Sunday, September 25, 2011
The Shuzenji temple in the hot spring area of the same name in The Izu peninsula is a temple built in 807. Originally a Buddhist temple, converted to Rinzai sect in 1250, the current temple was rebuilt in 1883.
The second shogun Minamoto Yoriie was exiled to this temple, and later murdered here in 1204. Famous Japanese writers Natsume Sozeki, Okamoto Kido and Shimaki Kensaku, wrote stories inspired by the temple after visiting.
The temple entrance, close to the famous Tokko-no-yu hot spring, is at the center of the city and thus visitors in Yukatas are a common view at the temple gate.
Trees and a small hill beautifully frame the main hall, there is also small bamboo forest located next to the bell tower.
A dozen small stone statues of monks are lined up at the entrance of one of the hall. The temple used to be a monastery and housed hundreds of monks, currently no monks live at the premises.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Jonanjima in Ota, Tokyo, is a marine park located in the Tokyo bay, in operation since 1991, managed by the Tokyo port authority.
The park location overlooking Haneda airport offers an unmatched view of the airplanes landing or taking off from the airport. Airplane lovers are treated by the large aircrafts flying at very low altitude while approaching for landing. The park gets very noisy at airport peak times, early in the morning, and late in the afternoon.
The artificial beach in the park is a great place for walking, as like most of the beaches in Tokyo bay fishing and swimming is prohibited.
View Jonanjima seaside park in a larger map
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Shuzenji in the center of the Izu penizula in Shizuoka prefecture, the town was built 1200 years ago around the the Shuzenji temple, famous for its hot springs.
According to the legend the great monk Kobo Daishi, pounded on a rock with his walking stick, called a ‘tokko’ to bring forth the hot spring water. The spring was therefore named Tokko-no-yu, or Tokko Hot Spring. The spring is at the center of the town, and it is used now as a foot bath only..
The town is full of ryokans, Japanese style Inns, many of them open their hot springs to non-staying visitors.
View Shuzenji in a larger map