The Rock Ship Shrine?

This was one the amazing finds during my hike yesterday, which will be in another post.

Iwafune Jinja (磐船神社) is located in Katano City, Osaka Prefecture just bordering Osaka and Nara.

Why Rock Ship? The Kanji Iwa(磐) means rock or a big boulder of rock and Fune(船) means ship or boat thus the title.  The idea came when RT, our guide yesterday, explained to me that it was believed that these big boulder of rocks where the ship in which the gods used to get to earth.

A little google and I found the official homepage for this place. [Japanese][English]

The Japanese site contains a more details description, unfortunately it’s going to take me a few days to do a translation of it. The English site contains some basic information which will give you some idea how old this place is.
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The name at the gate of the Shrine

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The front shine. Notice the Big boulder of rock in the back of it? It is believed that the god(神) lives in this rock,

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Fudoh-Mouoh, considered to be one of the divine beings in Buddhism and this image was carved in the stone in Dec 1545, more than 400 years of history.

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Can you see the frog on top of the Rock? It’s supposed to be a holy creature, a guardian perhaps?

The Shrine is small but full of history. We were planning to go done and explore underneath the boulders but unfortunately it has been raining these past days and the rocks are slippery so for safety reason, they have closed it. So now I have another reason to go back there soon.

Going into the shrine is free but if you plan to go down under the rocks, you need to pay a small fee.

How to get there by Train:

By Keihan Train: Take the Keihan Train to Kisaichi Station(私市) , and get on the Keihan Bus and get off at Iwafune Jinja Mae. This bus only operates on the weekends(Sat and Sun) only.

By Kintetsu Line: Get off at Ikoma Station and Take the bus bound for Kitadahara(北田原) and get off at the last stop from there it’s about 10 minutes walk to the shrine.

If you are going by Car you can take a look at this map.

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Book : The Waiting Years

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I accidentally found this book in the local library and got very curious with it. Here is a summary.

The beautiful, immature girl whom she took home to her husband was a maid only in name. Tomo’s real mission had been to find him a mistress. Nor did her secret humiliation end there. The web that his insatiable lust spun about him soon trapped another young woman, and another … and the relationships between the women thus caught were to form, over the years, a subtle, shifting pattern in which they all played a part. There was Suga, the innocent, introspective girl from a respectable but impoverished family; the outgoing, cheerful, almost boyish Yumi; the flirtatious, seductive Miya, who soon found her father-in-law more dependable as a man than his brutish son…. And at the center, rejected yet dominating them all, the near tragic figure of the wife Tomo, whose passionate heart was always, until that final day, held in check by an old-fashioned code.

This book was brilliantly written by Fumiko Enchi and won one of the highest literary honor in Japan.

It was amazing how patient Tomo with all her husbands cheating with other women and how far she would go to protect her family’s honor.

At first it irked me to read about it and almost put the book down but fortunately I did not and was amazed about the relationship of each woman and how they rely on each other strengths. The art of “Gaman” or patience is definitely well defined in this book.

As I finished reading this book, it gave me a new perspective about relationship and of preserving it not just for myself but for the people that is affected with it.

A book of the past but definitely a great lesson for the future.

Strolling around Yamadaike Park

I saw an advertisement for a great spot to view some Plum Blossoms, and this park was one of them. Unfortunately, the weekend that I was planning to visit the park it snowed and rain, not a very motivating weather to take a nice stroll around the park.

On a nice Sunday afternoon in May, I convinced T to join for a walk along this beautiful park.

Ike(池) mean pond and right in the center of the park is a big pond.

In Hirakata City, Japan

In Hirakata City, Japan

When we got there, the irises where just starting to bloom and this little guy here is enjoying some of nature’s bounty.

In Hirakata City, Japan

Lots of trees where you can place a mat and just enjoy the weather, the view and the company of family and friends.

In Hirakata City, JapanA big wide open space for kids and adults to play around.

This is the top view of park.

How to get to the park :

By Keihan Line ( Hirakata Station) or JR Gakkentoshi Line ( Nagao Station)  then take the Keihan Bus to Deyashiki(出屋敷)

or

By JR Gakkentoshi Line and get off at Fujisaka Station and walk about 10 minutes toward Northwestern side.

In Hirakata City, Japan

Manhole : Yorocho

Yorocho, Gifu JapanThis manhole first appeared on my “Art from below” post last year.

Yōrō (養老町 Yōrō-chō?) is a town located in Yōrō DistrictGifu PrefectureJapan, on the eastern side of the Yōrō Mountains.

The design in the middle is the Yoro Falls, one of the main attraction in this area.

Then surrounding the waterfalls design is Chrysanthemum which is the City’s symbol for flower.