Ushimado Things to Do

  • Ushimado's rocky shoreline
    Ushimado's rocky shoreline
    by tigerjapan
  • Joenji Temple
    Joenji Temple
    by Rabbityama
  • Joenji Temple
    Joenji Temple
    by Rabbityama

Most Recent Things to Do in Ushimado

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    Yumeji Seika and Shonen Sanso

    by Rabbityama Written Jun 18, 2012
    Yumeji Seika
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    The Yumeji Seika is the birthplace and childhood home of Yumeji Takehisa, a famous early 20th century Japanese artist known for his paintings of beautiful women although he actually has a much wider range of works. His childhood home is small and modest but interesting. You can enter his bedroom which is quite interesting.

    The Shonen Sanso is near the Yumeji Seika. It's a reconstruction of his art studio in Tokyo which he designed. Inside are pictures and other artifacts that give insight into his life.

    Entrance to the Yumeji Seika is 500 yen. The Shonen Sanso is free.

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    Bizen Osafune Sword Museum

    by Rabbityama Written Jun 11, 2012
    Bizen Osafune Token Village
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    The former Bizen Province spanned the area of southern Okayama Prefecture from Bizen to Okayama City and the area that is now Setouchi was where the famous Bizen swords were produced. Back in the days of the samurai, Bizen swords were considered to be among the best quality in the country. The Bizen Osafune Sword Museum was built in order to preserve the techniques that characterize Bizen swords and so it is a place where skilled craftsman continue to make these swords.

    The museum contains examples of various swords and points out some of the markers of Bizen swords as well as educating visitors about Japanese swords in general. I would have liked to see more artifacts and authentic old swords, and maybe some information about famous swordsman who used Bizen swords but the exhibits display mostly swords that were made here at the village.

    In the village part you can watch the craftsman making the swords. There are people sharpening blades, carving the handles, working on the lacquerware, etc. If you know Japanese they are usually willing to answer questions. I never knew they used stingray skin on the handles of the swords.

    On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month at designated times you can actually watch them forge swords to create the blades. I was unfortunately not here on one of those days.

    There is also a hall outside the museum building dedicated to Toshimitsu Imaizumi who is responsible for keeping the swordmaking tradition alive after the need for the swords had ceased.

    Entrance is 500 yen.

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    Yokeiji Temple

    by Rabbityama Updated Jun 9, 2012
    Yokeiji Temple
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    Yokeiji Temple is a historic temple dating back to 1570. It's built atop Ueterasan (Mt. Uetera) The main hall is small, but the temple complex is larger with many buildings, including the pagoda which was built in 1815 and has been designated an Okayama Prefecture Important Cultural Property.

    Yokeiji is the 2nd temple of the Chugoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage. It is also one of the designated "flower temples" of the Sanyo region (Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi Prefectures). Yokeiji's most famous flowers are its lotuses and water lillies.

    The tempe complex is free to visit. Parts of the complex provide great views of Setouchi and Okayama city across the river.

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    Joenji Temple

    by Rabbityama Written Jun 6, 2012
    Joenji Temple
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    Joenji Temple is the temple on Mt. Yokoo. The others that you'll find on the mountain are subtemples of Joenji. Joenji is a historic temple dating back to the 17th century. The pagoda has been designated an Important Cultural Property by Okayama Prefecture. The temple building itself is built in an interesting architectural style, reminding me a bit of Byodoin Temple in Uji with its symmetry.

    Joenji is the 17th temple of the old 48 Temples of Bizen Province. The temple is said to be associated with Yumeji Takehisa but the relationship is unclear. One of the subtemples though is said to be the temple of his family.

    The temple is free.

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    Komyo-in Temple

    by Rabbityama Written May 26, 2012
    Komyo-in Temple
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    Komyo-in is a subtemple of Joenji Temple. It was built in 1829. The temple grounds contain scattered small statues, a pond, and a statue of Kannon. The Kannon Statue is part of a the Bokefuji 33 Kannon Temple Pilgrimage. Komyo-in is the 16th temple. This pilgrimage seems to be relatively unknown and it would seem difficult to complete, since it covers an area from Kansai down to Kyushu. Still, it's always interesting to see sites associated with pilgrimages.

    The temple grounds are free.

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    Yukie Shrine

    by Rabbityama Written May 25, 2012
    Yukie Shrine
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    Yukie Shrine is said to be the shrine of local swordsmiths. It is also dedicated to Ashikaga Takauji (the first shogun of the Muromachi Period). He stopped to pray here after suffering a defeat and his prayers and donation to the shrine are said to have revitalized him.

    The shrine is very close to the Osafune Bizen Token Village, so it's another of the area's sword-associated sites. The grounds are free.

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    Jigan-in Temple

    by Rabbityama Written May 25, 2012
    Jigan-in Temple
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    Jigan-in Temple is a rather non-descript temple however, it is said to be the temple of the Osafune swordsmiths, so those visiting the area for the Osafune sword sites may want to come here and pay their respects to the deceased swordsmiths.

    Entrance to the temple grounds are free.

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    Anraku-in Temple

    by Rabbityama Written May 24, 2012

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    Anraku-in Temple
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    Anraku-in is a subtemple of nearby Joenji Temple. The stones on the pathway to the smaller building to the right of the Hondo each have numbers representing the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. You visit half when you walk to the building and then the other half when you walk back. This is one of many places in Japan where you can cheat and "do the pilgrimage" without actually visiting the 88 temples.

    The temple grounds also have cute little Buddhist statues, each with a different animal from the zodiac, so you can find yours, rub it, get a picture, etc.

    It is said that this was the family temple of the Yumeji family (the famous artist Takehisa Yumeji).

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Ushimado Things to Do

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