Hattoji Furusato Village

The town of Hattoji looks like it does see a few tourists in the summer -- there was a local museum and o-miyage shop that were thankfully closed when I was there. But the town itself is still pretty unspoiled -- very few modern buildings or other trappings of a tourist trade.

one ripe rice field Hattoji still grows lots of rice -- the center of town is full of rice paddies. The rice was this beautiful vibrant green when I was there -- the color is far different from what I'm used to with wheat or corn.
A different view of town. That's the Hattoji International Villa on the right. another ripe rice field
burning the rice When they're done harvesting rice in a field, they burn the stalks. So, whereever you went in this beautiful, idyllic country, you saw plumes of smoke rising up like this. I don't know why burning it -- and burning it in a pile, not in situ in the field -- is done.

The Hiyoshi Shrine

Shrine Entrance Literally 50 feet out of the back door of the Villa was the Hiyoshi Shrine, founded like the local temples in 728. On the grounds of the shrine is a 700-year-old Oak tree (although to tell the truth, I couldn't tell which one it was). The Shrine's bell towers and adjacent towers were all beautifully built. Shrine main
Shrine bell Bell tower wide Hattoji temple woodwork

East Side of Town

Bamboo Grove This tunnel of bamboo is along the Road of 88 Stone Buddhas, near shiroyama and the irrigation ponds that feed the rice paddies.
Branching off one of the roads on the south side of town is a walking path which crosses this bridge. I called it the 'tourist bridge' because it doesn't really get anywhere, but it's really pretty and clearly brand new. tourist bridge

Koukenji Temple

The larger of the two temples in town is the Koukenji temple, founded along with the town in 728. It was a graceful white wall around the grounds, and appeared (like most of town) to be deserted when I was there. Hattoji temple It has some outlying towers that were very similar to those at the Hiyoshi shrine (below).
temple left side I mentioned before that Buddhist sites sometimes seem to be kind of... enterprising. The Koukenji temple not only runs a "temple-style" restaurant, but also runs an inn in the town (presumably open only in the summer -- I saw no one around). matching tower
ponds at sunset Heading back to town from the hiking trails one evening, I saw this profile over a saddle point. I can see why the Buddhists picked this area 1250 years ago.
previous Views from Hattoji map Hattoji next Hattoji Trails
  © 1998 Leo Hourvitz