New Blog

I have started a new walking book. This time is is based away from Tokyo, in Ibaraki.

Walking and Exploring Ibaraki

🙂

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A great post about the seven gods of luck.

While sat on the train I read this great post about the seven gods. It has more detail than mine so would be a great addition to read.

Japan Navigator

Guided Tours and Photo Packages

If you would like a guided tour of one of these walks then please visit my sister site.

https://www.peggyannephotos.com/

You will get a guide, photographer and translator for however long it takes you to complete the walk.

 

Koga Seven Gods Walk

I found another seven gods walk. It is in Koga, not the Pokemon Koga, but the city in west Ibaraki. I was looking for something to keep me distracted this winter break and stumbled upon this webpost with a digital map.

I made my own map with the names of the 7 Gods represented in English, which you can find here. The few details I found said it was about 7,000 steps. As you can see by the map there are 10 sites. Mainly because there is an abundance of love and beauty…Benzaiten.

The first website says there was an organised tour at the beginning of the year. While I was walking this time there were posters around about another tour, so this must be an annual event. January is the traditional time to do one of these walks, but they are usually too busy for my patience. I prefer the solitude, or one speedy friend. Mr McSpeedy (not real name) walked with me today.

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This is the date and details of the 2016 walk.

So let’s get to the walk. It was a pretty easy walk with a few distractions. It is quite far from Tokyo, but we live further north so it wasn’t much trouble for us. I would say it is a good walk if you are here for a while, but not worth it if you are only in Japan for a short time. As I have said the starting station is Koga in Ibaraki, an industrial town. While looking for information I found this website that has a cool video. Koga folk really want you to visit. I guess you could make it an overnight trip and visit the park…or cycle around Watarase Retarding Basin, which I already have. It is in the shape of a heart people!

Ok, back to the walk. Most of the stops are small shrines, some are attached to larger complexes.

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1. Close to the station, home of Bishamonten.

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Grrrr…at each stop there is a small statue.

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Some of the shrines are open, but not all.

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2. Benzaiten’s home..or one of them as there are an abundance. A party of lute playing gods live in Koga.

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Benzaiten number 1

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This is the complex to which shrine 2 is attached.

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Between stops keep a look out for other godly appearances.

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3. The first appearance of  Daikoku

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What a happy chappy.

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4. Home of Ebisu, told you most were small.

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Slightly happy chappy, which is odd as he does have a fish and Daikoku only has a hammer….maybe he is not happy but manic?

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5. Jurojin was hiding behind where we were looking.

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This shop opposite had the stamp, so we thought it was around the back. But no, lots of chicken coops, no god.

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Here he is though, having a little giggle.

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5. The actual shrine is over a wall with a locked gate 😦

On our journey to stop six we passed through a lovely area with an open gateway. It was a memorial museum in honour of Takami Senseki. There isn’t much in English on the net about him, but there is this in Japanese.

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If you get to this moat, you are close.

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Drying persimmons.

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What is this?

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It is very well maintained and beautiful.

So back with the walk and the best shrine on the walk. Shojo-ji Temple, while not spectacular it is rather nice.

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Entrance and Bell

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You can see all the gods inside the small shrine.

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6. The second appearance of Benzaiten

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Over to the right is the next stop.

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7. Hello Fukurokujin

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It was a lovely day 🙂

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Sun and kitsune galore.

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On our way to the next stop we saw this weird poster with a shrine made of old smartphones and a tablet. There is even a pair of skis…WHAT is this???

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OK stop 8 and the only one without a stamp or stamp box present. There are stamps all over Koga, but not here??

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The third Benzaiten is looking a little smug about it all.

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She has a lovely complex to hide the stamp, but we couldn’t find it anywhere.

So onwards to the shrine furthest to the north. Actually we nearly missed it altogether, but I saw this building made of breeze blocks or cement and wanted a closer look. Mr McSpeedy was wary as it looked like someone’s home. But I pointed out the welcoming flag and went to take a look.

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And there was Daikokuten, hiding in the sunshine around the back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABe careful, he has a happy/manic hammer.

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Then it was time to head back to the station for the final stop for Hotei.

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Happy Hotei

A lovely day thanks to global warming and a friend.

Suwa Taisha

I cycled around Suwa today and wrote a bit about in on my other site. I visited Suwa Taisha, which is an entry in the Shrine book I mentioned.

I have now visited all the entries in the Kanto section.

You can read a little about it here, but beware I don’t mention the shrine much as there is already a lot about it on the net.

A New Book

I recently read about this book on another blog I follow.

Cali-rev01-1024x696The ISBN is 978-0-8248-3713-6

It has lots of information on shrines all over Japan and is written in English. As it is still in print and in English I am not going to make a blog about it. I have made a map though which you can find here:

Shinto Shrines Map

As you can see the map has different coloured markers. If it is green it means I have been there recently or in the past and can remember it well, red means I haven’t visited it yet, and blue means I have visited it but can’t remember a thing.

A New Blog

Just to let anyone following me know…this blog is finished as I did every walk in the book. Yeah me!

So I have started a new blog, which you can find here:

http://yellowbiketravels.wordpress.com/

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