NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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箟峯寺(箟岳観音) Konpou-ji (Nonodake-kannon) Konpoji Temple (Nonodake Kannon)

Jp En

Konpoji Temple, or popularly called Nonodake Kannon, is located at the top of Mt. Nonodake, known as a holy mountain since the ancient times. Konpoji is the 9th of Oshu Holy Place of 33 Kannon. The principal image of worship is Juichimen Kannon (Kannon with 11 faces). Together with Tomiyama Kannon in Matsushima Town and Makiyama Kannon in Ishinomaki City, it is counted as one of the three holy Kannon in the Tohoku region.

Konpoji Temple was founded in 770 by the order of Emperor Konin. The Kannon Hall was constructed by Sakanoue Tamuramaro in 802 after he had conquered the Emishi. As the mountain was often wrapped in a dense fog, the temple was named Mugakusan (literally meaning “Fog Mountain”) Shofukuji Temple. In 849, when Jikaku Daishi visited this place on his missionary tour, he extended a temple building and renamed it Muizan Konpoji Temple.

Going up the steep stone steps, you will get to the eight-legged temple gate, in which two Nio statues are placed. Interestingly, they have cute round eyes. In the precinct stand historic and stately buildings including Hondo (the main hall), the Goma Hall, the Monju Hall, the Amida Hall and the Kannon Hall. The Kannon Hall was destroyed by fire twice in the past and the present building was constructed in 1851.
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高清水城跡 Takashimizu-jou-ato The Takashimizu Castle Ruins

Jp En

The Takashimizu Castle ruins are located in Takashimizu in Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture. The castle was constructed in 1356 by Takashimizu Naokata, a clansman of the Osaki clan, who served as the Oshu Tandai (the responsible head of the shogun’s executive office in the Tohoku region). After the Osaki clan was destroyed, it was resided by the Watari clan since 1604. Later the Ishimoda clan moved to this castle in 1757 and ruled the area until the end of the Edo period (1603-1868). It was dismantled after the Meiji Restoration (1868).

Most part of the outer moat was reclaimed and the ruins site was converted into Takashimizu-jo Sotobori (Outer Moat) Park, where visitors can enjoy viewing flowers of each season. A part of the moat still remains and it makes visitors think of the bygone time. The pottery plate with the picture of old Takashimizu Castle is placed at the center of the park. As Takashimizu is known as a town of spring water, the park also has a pond where children can play and bathe.
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旧有壁宿本陣 Kyu-arikabesyuku-honjin Old Arikabe-shuku Honjin

Jp En

Arikabe-shuku was a post station between Kannari-shuku and Ichinoseki-juku on the Oshu Kaido Road, one of the five national main roads in the Edo period (1603-1868). Honjin (the lodgings for daimyo and the nobility) of this post station was built in 1619, and since then, domain lords and officials of the Matsumae, Hachinohe, Morioka, and Ichinoseki domains stayed there on their way of sankin kotai (the system of alternate attendance).

According to the old document preserved at the Sato family, who had been appointed as the chief official to administer the post station, the Honjin building was once destroyed by fire in 1744, and relocated to the present place and rebuilt here. Having escaped from disasters since then, all the structures including the main building with guest rooms, Onarimon Gate and the carriage porch have been preserved in its original form up to the present day. Also historically precious documents such as the records of the post station administration, the guest books, and the domestic records of the Sato family are preserved. Visitors can see the exterior of the building as well as the store house and the stable.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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