Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kabushima & Seiryu-ji Temple

We hit a couple of really great places the last couple of days. Kabushima (Seagull Island,) is an island in Hachinohe City with a shrine to seagulls and the Showa Daibtsu (Big Buddha), a large statue of Buddha.

Kabushima is a place where seagulls come to breed in early March and their eggs hatch in early June.  With the eggs just hatching there were so many seagulls, it was crazy.  There is a shrine on the top of the hill, but we decided not to head up after seeing umbrellas at the entrance to use so you don't get pooped on.  I am more than ok not being pooped on by a seagull in Japan. 


Seagulls lined up on the fence

The shrine

The whole island

Seiryu-ji Temple was built in 1982 by a priest named Ryuko Oda and was built entirely with donations from followers of true Buddhism teachings.  On the side of a mountain and away from noises of the city, it is an amazing place to listen to nothing at all.  Almost eerie and uncomfortable, with how quiet it was. 

Kondo, the main hall

five-storied pagoda  
Jizo Bosatsu, the guardian of deceased children

Bokeyoke Kannon, protects people from dementia

The Showa Daibtsu is an amazing structure and is very moving.  The statue is of Dainichi Nyorai, the central Buddha of the mandala (the Buddhist world).  The statue was built for two reasons, to express gratitude to the war dead and to cultivate richness of the mind.  Inside the statue is an amazing shrine, many more sculptures and story of the death process. 

shrine inside

a sculpture on the wall

shrine for the war dead

another shot of the big buddha

Me in front of the statue.  It's HUGE!

We also stopped by the Sannai-Maruyama Village, an archeological site from the early and middle Jarmon period (about 5,500 to 4,000 years ago).   During the time of Emperors and Samurais down south, it was pretty awesome to see simply these people lived up north. 

Recreation of the huts they lived in

actual pottery that has been found

a large hole where a pillar for a building once stood

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