Sumoto Castle was a vital strategy for Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s control over Osaka Bay, situated in Awajishima which is located in the strategic midpoint between the mainland and Shikoku Island. The tenshu seen today is the oldest reconstructed castle keep in Japan, built in 1928.
Located on top of Mount Senzan, said to be the first mountain created on Awajishima, Senkoji was said to be founded by a hunter who was led by a manifestation of Senjukannon (thousand-armed Kannon) in the form of a wild boar. Also serving as the first temple of the Thirteen Buddhas of Awajishima, the temple also worships Fudo Myo-o or Acala.
Exploring the filming set of the 1987 remake of Twenty-Four Eyes (Nijushi no Hitomi), a story about a female teacher and her first-grade students set in 1928 through 1946, depicting life before and after WWII. Though I have not watched the movie at the point of the visit, it was still an interesting and memorable experience.
Aside from the ropeway, another good way to explore Kankakei is by one of the hiking trails between Kountei (lower station) and the Sancho Summit Station. I opted for the Omote 12 Scenes Trail, passing by some amazing views and interesting rock formations, which was amplified by the beautiful autumn foliage during the season.
Basking in the beautiful sights of Kankakei Gorge in Shodoshima via the Kankakei Ropeway, a 5 minutes ride. The view of the sky, sea and gorge all in one is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen, added with the fiery autumn colors appearing in the second half of November.
Taking a stroll on Angel Road, a sandbar which appears only twice a day during low tide. Famous as a lover’s sanctuary, Angel Road is known to fulfil love wishes by crossing the sandbar with a loved one.
My first trip to Shikoku – exploring Shodoshima Island! Walking up a flight of stairs and rocks to see these pile of rocks called Kasaneiwa, which is not known whether it was formed naturally or not. Still a wonder how these rocks piled on top of each other.
A walk to Tenjoji near Kikuseidai of Mt. Maya, I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful dry landscape garden of the temple, and the heaven-like atmosphere of such serene temple. The viewing platform, Tenku no Daibutai offers a good view of the Seto Inland Sea, Awaji Island and the Akashi Bridge on a clear day.
Catching some lilies at the Lily Garden of Tokorozawa in Saitama Prefecture, easily reachable from central Tokyo in 45 minutes. Between mid-June to early July, enjoy the 50 varieties of 450,000 lilies at this garden.
Located in the geographical center of Japan, Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja worships the Shinto Deities Ikushima-no-okami, the God of Fertility and Vitality and Tarushima-no-okami, the God of Fulfilment. The architectural style of the main shrine is one of the oldest in Japan, located on a small island surrounded by a pond.
A second trip to Meigetsu-in, the Ajisai-dera famous for its 2,500 over hydrangeas. Managed to avoid the crowds, going there on a weekday early in the morning. Now I understand why it is called the Meigetsuin Blue, for the mainly blue hues of the hydrangeas here.