The Shrine of Dolls

🇯🇵 Japan (2019)


Dear Diary

In the city of Wakayama there are no western tourists and has a very pretty castle to offer.

Sakura now started and the blooming trees decorate the white fortress with the shaped roofs. 





It’s also popular for surfing. In the sunset on low waves still many people try to stand on their board. 



Near the harbor of the little village outside of Wakayama there is Awashima Shrine. This holy building is a place for a curiosity. Thousands of dolls of Japanese traditional figures, like Samurai, Geishas or Shoguns are collected and presented.

I wonder what the reason for this set of figures is; except for this expression of humor or madness it is still a shrine where people go to pray.



I take a little ferry to a get to near Tomogashima Island. I’m hiking around it for a few hours and enjoy the view over the ocean while I have a beer on the top of the highest hill. On the island there are still the ruins of bunkers from WWI that are kept in shape to visit.

On the boat to the main land I meet Shato, a young guy from Kyoto, that is on a day trip with his motorcycle. 



In the internet I find a recommendation about an Onsen on top of a hotel in this village. I ask and get permission to use it. I am not really familiar with the rules but see how other men are doing it. I’m the only western guy and get a few surprised stares. I used the Onsen along the Kumano Kodo, but they were private. This one is public with many people using it the same time. 

Men and women are separated. You get naked, get nothing but a little towel to put on your head or your face.

You sit yourself on a tiny bin and brush yourself with cold water. Then you go to sit in one of the hot water basins. If course, like everywhere, it is not allowed to make any sound. 

I break the rules by taking turns and brush cold again, when I feel to hot, to enter the hot pool again. The Japanese men just have a short stay. 

While I’m in a pool of hot mineral water I can watch the sunset over the bay and its islands. 


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