Due south: Kotohira City in Kagawa
Konpira in Kagawa (5)
Konpira city centre
Konpira is the main sightseeing spot in Kotohira City, but there are some others to see.
So, it’s nice to look around if you’ve got a time.
[Saya-bashi (Saya bridge)]
“Saya” means scabbard.
It is said that this bridge was originally built in Genroku era, the early Edo period (between 1688 and 1704).
The bridge was washed out by floods and rebuilt again and again.
The present bridge was built in 1869 and moved to this location.
It’s been closed to the public since 1922.
Now it’s only used for Konpira rituals (three times a year).
Can you see the rope with pieces of paper (called “shide”, hanging paper) across on the bridge?
It’s called “shimenawa”, to show the border of sacred / pure area.
In old times, it was called “shirikumenawa” (or “shirikubenawa”), and it is mentioned in “Kojiki”, the oldest extant chronicle in the early 8th century.
[Kyuu Konpira Ooshibai (The former great Konpira playhouse)]
The oldest existent playhouse in Japan.
Originally built in 1835.
As time went by, it declined, and was finally closed and abandoned.
People didn’t want it to be left ruined, so they began a movement for conservation.
On June 17th in 1970, it was designated as a nationally important cultural property.
Relocation and reconstruction started in 1972 and it took 4 years to complete.
Then it was restored and retrofitted for earthquake protection in 2003.
It’s now also known as “Kanamaru-za”, which was named in 1900.
(Its name was changed several times when its ownership was transferred)
Konpira Kabuki (“kabuki” is one of the traditional Japanese performing arts) has been performed since 1985.
Usually performances are held for a few weeks in April, so it was closed when I went at the end of the year.
Except the annual performance, it seems to be rarely used.
I’m not sure if any acts other than Kabuki are played here.
[Dai-sendan (or maybe pronounced as “Oo-sendan”) (Huge chinaberry tree)]
This tree is in a parking area for tour buses.
It’s about 300-year-old and designated as a national natural treasure.
18 meters (approx. 59 feet) high, and its trunk circumference is 6.85 meters (approx. 22.5 feet).
“Sendan” was called as “Auchi” (pronunciation is similar to English word “ouch”) in the old times.
The word “Auchi” can be considered as the two words “Au” (meet) and “chi” (place), so it is said that lovers came to see each other under this tree.
[Street in the city]
This is just an off-license (liquor shop) I saw when I was wandering about.
I took this photo because I liked the old signboards.
Where to stay in Kotohira
Kotohira is an “onsen” (hot spring) area.
So, there are many accommodations with “onsen”.
I stayed at a cheap hotel (without “onsen”) near the JR railway station (there are two railways in Kotohira – the one is JR which runs throughout Japan, and the other is “Koto-den”, a local private railway), and it was nothing special.
Actually, I even don’t remember where I stayed.
What to eat in Kotohira
Udon! Udon!! U-do-nnnn!!!
Kagawa is very famous for “udon”, a Japanese thick noodle made from wheat flour.
I was looking forward to eat udon cuisine in Kotohira, but all the udon diners were closed in the evening.
A local told me “Udon is the food for lunch, so you can’t have it for dinner.”
It was totally a surprise because I have no problem to eat udon in the night in Okayama.
Anyway, I had a fish dish instead at a small restaurant, and it was reasonable and good.
– Example photos of udon dishes –
Latest posts by kara (see all)
- Basic Japanese : “Sumimasen” – “Thank you” in Japanese - June 24, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Arigatou” – “Thank you” in Japanese - May 29, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal - May 27, 2015
Konpira in Kagawa (3) Konpira Shrine (3) [Shoin (Library building)] To reach here, you must walk up nearly 500 steps in total. The original meaning of “shoin” was a room used as a sitting room as well as a library of the master, but since around 1600, it has referred to a whole building. This […]
The Japanese fox (Vulpes vulpes), as mentioned in the first part of this feature, is a common topic in Japanese myths and legends. Continuing our discussion about the kitsune, we will feature one of its known ability: human possession. Kitsune’s Human Possession Kitsune is able to possess humans. The word, 狐憑き (kitsunetsuki), literally means the […]
Line-up problem For many people, the most annoying problem in USJ would be that it is too crowded. There will be a long, long queue at every ride, and you usually have to wait for more than 1 hour, even a few hours for popular attractions. That means you probably will have to spend your […]
I’ve been posting Momotarou-related articles so far, and to be honest, I’m getting a bit tired of recalling, researching and translating old stories. This time, I write about the Fukiya village in Okayama as an interval. Actually, I didn’t even know the name of the village until several years ago. I don’t remember how I […]
Barrier for Masakado? There are seven main shrines (including “Kubi-zuka”) for Masakado. They are said to have been built to seal the powerful spirit of Masakado as well as to make use of it. [1. Torigoe shrine] It is not officially admitted, but this shrine is said to be the place where Masakado’s hand(s?) is […]
Konpira in Kagawa (4) Konpira Shrine (4) [“Okusha” or “Oku no Yashiro” (Back shrine)] 583 steps to go from the main shrine to here. (1368 steps in total) “Okusha” is also known as “Izutama Jinjya”, Izutama shrine. This shrine was placed near “Ema-den” at first with a different name, but moved to the present location […]
If you are sightseeing in Japan, in many cases, you may have the chance to visit different temples and shrines . At this time, you will be troubled for the different manners of temples and shrines. （Because these are the buildings of another religion.） But, if you understand a few key points, it is […]
Bizen Osafune Nihon-tou Denshuu-jyo (Bizen Osafune Japanese sword learning centre) 1 Here, you can see swordsmithing on Saturdays, Sundays and National holidays for free. Note that they don’t demonstrate in summer because it is too hot for swordsmiths to forge. General information Open from 9:00 to 16:00, closed during lunchtime (12:00 – 13:00). On Sundays […]
Almost everything in Japan is ranked. From top gardens to top temples. Even celebrities and manga/anime characters are ranked too. They can be based on popularity or something more particular. Nihon Sankei(日本三景) or Japan’s Three Most Scenic Views is one of those list when it comes to tourist spots and sightseeing. Japan’s Three Most Scenic […]
What to see in Fukiya surrounding area (2) Keep walking down the street from “Bengara-kan” or “Sasaune”, then you’ll reach at a large house. On weekends and holdays during on-season, you can take a cyclic bus to/from the village. 5 min. by car from each location. A quick note: Nearby, there is a shrine called […]