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 40 minutes the giant buddha statue finally came into view and I could breathe a sigh of relief that I had actually located it (I wasn’t confident that I had the right address as it’s not marked on my maps app) and that it was open for viewing.
There’s very little, if nothing at all, on the internet about this 15 metre statue of buddha. I believe it’s called Aikoosaragi Bukkoku Temple (Ōtakehara 49-1 Imozawa, Aoba-Ku) but I can’t be 100% sure of that.
I descended from the buddha and realised that there was a slightly quicker route for returning to the station. A cemetery lies beneath the buddha and there’s actually a cable car-like train thing called Nam Nam Issue which is supposedly very rare in Japan for such a situation. Of course it’s there to assist people in reaching the buddha but as I was the only person to be seen anywhere I have no idea if it was even working!
After that I went to Matsushima Bay for a few hours before returning to Sendai to visit Narita-san Sendai Bunin (33-2 Aramaki Aoba, Aoba-Ku) as I really wanted to see the huge statue (below) located at the back of it. Sadly, it was closed that day (and the next one too) but in a way I felt quite relieved that I could still see it in part from the outside.
I decided to call it a day after that as I was tired but back at Sendai Station I took a slight detour on the way back to my hotel to see a shop sign that I had heard about. I have no idea what kind of shop “Sperm” is though!
My previous post on Sendai included a visit to the so-called British chain pub called Hub. That was basically just to keep up with a couple of mates who had been there and this time I actually met up with one of them who was up in Sendai to complete his mission of having been in every single Hub in Japan (there are over 80 of them!).
We spent about an hour at the same one which I went to two years ago, and the following night I went by myself to the other two during happy hour (5-7 pm) to complete the not-so-essential Sendai Hub trilogy.
My hotel was a capsule (called Nine Hours Sendai) and I thought that in the worst case scenario I could just watch the World Cup games on the TV in the pod. However, this particular capsule didn’t have one which was a surprise as all the other ones I’ve stayed at have had them. Neither was there a communal area so I opted for watching Denmark vs France on my phone with headphones. With an early start the following morning I didn’t want to return to a bar so watching in the capsule was the best option. It turned out to be a fairly poor match and was actually the only scoreless draw of the whole tournament.
Click here to read ‘Mini Mount Fuji In Fukushima’