Shishimagahara is known as an area related to “Sugawara no Michizane” (the god of scholarship). It is also famous for the first sunrise and the first shrine visit of the New Year.
When Sugawara no Michizane was demoted from his post and relocated to Dazaifu, his ship was wrecked on the way due to bad weather. Afterwards it drifted towards Shishimagahara.
This is the seashore at Shishimagahara. As dawn approaches, the sky turns gradually lighter.
At this location, you can revere sublime sunrises all year through, but we especially recommend it for the first sunrise of the New Year!
The sun climbs up from behind Shikoku’s mountains.
There is mist on the sea surface, and the sea is dyed in orange with the impressive sunrise!
The entire shoreline of Shishimagahara bathes in the soft light of the sunrise.
At a corner of the beach there is an unusually shaped rock called “Kinuboshiiwa” (‘Cloth‑drying rock’).
According to legend, when Sugawara no Michizane drifted ashore, this was the rock on which he dried his wet clothing.
Along with Sugawara no Michizane being enshrined at Tsunashikitenman Shrine, the coastal area has around 2,500 old pine trees growing thickly, too. The origin of the shrine’s name comes from a story according to which the villagers would wind ropes (‘tsuna’ – ‘rope’) from fishing boats round and make them into cushions (‘shiki’ – one meaning ‘mattress, cushion’) which Michizane is said to have used.
This is the center of the grounds. Tsunashikitenman Shrine’s major function is after all “Fullfillment in Studies”!
Every year during exam seasons large numbers of students preparing for their exams come visit the shrine.
Shishimagahara is historically known as the place where Michizane swore his comeback after facing the disappointment of demotion.
We recommend it to students preparing for exams, for the first sunrise, and for the first shrine visit of the New Year!
Location: 6-2-1 Sakurai, Imabari city, Ehime Prefecture
URL: http://www.iyokannet.jp/spot/detail/place_id/3539/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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