金比羅山に訪ねる – Visit To Konpira-san

After the busy weekend, while Jon ventured over to Kyoto and Tokyo, I was able to enjoy a bit of R&R and recuperate a bit before his return on Thursday evening.  Upon his return, we were able to slow the pace a bit and just enjoy a few of the tourist draws in my area.  One of the more significant of these places was Konpira-san, which is a really beautiful temple complex located over on a mountain in Kotohira.  This was the first place that I took Kanako to, but I really failed to document it that time.  Now, despite the darkness of a late day visit, I at least have a few shots I can share.

While walking toward the street that ascends the mountain, I noticed the Kinryo Sake Production Museum and in that moment also realized just how little I knew about the production process.  I was especially keen on it after the sake festival in Saijo, so we paid the few hundred yen to check it out.  Immediately it was clear that the exhibits and their Japanese explanations wouldn’t bring about a specific understanding, but we could at least get the gist of it.  At the end of the exhibit, they had a push button movie that lasted an incredible amount of time, though it did help to fill in the gaps.

Shadows were already drawing long across the street as we raced up the 1378 stone steps towards the Izutama shrine.  There were a few shrines along the way too, but our goal was the one at the top.  I remember Kanako being on the verge of death climbing this thing, so to have Jon at my nine essentially running up it was pretty nice as well.  As a testament to what a touristy place this was, I actually saw other white people on their way down, ones that I didn’t even know!  The place is incredibly scenic though, and the path through towering forest is lined with all sorts of the stone statues and monuments that I’ve grown used to seeing on a daily basis.  I wondered aloud at one point about how seeing these different elements and architecture must be pretty interesting to Jon, whereas in my case it has simply become the norm.

Sorry about the nightmares

Finally at the top, we were awarded with a splendid view out over Marugame and also Sanuki-Fuji.  We took some photos of this, the shrine, and also the section of it that is dedicated to maritime protection.  As a boater, this was of particular interest to my companion.  Finally we descended back down all 1378 steps through the dusk, past the shuttered shops, and back to my car.  It was definitely a nice little outing because really, who doesn’t appreciate a good temple or shrine?

Dark temple

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