The Sun’s Returning March

Ise Shima (伊勢志摩) wears a magnetic field around it, a force, that keeps pulling you; perhaps it is the rugged coastline or may be it is the cliffs, and the white spray of the waves, may be all that bajillion rocks jutting out of the ocean, have a force underneath that never allows the mind to wander far off… I went there the week before; a drive, that brought me back from a serious attack of boredom.. and I went there again, this past weekend; and just added notes on my calendar apps for future visits!

The first time I went there, was may be a year ago, when we went to Ise Jingu (伊勢神宮), and then later went over to Meoto Iwa (夫婦岩), Futami (二見). Later, when I went to Daiozaki and Anorisaki last week, I saw many pictures of the sun rising over the Ise Shima Bay. The pictures, were so beautiful, I made a mental note on going back to see it. It so happened that, the first week of January, everyone in this country were posting 日の出 pictures on every social portal imaginable. To make a long story short, I’ll put it this way, I wanted similar pictures and decided to go over to Ise Shima for getting some! A little bit of googling, and asking around later I decided to go up Mt. Asamagatake, the highest point on the Ise Shima Bay, and has the most beautiful view of the bay, sometimes, even considered as the best scenic view in Mie prefecture; add to that, Kongosho-ji (金剛證寺), a temple on the mountain, considered as the protector of the Ise Jingu, housing a treasure-house and a museum, is next to the viewing platform on the mountain. No second thoughts pulled me back from making the decision.

Sunday; I got up at around 3:30 am. The sister, still sleeping, made some grunting sounds, when I tried to wake her up. So, it was me alone. Got in the car a little after 4:00 and started on the drive. Google said, it would take me an hour and half. That would take me to the place at around 6:30, which left me some 30 mins to climb up, and get to the viewing platform. Pretty uneventful drive, south on route 23 all the way to Ise Jingu, then left on to route 32, a deviation on to the Ise Shima Skyline. Okay, that’s where it all ended, the road was CLOSED! Something was written, which I couldn’t read, but the big barricades and red lights meant only one thing; no going further.

Well, I had set out to see the sun rising, and there was no way, I was going back without saying Hi to the sun. A quick session of googling on the phone, and a re-route brought me to Futami and Meoto Iwa. I had been there earlier and was familiar with the place, but, what I didn’t expect to find was bus loads of people, young and old, lining up for prime spots to see the 日の出.  Me being alone, and a 外国人, it was easy for me to get a good spot. Then began the waiting game. A good 20 minutes, passed, when the colour of the sky turned from black, through all imaginable shades of blue, yellow, orange and red, and the sun made a grand appearance over the mountain to the accompaniment of the many “すごい” and “綺麗” calls of young and old alike.

(click on pictures to view larger pictures)

The show lasted for about 10 minutes, and then the crowd disappeared.  I spent another 30-45 mins at the place, walking around and taking pictures. Story time: The rocks at Meoto Iwa are considered to be Izanagi (伊邪那岐) and Izanami (伊弉冉尊), the deities who created Japan, and its Gods.  The rocks are also considered as husband and wife, and are joined together by the shimenawa. In the nearby Futami Okitama Jinja (二見興玉神社), (also called the frog shrine), is enshrined the Goddess of food, Miketsu-no-Kami.

(click on pictures to view larger pictures)

Talking to the priests at the Futami Okitama Jinja , they told me that sun rise is more beautiful in June, (the best being on June 21; the date went straight to my calender) when it can be seen rising between the rocks.

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2 thoughts on “The Sun’s Returning March

  1. Monu.. This was quite interesting.. Am reminded of my trip to Annapoorna ranges in Nepal, near Kathmandu, where we had gone to see the sun rise…. Your photographs are very good.. The difference in Annapoorna ranges was the reflection of the myriad of colors over the snow capped mountain ranges… Makes one feel so very small and insignificant standing in front of Mother Nature..

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