Sunday, September 02, 2012

Sunday on the Sea of Japan

Sunday morning found us re-packed and heading for the Sea of Japan side of the island. A funny side note is a couple of the kids missed the fact that this was "off" time and thought we were heading for church.  This is a beautiful drive through apple orchards, rice fields, and acres of fields of produce.

The old houses with grass roofs caught our attention - we need to go back to STOP in some of the small villages and grab some photos. This was interesting - framing a new roof right over the top of the grass roof. I immediately wondered if my brother, a roofer, would think THIS a good plan. ::grin::

We got out of town without a single map or atlas. We were very thankful for our hand-held Garmin and the GPS coordinates on my ipad. We drove right to Takayama Inari Shrine. This shrine is known for having "hundreds or thousands" of Torri gates. Torri gates are usually found at the entrance to a Shinto shrine or temple. Torri gates are said to mark the transition from the profane to the sacred. In our research we found this place is usually not crowded. Several sites mentioned Japanese consider it a "creepy" site, and there are rumors of several being kidnapped by North Koreans in the area.  Please understand we are ALWAYS respectful when visiting these sites...often various verses come to life in new ways as we visit. We find it very sad to see the devotion paid to stone symbols. We use it as an opportunity for individual prayer and, if appropriate, circle up and pray for the light of Jesus to come into these places.  Visiting these sites had added a new dimension and intensity to the concept of  "prayer walk".  We were happy to have finally found this spot. 

Must find out why many of the animals were wearing bibs

The white paper are prayers, there are offerings at its feet...and it's face is covered. The One True and Living  God of the universe waits for us to meet Him in the throne room. 

We did take time for a few "family photos" and kicked ourselves for forgetting the tripod. Maybe we'll go back in the fall.  

We really wanted to KNOW how many Torri gates there are....Michael asked Zander to count them. Given what we know about Zander, we should have expected this....

Yep, each and every Torri gate was touched by this child of Light...and I find meaning there as well. He came up with 207. His older brother and sister thought 200. Knowing the symmetry of Japan - I would guess Zander got distracted a few times - 7, to be exact. 

We studied the sign and found a couple of more things we wanted to explore. A path which seemed to go down to the Sea of Japan....and a spot marked with a cross. This seemed out of place HERE and so we decided to go grab lunch and then find the cross too. 

Heading for the beach and lunch - It was BREATHTAKING! We did find less trash, but we did not find any sea glass at this location.  No matter how much we looked, we did not find glass floats on this side of the island. 

Michael found this while walking up the beach trying to find some shade.  He had no idea what this is, but he had no inclination to kick it to find out.  Probably an old float or something like that, but it so close to China and North Korea...

Dragon flies everywhere - even on Michael's hand - which you can't tell
After lunch we went to find the cross amidst the Temple site. It turns out a merchant ship went aground here in 1889 and the villagers rescued 4 men...19 died...this is a memorial to the 19 men and the bravery of the villagers.

We had planned to go find Kurokuma falls - but decided the day was too far gone. Instead, we drove up to see Jusanko Lake. We didn't find a great spot to sit and reflect - realized this is a CHOPPY lake (white caps). We found the outlet of  Jusanko/inlet of the Sea of Japan....we stopped and watched the sun set on the Sea of Japan.

The wind was really blowing from the east.  You can see the spray from the waves is being thrown back into the Sea of Japan.

Sitting at the end of the jetty  - waiting for the sun to set

Walking to the lighthouse at the end for an angle

The older 3 joined us

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...