A Walk Around Kyushu
Wednesday March 27th, 2013
I was up early and took a train north out of Miyazaki to where I finished walking yesterday.
It is grey and overcast and rain is forecast. Before too long I reach the edge of the grounds of Miyazaki Jingu and coming in through the path through the words come upon a great surprise. It's the Minkaen, an open-air museum of old, traditional farmhouses that have been brought here from various parts of the Miyazaki countryside and reassembled.
The nicest thing about it was that entrance was free, something not unheard of in Japan, but not common. Miyazaki Jingu was as uninteresting as I expected it to be. All white gravel and faux ancient, very much a creation of the politico-religious system that became known as State Shinto, I find such places sterile and completely devoid of any of the "nature worship" that we are told Shinto is all about.
Close by is the first of the two pilgrimage temples I visit today. A small, concrete temple, there are some nice statues in the ground. It starts to drizzle. Not so much fun, but at least I don't have to carry a heavy backpack today. I follow the curve of the Oyodo River which is wide and still on this final stretch of its journey from mountain to sea and then cross over it and head inland to the suburbs to find the next temple. It too is concrete, but on the wooded slope behind it is a miniature pilgrimage route of 88 statues.
I rejoin the river and follow it back towards the coast, stopping in at shrines along the way. I now head south through the urban sprawl before late in the afternoon jumping on a train back into the city centre and my hotel. Just across from the station is the Miyazaki Science Museum and it is still half an hour before closing. It's noisy, and bright, with lots of flashing lights, sound effects, and kids running around. A perfect antidote to the damp gray day it has been.
A Walk Around Kyushu Day 21
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