29th February: Nikko – Kanman Path

The morning of my last day in Japan….

The owner of the ryokan (accompanied by his collie) is shoveling snow from the pavement behind my rental car.  This was the coldest day with heavy snow falls that winter, or for that matter the coldest such day in the last five years.    Unusually cold and snowy winter conditions for Nikko.

This is a view along the street where I was staying, including one of the neighbours clearing snow.

I took off for a walk along the Kanman Path, close to where I was staying, with my camera safely encased in a waterproof cover.

The image above shows a gate of the Jiunji Temple, and you may also be able to see that gate in the distance in the preceding image.  Jiunji Temple was built in 1654, washed away in a great flood in 1902 and rebuilt in 1973.  I didn’t visit the Temple (which wasn’t open anyway) but walked in the other direction along the path.

This is a view of the Kanmangafuchi Abyss, said to be created in an eruption of nearby Mount Nantai.

Along the Kanman Path there are around seventy statues of Jizo, though there were around one hundred before the 1902 flood.  There is a legend that the presence of ghosts or spirits makes it impossible to count the number of statues.  (A passing Yanomami Indian would successfully count them as many, using their counting system of “one, two, many”.  I didn’t notice any Yanomami Indians at the time, though.)

The line of Jizo statues is variously called Bake Jizo (Ghost Jizo), Narabi Jizo (Jizo in a line) or Hyaku Jizo (one hundred Jizos).

This is a view across the Kanmangafuchi Abyss to the Nikko Botanical Gardens.

This is the normal route into the Reihi-kaku, piled high with snow.  The Reihi-kaku is a small pavillion and you can see its roof in the background to the right.  The original Reihi-kaku was built in 1654 but washed away in 1902.  The current structure dates from 1973.  A holy fire burned in the original building but not in its modern replacement.

This is the Kanmangafuchi Abyss from Reihi-kaku, a particularly meditative viewpoint.

A last look back at the lines of statues of Jizu.

Further on, here is a small Shinto temple beside the path.

And this is nearly at the end of the path.

4 comments on “29th February: Nikko – Kanman Path

  1. […] 29th February:  Nikko – Kanman Path […]

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  2. Raunak says:

    what a way to end the trip 🙂

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  3. […] 一路上我們沿著在雪地上的這些蠟燭,享受在燭光雪地交映成的特有景緻。根據手上英文資料,我們在走往憾滿之淵(Kanman Pass)的路上,通過(後來才知道的)人鬼交界處(左下圖),該處剛開始有100尊地藏像(見中/右下圖),在1902年因水災而有些損毀,每次他們試著去數還有多少尊,但得到的結果都不一樣,因此他們又稱這些神像”Phantom Jizo-Buddha (鬼魅地藏尊)”。還好這段介紹被貼在信封背面,活動結束後在接駁車上我讀到最後,突然背後有種涼涼的感覺。加上後來知道日本名為”憾滿之淵”,(自己解釋)遺憾填滿此深淵,有種怨念很深的感覺,當時看到一堆地藏尊像其實有點心驚驚,加上有些不全(例如沒有頭),還好當時還有其他遊客,不然應該更心慌慌(呼)。當天抵達時,天色已暗,所拍照片不是太清楚,對憾滿之淵有興趣的朋友,這網頁有不錯的雪景照片供參考。 […]

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