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Aki Meguri Old Tokaido Logbook:

September 13th, 2001 (Thursday):
From Ninomiya to Odawara

Note: In the original Aki Meguri pages, the Old Tokaido stage had separate journal entries on most days.  These have now been added at the bottom of this page.

 
Today's Words and Pictures: Togakuin, Six Jizo, and Odawara Castle
 
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 again.

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 the shop.

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 "Take care."

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!

Togakuin is 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:

++++++++++++++++

Dosojin Statue

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 communities.

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.

This ichirizuka 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.

The 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:

A park commemorating an old shrine  A bakery shop An old apothecary's

At last, I turned off the highway toward Odawara Castle.  You can see it on my Words and Pictures page.

And 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 the Words and Pictures page.)

Finally, a few things I saw along the way today:

This house was made out of an okura, or storehouse. This statue of Ebisu, one of the seven lucky gods, was in a stonecutter's yard. This statue of Fudo Myoo--also the main image at Togakuin--was next to a shop along the road.
 

There is no Journal Entry for September 13th.

 
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