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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tokyo Daytripper: A Nice Buddha, A Floating Fortress With Film Historical past, Historic Burial Mounds & Ticking Off One other J-Stadium

5 years in the past I went to Japan’s hottest metropolis of Kumagaya for an worldwide rugby match and took in a couple of minor sights within the hours earlier than kick off. As I got here away from the bottom a fellow niche-specialist Japanese pal requested if I’d seen the massive Buddha statue in that space. As a fan of such statues I used to be upset that I used to be unaware of it however made a observe of it for future event. That point lastly got here spherical a few months in the past once I went again to this space of Saitama Prefecture.

Take the practice for simply an hour north of Ikebukuro and also you’ll arrive in Gyoda metropolis which is house to many kofun (historical burial mounds). I solely had time for a pair on this explicit journey with essentially the most fascinating one being Gyoda Hachimanyama Historic Tomb which is just open to the general public on weekends. Extra particulars right here.


One other bus journey adopted to see a Nice Buddha statue which initially introduced this space to my consideration. Attributable to this statue I got here throughout the aformentioned tombs in addition to another websites while looking Google Maps. I bought off the bus only a quick distance previous Daichoji (23-10 Gyoda, Saitama-ken) so had seen the again of it in passing already.

The historical past of this Nice Buddha dates again to 1727 when it was first forged however nothing is ever that easy relating to such constructions in a rustic which has suffered from numerous fires and a number of earthquakes in addition to wars. It was donated as a steel useful resource in 1944 through the conflict, after which simply over 50 years later this present one was restored due to the cooperation of believers.


Along with the Nice Buddha, this temple additionally has a set of different sizeable jizo statues that are fairly spectacular themselves.

Oshi Fortress (17-23 Honmaru, Gyoda, Saitama-ken) was situated only a quick stroll down the highway from there. To be trustworthy, I wasn’t anticipating quite a lot of stays as I approached the situation so was fairly shocked to see such a visually spectacular three-storey turret. It is rather properly taken care of and at present capabilities because the Gyoda Metropolis Museum.

It’s a late Eighties reconstruction however was initially accomplished in 1479, and is among the continued 100 fantastic castles of Japan which have been chosen for his or her significance in tradition and historical past in 2017. Japan has numerous castles so possibly being within the prime 100 is extra spectacular than it sounds! It’s maybe finest recognized for withstanding a siege in 1590 in opposition to unimaginable odds which was immortalised within the movie ‘Nobo no shiro‘ (2012) a.ok.a. ‘The Floating Fortress‘.

Afterwards I realised that no buses have been imminent so I frantically looked for the quickest solution to get to Kumagaya station as I needed to get to a soccer match in time for kick off. Fortunately, there have been a few pretty equidistant choices however I selected Mochida somewhat than the neighbouring Gyodashi station.


Kumagaya station was simply six minutes from Mochida and I then had a little bit of a wait earlier than taking a bus to Kumagaya Athletic Stadium which is only a quick stroll away from Kumagaya Rugby Stadium; the religious house of rugby in Japan’s hottest metropolis the place I noticed Japan and South Africa play a pleasant match simply forward of the 2019 Rugby World Cup match. There’s a big rugby ball outdoors the station to mark its place in Japanese sporting historical past.

It was my first time to go to this stadium (the forty eighth one I’ve been to!) which is a really typical municipality floor in Japan with a working monitor circling the pitch.

As for the sport, it actually was a story of goalkeeping woes as firstly the AS Elfen primary didn’t catch a cross from a free kick and the away facet bundled it it. Within the second half  there was an outstanding lengthy distance equaliser earlier than the Stella keeper bought in on the gaffs act and let the ball instantly from a nook slip by means of her fingers and into the online.

There are a couple of different sights I’d nonetheless prefer to see on this area corresponding to Historic Lotus Park, Water Fortress Park and the assorted historical burial mounds which make up Sakitama Kofun Historic Tomb Park. Admittedly, they’re not actual excessive precedence for me for the time being however someday I’ll return to finish the

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