Showing posts from June, 2014

Hondoji Temple (Ajisai Dera)

So, a break in the rains gave me the chance to explore one of the jewels in my city’s modest crown. Hondoji temple, just a short walk from Kitakogane station, has a 750-year history and is an important spot for the Buddhist religion in Japan. It’s said that under the 5-storey pagoda overlooking the temple, are some bone fragments of the actual man himself. We can also see the final resting place of one of the wives of the famous shogun, Tokogawa Ieyasu.
For the less devout, non-history buffs, there are several other reasons to visit this spot; about 10,000 to be more precise, especially in June. Hondoji Temple often goes by its other name, Ajisai Dera (the temple of the hydrangea). In its grounds and gardens can be found somewhere in the region 10,000 hydrangeas, of all types and colours. Quite a sight when they are in full bloom (mid to late July). There is also an iris field in the centre of the garden that is definitely worth a look a little earlier in the year.
It really was a beaut…

Sunset: thought fishing

Back to my usual spot to catch the sundown. A lone fisherman at the end of the dock gave my shots some interest, as did the grass at the top of the beach on my arrival. The atmosphere was perfect; fresh and warm. I lingered for some time after the sun had gone, listening to the music of the ocean and staring into the darkness until I could pick out my thoughts.

Kyonan walk - sea-cat-fishing

Of course when you're near the coast, it's natural to gravitate, figuratively and literally, towards the sea. So naturally I did. On clear days, the ocean views are spectacular. To the north along the Uraga Channel you can see the Nokogiri ridge as it falls away into the sea, and east offers uninterrupted views right across Tokyo Bay towards Kanagawa and, on a really clear day, Mount Fuji. Today wasn't a really clear day, but it was beautiful.

Kyonan walk - inland

So, the rainy season has started and the forecast is terrible. Better get used to it, it'll be for a few weeks at least. Thank god then, that I chose last weekend to get out of town and do a little exploring in the sunshine in the Kyonan area.