NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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両子寺 Futago-ji Futago-ji Temple

Jp En

Futago-ji Temple is located on the slopes of Mt Futago, the highest mountain on the Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita Prefecture. The temple flourished as the main temple in Rokugomanzan.

The temple is said to have been built in the second year of the Yoro period (718) by Ninmon-bosatsu, the incarnation of the deity Usa-hachiman. The name of the temple comes from Futago-daigongen, the son of Usa-hachiman. In the Heian period, a unique religion mixing local gods and Buddhism developed in the Rokugomanzan Buddhist area and many temples were founded along the Kunisaki Peninsula.

On the grounds of Futago-ji Temple are a big hall, the Okunoin building, 100 Kannon sattues, the Ninnou statue and mossy stone steps that give you a sense of the past.

The temple area was designated as the Seto Inland Sea National Park as well as one of Oita Prefecture's Historical Places. It is also one of Japan's '100 best places for bathing in woods'. Many people visit the temple throughout the four seasons.
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老谷の大ツバキ Oidani-no-ohtsubaki The Giant Camellia Tree of Oidani

Jp En

Ohtsubaki, a giant camellia tree in Oidani, Toyama Prefecture, stands in woodland on a hill between a gorge, deep within an old valley.

At its largest point, the trunk of the tree is 3.87m in circumference, and is said to be the largest tree of its kind in Japan. The branches of the tree spread out 7.9m east to west, and 11m north to south. The area of the tree, including the branches, is said to be 51m2 in total.

The sight of the tree with its branches extending in all directions and toward the sky is simply overwhelming, while the twists and turns of its branches seem to have been made by a tree spirit's enchantment. There is an old legend explaining the bizarre shapes of the branches. Long ago, a samurai serving at Ikeda Castle, was beheaded under a false accusation. His wife died of sadness. Instead of making a tomb for them both, a seed from a camellia tree was planted and grew strangely at an immense speed. Its branches crisscrossed ferociously as if it bitterly resented the lord of Ikeda Castle. However, after the fall of the castle, the tree stopped growing, taking the shape it has today.
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