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今治市国際交流協会

Category : Imabari sightseeing

2011.01.21[金] Firewalking at Senyuji temple and Kikuma

Hi! For this year, did you take a new resolution? For many people, when a New Year is starting, it's time to take some decisions if you want a better year than the precedent one. For me, I went to Senyuji temple to watch a very special and unique ceremony. During that day, the weather was cold. My friend and I were waiting the shuttle bus in the morning. Once we arrived to the top, we walked through food kiosks and we saw dozens of people. In the middle of the crowd, monks were praying. They were wearing orange tunics, bandana and some mysterious ornaments. After the ceremony, they ignited a really big fire. We were able to see huge white smoke column going up in the sky. This smoke was use to purify items. Sometimes, it was scary because the fire was strong and when the wind was changing direction, we had to move if we didn't want get burned. But I was more excited than afraid.

When all the wood was burn, they offered us to walk on the ash barefoot. I waited maybe 5 minutes before having the chance to walk on fire, but that's worth the wait. Because my feet were so cold, walking on fire was very good and relaxing. I don't know if my soul is purified or my sin are forgiven, but I can tell I was walking barefoot in Japan, I got my feet very dirty and nobody asked me to put slippers. That was so fun.

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The weekend after, I went to Kikuma with another friend to watch a local event: The かわらぬ愛きくま. The Kikuma's specialty is "kawara", tile and this is a funny way to call this event. There are many hills in Kikuma and I was surprised about that. The place I come from, the land is very flat. I couldn't imagine we can grow mikan in this kind of region. The event occurred in a big building. In front, we saw many food kiosks but also local products. I bought a nice bath carpet for 800 yens. Inside the building, many artists performed. Some kids were dancing, some local people were doing a traditional dance, and some were playing music. The jazzman was very talented by the way. At the second floor, I took pictures of sketches and sculptures made by children. Also, a lot of mikan from different farmers were lined up on table for a mikan contest. I even saw the mascot オーレくん, a big mikan!

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I'm still looking for バリィさん, I hope I'll have the chance to meet him soon.

2011.01.11[火] Senyuji -New Year Event-

I went to the 火渡り厄除け大護摩 or Yakuotoshi event at Senyuji-temple
on Sunday, January 9th. The sacred ceremony started at 11:00 in front of the hundreds of participants. When a young priest released an arrow
from a bow in the ceremony, worshippers tried to catch it in order
to receive a fortune of the year 2011.

After the ceremony, everyone tried 火渡り or Firewalking to pray good
health and happiness of this year. It is said that you will be able to
prevent evil spirit during the year if you accomplish walking a special
fire path prepared by the priests. The burning fire and the dynamic
Buddhist chant made the atmosphere of the temple very special.

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Hand-made udon and oden were served to warm people.
I would like to return for this again next year!


2010.12.28[火] Hatsumode

Hatsumode is the first visit to shrines or temples to make a traditional New Year’s wishes for health and happiness. Many people visit a shrine after midnight on the day on January 1. Hatsumode is one of the few occasions when many people wear kimonos. Most of the shrines will have special ceremony or events during the first three days of January.

Fukiage shrine (Imabari Castle)

Kotobuki Daiko, Japanese drum performance, will be held from 0:00 a.m. on the 1st of January 2011. A ceremony wishing for peace and quiet of the New Year will be held at 8 a.m. on January 1st.

Oyamazumi shrine (Omishima)
A ceremony wishing for peace and quiet of the New Year will start at 8 a.m. After Shinto priests perform a purification ritual, female attendants (miko) will perform ceremonial dances.

Ishizuchi shrine (Mt. Ishizuchi)
The Gantan-sai (New Year celebration) will be held from 0:00am. Shishimai (Lion Dance Performance) will be dedicated to the gods(kami). Red bean porridge (Azuki gayu) will be served to worshipers.

2010.06.07[月] Kurhaus クアハウス今治

今治市国際交流協会で、お手伝いをしてくれているケイティが
クアハウス今治での体験について、書いてくれました。

Katie had a great weekend at the Kurhaus Imabari.
Here is a her report!

On the weekend, I went to kurhaus Imabari, which is a multipurpose
fitness centre including indoor heated bath pools, a swimming pool
and various exercise equipments. (Website:http://www6.ocn.ne.jp/~k-i.spa/index.html)]
I was comfortable in this place because everyone is required to wear
a bathing suit while using the facilities. When I went inside,
I saw an aerobics instructor leading a group of elderly people
to do underwater exercises in the pool.

The swimming pool also has a really fun waterslide for children and adults.
This place also has `steam/sauna boxes`, which I found pretty interesting.
Your entire body except your head sits inside this wooden box,
which can be a funny sight for others to see. There are several hot bath
pools to choose from, and also a sauna. The next time I go, I want to use
some of their exercise and fitness equipments before relaxing my muscles
in a hot bath.

I would recommend going to kurhaus Imabari after a long week at school
or work with some friends to relax… it would definitely be a worthwhile trip!

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2010.05.13[木] My favorite onsen in Imabari (hotspring information)

It's always nice to go to a hot spring or onsen in and around Imabari.
One can be completely relaxed and refreshed after soaking in a hot bath!

One of my favorite onsen is Chikutei(竹庭), which is a part of Kiyomasa-no-yu(清正の湯) in the Takahashi area.
This onsen is surrounded by hundreds of bamboo trees as 'Chikutei' literally means a bamboo garden.
It opens from 12:00 to 24:00 on weekdays.
On weekends, it adds the opening hours from 8:30 to 10:30 in the morning and opens until 1 in the midnight.


While you are in Chikutei you can enjoy outside bathes in a wooden deck
as well as a low temperatured stone-build one.
There also be a charcoal sauna in which you will be relaxed to watch TV.

Sorry kids!, but under 15 years olds are not allowed to be in.
The entrance fee is 1,000yen including a service of Japanese tea and sweets.
As the fee is a little more expensive than other onsen in Imabari,
Chikutei is quiet and much less crowded.

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You can just pop in whenever you feel like going, since they will allow you to use towels, shampoo and body soap.
Don't be shy !
Please try out this fantastic Japanese onsen !

プロフィール

iciea

Author:iciea
今治市国際交流協会
Imabari City International
Exchange Association

1997年設立以来、姉妹都市との交流、市内在住外国人との交流会、外国語講座の開講など、市民の皆さまのニーズにあった国際交流の進展を図るため、さまざまな市民レベルでの活動を展開しています。近年では日本語支援をはじめとする在住外国人の支援にも力を入れています。

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