Saturday, May 7, 2016

Golden Week Adventures 2016 (Part 2) / ゴルデンウィークの冒険 2016(パート2)

Second day of Golden Week, my friends and I will be spending most of the day in Tono, known to be the "City of Folklore" and home to the kappa (a water sprite).  First we stopped at the Tono Kazenooka.  This is where I picked up my three bottles of Tono Beer - Zumona Weizen, Zumono Altbier, and a Sanriki Umi no Beer.  I also picked up a snack of nori with wasabi.  I will enjoy the beers later but will snack on the nori as we head to Unedori Jinja located neaby. Unedori-sama is a deity to love as well. Its said if you write your wish and tie it on the tree only using your left had, your wish will come true. We would also check out the gohyaku rakan.  This is interesting.  In the 18th century, the Tohoku region was hit by a famine so a priest engraved 500 saints on natural rocks to the pray for dead souls. (Info compliments of the travel-around-Japan site).

ゴルデンウィーク二日目。この日は遠野市で遊ぶことが目的。柳田國男の遠野物語で河童や座敷わらしで有名。最初に行ってみたのは遠野 風の丘。ここで遠野ビールのズモナヴァイツェン、ズモナアルトビールの三陸海のビールを購入しました。ビールはあとで楽しむ。面白そうのスナックもj発見で海苔とわさびのはさみ焼きも買った。さてさて、遠野の最初の名所を目指すのは卯子酉神社。縁結びや赤い布に願いを書いて、左手だけで結ぶと願いが叶うという説もある。お参りしたら近くの五百羅漢に行ってみる。ウィキペディアによりますと、遠野における天明の大飢饉による餓死者を供養するために、天明3年(1765年)に大慈寺の義山が山中の自然石に500体の羅漢像を刻んだものと伝わる。 羅漢像は立体的な彫刻ではなく、絵画のような線彫りである。

First stop in Tono.
Tasty little snack.
Iwate Prefecture Craft Beers - Tono Beers.
岩手県地ビール ー 遠野ビール。

Entrance to Unedori Jinja.  Cherry blossoms in bloom here in the north.
Explanation of Unedori-sama which I briefly mentioned above.
Thats a lot of wishes!
Yukio trying to tie his wish with only his left hand while my wife sits and writer hers.
Atago Jinja was located nearby as well but we passed on going there and went to check out the Gohyaku Rakan.  I think Yukio wanted to avoid walking up the steps to the shrine but we still had to walk up some steps anyway as the rakan are located on a mountainside.


We are becoming one with nature.
The path continues.

It may look like just a rock, but as I mentioned above, a priest engraved 500 rakans into these rocks.


This is another.  By the way, we were not going to look for all 500!
これもその一つ。 言っときますがが、500体の羅漢を探すことはしませんよ!
We didn't want to go too far into the mountains as we decided to heed this warning about there being bears about.
These steps lead up to Atago Jinja.
Off to our next stop.
We came upon a small monument to Chiune Sugihara (the man considered to be Japan's Schindler) and his wife.
Took a peak in a small museum which had a room set up in the Showa era.
Also enjoying the cherry blossoms while they're still in bloom.
Rainai River / 来内川
This is where I spotted my first Kappa in Tono.
We were walking to our next destination - the Tono Municipal Museum.
Collection of prayer boards / 絵馬のコレクション
Tools that were used in the rural community of Tono during the '50s and '60s.
And almost next door to the Municipal Museum is the Tono Folktale Museum.
Apparently June 14th is "The Legend of Tono Day".
This was a room for Guests of Honor.  It was where Kunio Yanagita (the man who compiled the "Legends of Tono") stayed during the Meiji and early Taisho era.

One of the guest rooms. There are 4 guest rooms on the second the floor but only the two guest rooms on the first floor is open to the public.
My wife timeslipped and is working at this ryokan now!

Me too!
I love these traditional sunken hearths in old houses.

Hm, one of the rats seem larger than all the others.
Another kappa on the lamp post.

Momotaro / 桃太郎
Something strange on top of that pole.  Its a zashikiwarashi!

Zashikiwarashi / 座敷わらし
And yet another kappa, this time on top of the mail box!

And look!  Another kappa.  This time on a small manhole.
All this adventure... and its still before lunch!  Tono is known for its Ghengis Khan (lamb cuisine) which is what we were planning on having for lunch.  But before that we are going to go Kappa fishing.
Our adventure contnues...

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