Thursday, December 30, 2010
This manhole cover is one from the town of Takachiho in Miyazaki Prefdecture, Kyushu.
Takachiho is famous as being the place where the myths of Japan have the ancestors of the Imperial family descending from "The High Plain of Heaven" and beginning their invasion and subjugation of Japan.
The design of this draincover shows the Takachiho Gorge, cut by the Gokase River through the volcanic basalt rock.
In the middle of the gorge is the Minainotaki waterfall that drops 17 meters into the river.
It is possible to rent little rowboats, 1,000 yen for 10 minutes, and paddle around in a tiny roped-off section of the river, but it does allow the best views of the falls.
The place is very, very popular with a constant stream of tour buses arriving and disgorging thousands of tourists. When I got back I learned from friends that Takachiho is considered a "Powaa Spotto".
One may think that this equates to what we might call a Power Spot, but with a little research I found something curious about Japanese Powaa Spottos. I would think of a power spot as say Sedona, Lourdes, the Pyramids,... places connected to the earths energy that transcend the country they are found in. But is seems for the Japanese it is a little different. Many of the Japanese powaa spottos; Takachiho, Izumo Taisha, Meiji Shrine, etc, are all places intimately connected with the State and Emperor System. Places that do no transcend the country they are in. They are political. As if Abraham Lincolns grave was a power spot, or the beach Columbus first landed on.
Anyway, Takachiho Gorge is really quite pretty. especially when the sunlight penetrates the gorge and illuminates the spray from the falls.
There is a path that runs along the gorge for about 600 meters.