On The Fox Trail……At Takekoma-Jinja Shrine (Miyagi)

Following a string of fairly local-based ‘On The Fox Trail…’ posts so far this year, it was time to get back on the road, and whilst I was up in Sendai in June I felt almost obliged to visit Takekoma Shrine which isn’t too far away from Iwanuma Station.

The ‘On The Fox Trail…’ series was only in its infancy when my wife and I went to the relatively close Zao Fox Village (it’s less than 40 kilometres away!) which is also in Miyagi prefecture. I wasn’t even aware of this shrine back then as I only heard about it after I was kindly sent a copy of ‘The Fox And The Jewel‘ (by Karen A. Smyers) which is seemingly now out-of-print.

  

There’s a map of Japan on it’s inside cover showing all the major Inari worship centres of the country. There are 14 in total with and this one was the tenth to cross off my list but to tell the truth I had Continue reading

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In Search Of A Spider-Man Statue In Fukushima Prefecture!

When you’ve lived for so long in Tokyo you kind of take it for granted that you’ll never have to wait long for a train. However, it can be a very different matter when out of the cities and one such example of that is the Ban-Etsuto Line which runs east (and west too I think!) of Koriyama. Trains really are not often along this line but if you’re lucky there’s about one every 60-75 minutes!!

  

Having spent about 70 minutes near Kanameta Station (in the name of visiting the quirky miniature Mount Fuji) I moved on to the next stop (Funehiki Station) which was eight minutes further east. As the title implies, I was on the hunt to find a Spider-man on the side of a building alongside a load of other figures made of cement. However, it seems I Continue reading

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Mini Mount Fuji In Fukushima

Many gardens in Japan often seem to have a hill that’s been named Mini Fuji due to its vague resemblance in shape to the iconic and spiritual mountain. This one though is a bit different as it’s in the middle of nowhere and is also privately owned. Luckily Tokyo Fox was given permission to take photographs from inside the grounds by the very kind owner.

It was another early start that morning as I left Sendai and headed down to Koriyama via Fukushima. I then headed eastwards for just 18 minutes on the rather infrequent Ban-Etsuto Line (in the direction of Ononiimachi) to Kanameta Station. With rain expected on this day I was mightily relieved that the sun was still shining for my duration in the area.

After just under 25 minutes walking south of the station I came to a a bridge and could see the “snow-capped” part of Mount Fuji in Continue reading

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A Big Buddha, A Capsule Hotel, A Strange Shop Name & The Sendai Hub Trilogy

My first day up in northern Japan began with a slightly unfinished kannon statue in Soma and similarly the next day also started with a statue by way of a big buddha. Not only that but it was a similar case a couple of years ago on my last visit to this area when I saw a couple of tall kannon statues in both Funaoka and Sendai (Sendia Daikannon (Daikanmitsuji Temple).

From Sendai, I headed west on the Senzan Line Rapid to Ayashi station and began to walk up to the buddha which I wanted to see. Some of the scenery along the way (below) was quite wonderful, the weather was very sunny and there wasn’t a soul in sight.

 

There was a warning sign about bears along the way but I can’t say I took it too seriously. After about Continue reading

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A Quick Trip To Matsushima Bay

The city of Sendai doesn’t really offer too much in terms of tourist sights but there are some interesting places within easy reach of it like Zao Fox Village, Funaoka Castle Park and Sendai Daikannon (Daikanmitsuji Temple). Another such place is Matushima Bay so I headed off there on my only full day in the area. Matsushimakaigan Station is just 40 minutes east of Sendai Station and I arrived there mid-morning, collected a map and headed straight to the coast to check out Godaido Temple.

  

This charming temple is located on an island connected by some bright red foot-bridges. It’s the only thing on the island and there certainly isn’t Continue reading

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Soma Hyakkushaku Kannon Is Still Waiting To Be Finished

Here comes another big statue-type post! I really should come up with some kind of generic introduction to tack on to the beginning of these kinds of posts. As for this one, it’s up in Sōma which is a city located in Fukushima prefecture and getting there took a while as I didn’t use the Shinkansen (bullet train) to get there.

Instead, I chose to do it by local trains which meant Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #14

Many of the parks and children’s playgrounds in Japan, particularly in Tokyo, are quite poor compared to other countries in terms of space, surroundings and a lack of grass. However, a handful of them do tend to possess extremely creative structures and they will be explored in this series.

Nickname: Ladybird Slide 

Location: Continue reading

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