|After laundry, I got
off to a fairly decent start today. (Anything before noon...)
I took the train back to Ninomiya and set out along the coast road
One thing this coast is famous for
is--not just the fish--but the little fish shops. One of
the first things I saw today was this rack of fish drying in front of
And here's a fairly typical shop front.
I said your prayers
today at a temple that felt very familiar. As I traveled around
the Kanto area to visit the Bando Sanjusan Reijo (The 33 Places
Sacred to Kannon in the Kanto area) I saw several with the same feel.
See what I mean on the Words and Pictures
page. (And don't miss the additional page of W 'n' P: The
Six Jizo of Togakuin.)
Too bad I couldn't get a
"feel" for the people here. As I finished my prayers a
man came from inside the hall and closed the doors. I went to the
house and rang to have my book signed. A very dressed-up lady
answered the door, took my book, and called for the man. He took
my book into another room. The "signature" looks like
all rubber stamps to me, except the date.
The lady brought the book out, took my
300 yen, curtly answered my simple questions about the temple
(name: Togakuin, Shingon sect, main image Fudo Myoo) and said
To be fair, it looked like they were
going out, and I had slightly delayed their departure. But what a
difference from my reception at Yugyoji!
located on a part of the road that parallels National Highway 1.
Where the two joined again, I saw this (these) pretty little dosojin.
I "lifted" this description
from a Japanese person's homepage:
You can see a lot of stone statues on
the roadside…. It is called "Dosojin Statue". The greater
part of them were built in the late Edo period. It is said that people
in the old days put up them to prevent invasion of evils into each
There are two kinds of Dosojin Statues.
One is only with Japanese characters …. The other is a statue on which
a married couple is being sculptured…. So, the statue is also thought
to be a symbol of happier marriage.
In the typical statue, they are taking
each other's hands, or a wife is serving Japanese sake to her husband.
They are smiling. They are gentle....... I am fond of them.
I couldn't have said it better.
By the way, these (this?) dosojin are located under a fire watch tower
in front of a fire station...for protection?
After passing Kozu station, Highway 1
becomes a shopping street. This little okura (storehouse)
is marked on the map as Susume dou, "dou" being a kind
of hall. I don't know what it's all about, but I thought it was
pretty with the tree in front of it.
I reached my third ferry crossing,
over the Sakawa River. This bridge is just slightly downstream
from the ferry crossing portrayed in Hiroshige's print for Odawara.
As you can see, it's also slightly upstream from the ocean. Though
the ocean has been shadowing me on the left for a day or two, the
stretch of road near this bridge is where one finally comes close to the
water. In fact, the high tide comes up under the expressway that
parallels the road.
As I've mentioned, Tokaido means
"Eastern Sea Road." This distinguishes it from, say, the
Nakasendo or "Central Mountain Road," which was used in
seasons of stormy weather. (Even with modern engineering, I wouldn't
have wanted to be on this road during Tuesday's typhoon.) So here,
at last, we finally encounter the sea itself.
Hiroshige's Tokaido: Odawara,
Station #9 on the Old Tokaido
Here's the print just
mentioned, representing Odawara: the crossing of a daimyo's (feudal
lord's) party across the river. I chose not to do a boring
shot of myself on the bridge; since Odawara is the first castle town on
the road, I'll save myself for that.
By the way, Hiroshige's
prints are often represented somewhere near the sites they represent.
This one was cast into the bridge I crossed.
Just after crossing the bridge,
I encountered a couple of
junior-high-aged boys who stopped me to ask if I was on my way to Mt. Fuji.
No, I said, I was going to Kyoto. KYOTO! Walking? We had a
funny conversation, and I gave them the address of this page. No
picture, though; sorry.
has special importance: it's at the old entry to Odawara Castle. The
Edoguchi Mitsuke ("Edo Gate Watch Station") used
to be here--a full two kilometers from the central tower of the castle!
The road ran right through the castle town built inside the walls.
The two pictures show respectively the left
and right sides of the road. (An overhead pedestrian bridge joins them.)
The pine on the right looks old enough to have been there in the old days!
Note the small shrine in the background also.
Odawara station (shuku) was located inside the
castle walls. It's a great place to wander around, looking
for authentic buildings, as there's more of a street grid here
instead of just a beeline along the highway. Here are a few
things I saw:
park commemorating an old shrine
last, I turned off the highway toward Odawara Castle.
You can see it on my Words
and Pictures page.
here's my "official" shot for Odawara, Station 9 on the
Old Tokaido. I'm standing in front of the donjon--and
facing toward the elephant's enclosure! (See more at the bottom of
and Pictures page.)
Finally, a few things
I saw along the way today:
house was made out of an okura, or storehouse.
statue of Ebisu, one of the seven lucky gods, was in a
statue of Fudo Myoo--also the main image at Togakuin--was next
to a shop along the road.