Obuse, Hokusai’s Phoenix ceiling 小布施

Manhole cover at Obuse

July 9th.

Obuse michi no eki

Obuse is a strange michi no eki in that there is parking underneath the main building. This is good in the rain. Unfortunately, the elevator from the parking area to the toilet stops at 8 pm. After that you have a long trek outside and up some steps. A long way in the wet.
It is also noisy, as the road,  just off a highway interchange and at a crossroads, is very busy. On the other hand, the toilets are very good and rubbish bins are provided. There is also a park and a restaurant. On this visit it was all under wraps as some serious renovation was underway.

Obuse michi no eki under wraps

Obuse michi no eki under wraps

Gansho-in and the famous Phoenix 岩松院

Our plan for the day is to visit Gansho-in temple.  This temple has a famous Hokusai ceiling depicting a Phoenix. The ceiling is the largest work by Hokusai and painted when he was in his eighties. Sadly, both D. and I find this ceiling a little disappointing.
There are some small, wooden statues on display carved by a famous monk, whose name escapes me, that I found striking. I am not convinced it is worth a special trip to this temple, however.

Gansho-in temple

Gansho-in temple

Perhaps to reaffirm our belief, we paid the Hokusai museum (Hokusaikan) in Obuse another visit. The theme of the, then current, exhibition was Hokusai’s explanation of how to draw insects, animals and birds.

Obuse

Obuse

His notions of how various creatures can be drawn, and pictures planned by utilizing geometric shapes was intriguing. Seeing a butterfly as a triangle would never have occurred to me. Sometimes this artist just leaves me in awe. Wonderful as this exhibition was, it was not as overwhelming as the exhibition we enjoyed on our previous visit.

*Gansho-in ; 500 yen / adult

*Hokusaikan ; 1000 yen / adult

Sake brewery, Obuse

Sake brewery, Obuse

Kisomura michi no eki

From Obuse, we turn south, we are meant to be traveling home after all, and head for Nagoya. This is a long, steady drive down Route 19. It is busy with trucks but not a crawl. We meet torrential rain in the hills. Finally, we stop for the night at Kisomura michi no eki. The actual name is much longer. It is a little early to stop but the place has a handy roof providing dry access to the toilet. The rain has stopped as I write, and the roar of trucks become more apparent.

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