The Oyunohara (大斎原) Otorii Gate, the largest of the Kumano Kodo sanzan. Before 1889, 熊野古道, Kumano Kodō pilgrims arriving at Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine visited its original site of Oyunohara 大斎原, an island located at the fork of the Iwata River and the Otonashi River in Tanabe, Wakayama. Instead of Misogi, 禊 a Japanese Shinto practice of … Continue reading 熊野古道, Kumano Kodō: Oyunohara 大斎原
Walking the Kumano Kodo beings at 熊野本宮大社, Kumano Hongū Taisha. It serves as the head shrine of more than 3,000 Kumano shrines across Japan and is part of the san-zen - three famous shrines that cover the route. Hongu Taisha enshrines its own deity and the deities of the other two Kumano shrines, Hayatama Taisha, Nachi Taisha, as well asthe sun goddess Amaterasu.
As a Florida Master Gardener I obsess over flowers. Our 35th floor Osaka apartment has been wonderful, but everything green I've tried to grow has inexplicably died. So I'm out and about all the time anyways hunting Japan's seasonal flower cycles, like Sakura, cherry blossoms, that passed in April. Roses and peonies are now blooming insanely … Continue reading Wandering and Wisteria Hunting in Uji, Kyoto
In Japan the swastika is called the manji (卍). It is an ancient symbol of good luck and well-being. The symbol was on maps in Japan to denote Shinto and Buddhist shrines and temples. I remember seeing it on Google maps the first time I visited Japan in November, 2016 and marveled at the impression … Continue reading In Japan, Swastikas Are Symbols of Good Luck and Health, Not Hatred and Nazis