Let’s continue with the next part of my winter vacation 2011/2012 travel report where I show you Nobeoka.
Early in the morning I left Takachiho by bus. My next destination was Miyazaki City and the fastest way to go there (unless you have your own vehicle) is by bus to Nobeoka and then take a train to Miyazaki.
When I arrived in Nobeoka I didn’t plan to stay there, but I heard taiko drums from far away.
After confirming with the small tourist information next to the station entrance, I decided to stay for a while.
That’s how I ended up in Nobeoka City in Miyazaki Prefecture.
During World War II Nobeoka was one of the most important centers of military explosives in Japan.
I just followed the sound of taiko drums. Right in front of the station you’ll see this.
It will lead you into a small shopping arcade.
From the shopping arcade it’s a very short walk (just turn left after a minute or so) up to the shrine.
The manhole cover of Nobeoka is really adorable.
Although I really rushed I was already too late. I just came in time for their last performance of the day! :(
At least I got to see that one and it was quite nice. Here’s a short video:
As it was January 1st there were a lot of people for their hatsumode (= 1st shrine visit of the year).
This shrine is called “Imayama Hachimangu” (今山八幡宮). It is on a small hill (yama, 山).
If you walk a little bit more, you’ll be able to visit the major “attraction” of Imayama: Imayama Daishi (今山大師, great master of Imayama) statue which is part of Imayama Temple. It’s the statue of the great master Kobo Daishi Kukai.
He is quite famous throughout Japan and is worshipped by many people.
You can also go inside and go upstairs to access the statue directly. However, it’s not free! It was quite expensive (around 800 yen).
Of course, I went inside.
First, you’ll have to walk over those little sacks on the floor slowly, with your shoes off.
To be honest I’m not 100% sure about this “ritual”. Maybe somebody else knows? Just leave me a comment or send a message! :)
Finally up there you can see the statue from close up.
With a height of 17 m and a weight of 11 tons, it is the largest statue of Kobo Daishi in Japan.
If you touch the feet of the statue, you’ll be blessed with good fortune. Of course, I did.
The view from up there was quite nice, too!
There are also a lot of smaller stone statues everywhere.
I’m going to share just a few of them with you.
Let me know if you have a favorite statue!
This was definitely one of my favorites! So adorable!
Imayama is a small hill, but yet has a lot to offer. I’m glad I came.
And then it was time to leave again. Walking through the forest with the stone lanterns on both sides was really nice. Great atmosphere!
It was still early when I finally left Nobeoka to go to Miyazaki.
This was a rather short report as I only stayed a few hours in Nobeoka.
I had a look at some pamphlets and there are a few more things to see, but nothing too great, so it’s not like you have to go there.
However, if you have a little bit of spare time when coming from or going to Takachiho via Nobeoka, I’d suggest to at least visit Imayama. It’s really just a short walk (~10-15 mins) from the station!