Monday, October 20, 2008

Gashoin Temple

In Obuse, we stopped by the Gashoin Temple (travel link)
From Japan
to see "The Great Ho-O" that was painted on the ceiling by Katsushika Hokusai (wiki link). In the pamphlet it says: "The Ho-O is an auspicious bird that lives so long that finally various plants grew on its body." The bird seems to stare at the viewer from the ceiling no matter where it is viewed from. This is the why its called "Ho-O Staring in Eight Directions."
Also in display is the belongings of a great samurai general Fukushima Masanori. His armor, spear, and furnitures are well-preserved behind a glass case.
Also during spring, frogs inundate the small pond behind the temple garden. Ayako says she saw frogs stack high on top of each other to compete for a mating partner.
From Japan

After that, we headed off to an Obuse onsen and bathed in hot sulfuric water. This was a lot more traditional than the onsen in Morioka that I experienced. And the heat was tolerable as I soaked in it for along time. Then I moved to the hot spring with regular water and relaxed there too. This place was very traditional, the place was small and they didn't welcome yakusa or people with tattoos.
From Japan
I had to take a photo of the sign. Sorry no photos allowed in these two places.

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