Today marks a return—of indeterminate length—to photos of the picturesque and serene Japan that you’d expect to see if you were to spend all your time leafing through coffee-table books or travel guides. Buddhist temples, zen gardens, mysterious shrines, statues, women in kimonos, and the like.
Today’s photo is of a statue we found on an out-of-the-way path behind a wonderful restaurant in the ume (Japanese plum) groves behind Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine in Dazaifu City.
The statue is probably a bit less than two feet (60cm) tall, and was on an overgrown landing next to a steep stone stairway that led to a disused walking path. There were quite a few other statues along the stairway and path, but no major temple or shrine structures nearby.
The closest building was the O-ishi (大石) restaurant, which is where we usually eat when we go to Dazaifu. Their prices aren’t cheap, but the food and service is excellent. I took it as a sign of their quality that unlike a lot of the other places in the area, they never have anyone out in front drumming up business by calling out to passers-by. Being the last of the restaurants behind the shrine, it’s a fair walk to get to. It’s nestled at the bottom of some hills, and is right next to a kyuudo (traditional Japanese archery) range. They have an excellent tempura soba, as well as ume mochi and green tea. But that’s a topic for another post.
Ed, Ed, Ed,
You must have been really sleepy not to point out the pun in the name of the restaurant!
For those of you not all that familiar with Japanese – O Ishii (大石) means “big rock,” and oishi (おいしい) means “delicious.”
One thing I’ll also remember about that restaurant is that in the summer when you sit outside you sit under beautiful green light because the area is shaded by maple trees.
very lovely….I may need to post my own Dazaifu post on my blog – we’re missing the flea market there today, but I really don’t need to buy more antique kimono than I already have!
I noticed the oishi thing too, Lia! Is that the restaurant we went to together last year after the flea market? Great memories…
That most definitely is the same restaurant. Last year when we went with Yoko was my first time there, and I’ve been many times since :).