shi caldera

J playing kitchen wench at our cold-ass campsite on Aso-san

vegan sausage yum

J's moon shot

there was ice on the car and the tent in the morning

Alright, that's a little over 1/2 way. I'll save the rest for another post. It's off to study for now.