Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Kanmon Tunnel Pedestrian Walkway: Fukuoka and Yamaguchi Prefectures

There is a special experience that I have wanted to do for ages now but there was always something either holding me back or preventing me for accomplishing this task.  However, my opportunity arose last weekend because my family joined in in one of my many forays into adding more attractions into my itineraries and thus I had another driver that could meet us on the other side so to speak.

Both sides, can be designated as the entrance point.  This time I chose to enter from the Honshu side of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture and exit from the Kyushu side of Fukuoka Prefecture but it is obviously possible to choice the other option.  This exercise although not an issue for me (however height challenges affect me greatly) may not be for everybody, I can understand that people who feel uncomfortable to be in relatively small areas may not want to participate in this activity.  In these cases, they may stay in the vehicle and drive with me across the bridge or thru the automobile instead of the pedestrian tunnel.

I am sure everyone will enjoy and remember this not normal and not everyday experience.

Please click on the photos to enlarge.

The entrance

Check out the many maps

Time to walk.

Not too far

Half way point

The 2 separate prefectures

Before heading down to the bottom of the tunnel there is a very historical area in front of the entrance called the Dannoura Battlefield.  This area is where the major battle between 2 major clans took place in the 12th Century.  As a result of this battle the Genji Clan went on to become a powerhouse in feudal Japan and the Heike Clan became a footnote in history.  Sad how things can change in an instant but interesting and a important part of history that made Japan the country that it is today.

Please click on the photos below to enlarge.

12th century technology

Check out those guns

Lots of info

Kanmon Bridge

Leader of the Heike Clan

Leader of the Genji Clan

English explanations

Powerful image indeed!

Finally, on the arrival side and where I pick you up at the Mekari Shrine, we will quickly say thank you for your safe passage under the sea and praise the gods for your continued safety during your travels here in Japan.  It can never hurt to have as many prayers and blessings as possible, right?

There is no need to go overboard but a few coins as a symbol of gratitude will definitely go a long way.

Lots of info to digest

Great views

Great location

A popular place

Contemplation time

Please click here to see the Kanmon Tunnel Pedestrian Walkway on a map:

Please click on these videos to see more about this above location;

Friday, February 2, 2024

Motonosumi Inari Shrine: Nagato Town, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Honshu Island

There are 2 locations in Western Japan right now (both are on the main island of Japan- Honshu) that travelers just can't get enough of at the moment, and who can blame them!!  They are just so intrinsically Japanese that everyone just wants to see and touch these magnificent locations.

The Motonosumi Inari Shrine is one of them!  It is located in the far reaches of Yamaguchi Prefecture on the Sea of Japan side facing the 2nd largest city of Korea, namely Busan or Pusan depending on who you talk to.   The location is so remote that basically without a car or a private driver you literally have no way of getting here. Even with a car you are still looking at considerable driving time from either Fukuoka or Hiroshima which seems to be where most of the tourists are coming from.

Now, before you jump on a tour this attraction does come with caveats.  First and foremost, simple put when the weather isn't great, the attraction really doesn't live up to its reputation. However on a fine and sunny day you just cannot get enough of the locations beauty and its Japanese iconic image that is just so overpowering.

Just look at the contrast between these sets of photos to see where I am coming from.

The Motonosumi Inari Shrine on a rainy/ cloudy/ damp day:

As you can clearly see, the destination is still impressive but it doesn't have the wow factor that it usually has on a nice clear sunny day.  Check out the difference, its like chalk and cheese. The bright red Vermillion Torii gates obviously needs a more significant bright background to shine and highlight their real identity.

Other the flip side, check out these photos of the red Vermillion gates on a beautiful winters day. This is the reason why people want to go and interact with such a place. A day like this will etch those memories deep into your memory banks.  Even for me, who has been here multiple times in the last 3 or 4 years, a day like this makes the long drive well worth it.

Enjoy these pics and click on the photos to enlarge:

Check out the Motonosumi Inari Shrine here below on a map: