Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Omiya is a city north of Tokyo and south of Utsunomiya, many people who work in Tokyo live up in Omiya because it's a-little-bit cheaper. I have passed through Omiya on my way too and from Utsunomiya many times but have never stopped. This past Sunday I had a free day and decided to visit.   When I got to the station I took the east exit and the first thing I noticed was a statue of a squirrel.
The name of the statue is Toto-Chen, I'm not sure what the history of this is but the first thing I thought of when I saw it was 'wow, what a mess people have made with Mcdonald's garbage'.  But the second thing I noticed was this statue seems to be the less 'squirrel-fu' version of this drawing by my brother many years ago.
Another reason to visit Omiya is a famous shinto shrine called Hikawa-Jinjya.  It's not difficult to find, exit Omiya station east and walk about 15 minutes untill you find this sign, than turn left.
Keep walking, the path leading up to the shine is an amazing tree lined street.  There are a couple of large tori's down the length of the path and many vending machines.  Currently, it's over 90F outside and humid, so vending machines are a good thing.
The city of Omiya is loud but once you enter the shrine it becomes quiet and peaceful.  This bridge gets you over a pond to the main shrine entrance.
This is the main gate of Hikawa-Jinjya, I guess this complex is over 2000 years old but information in English is limited at best.
But before you enter the shrine you have to wash your hands, purify!
I think this structure is for tea ceremonies it's in the center of the courtyard.
This is the main shrine building, people can walk up and pray here.  This is about 2km from Omiya station.
Around the main shrine are a bunch of little shrines and bridges. I like this little bridge to a small island that was not much larger than the bridge.
There is also a train museum in Omiya, I will put a post up about that soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Demian,

Thanks for the mention, way cool you found a squirrel statue in Japan and remembered my drwaing.