While walking the Iwami 33 Kannon Pilgrimage I was able to revisit many places I had been before. There were of course some new things, like the new draincover at Nima.
The design shows a woman playing a Koto, a reference to the "singing" sands of nearby Kotogahama Beach.
Singing is a bit of a stretch!.... as you walk on the sand it squeaks a little. Of course, if you are familiar with Japanese pop music you may realize that there is little distinction between squeaking and singing.
Also in the manhole design are the glass pyramids of Nima Sand Museum, the local museum built to showcase the sand.
Designed by Nima-born architect Shin Takamatsu, the largest pyramid houses the biggest sand-timer in the world.
When I was there in mid December the lower part of the timer was almost full. It takes a full year for all the sand to fall through. At midnight on December 31st the timer is ceremoniously rotated 180 degrees to begin the cycle again.