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Monday, 21 August 2017

Okawachiyama Part 1: The Village

So yesterday I decided to actually use my rest day to go out. I decided to go to Ookawachiyama (大川内山 - link leads to their Japanese website), which is a place that I've been wanting to go for a while. Originally, I planned to go there on the 22nd of July, because there was going to be some sort of lantern event going on, but I had work. Still, I wanted to go before the wind chime festival was over so without really thinking about it, yesterday became that day.

Ookawachiyama is about 40 minutes away from Sasebo (by car). I managed to make it there using the voice navigation of Google maps, but I did get lost once, so I would really recommend you go with someone who can read a map.

Also, there is parking! I didn't really research this well enough, but I decided to trust in the fact that the village had a website and therefore must have made arrangements for visitors. The car park I ended up in had this little rest shop at the entrance with a really pretty porcelain mural at the front!

The white and blue bridge is the "Nabeshima Clain Kiln Bridge with Tile and Ceramic Dragons". At the back is the potters' grave, where about 880 unknown graves are gathered into a pyramid. According to a sign near the grave, many Korean potters came to Japan after Japan's invasion attempt of Korea in the 1950s. Their graves face Korea, symbolising their desire to go home.

I almost went to the graves to take photos but I realised that this was a grave and managed to stop myself in time.

And since it was still the wind chime festival, I managed to take lots of photos!

I'm not too sure what this wheel is for but I liked it.

As well as the big mural that depicted the village.

This is basically a collection of pottery shops and it's a good (or perhaps I should say dangerous?) place to come to if you're looking to get cups, plates, bowls, etc.

The first thing I did was to walk to the entrance of the village, because I wanted to see the Potters' Bridge. 

To the left of the bridge was a monument of the crown prince and princess.

The ground in front of the potter's bridge is covered with broken pieces of pottery and it made this really pretty tinkling sound when I walked across it. Well, sometimes anyway. At other times you just hear the porcelain breaking and I decided to be a lot more careful not to fall.

At the other side of the bridge were some wind chimes and this little garden, with water falling into the pond periodically.

This is the little house that provides the water.

After looking around, I walked back towards the village, following the path of the river.

The river basically forks into two near the Nabeshima clan kiln bridge (one leads to it and the other leads to the stone bridge below).

The village is exactly like what I saw in the google photos! It's very lovely and quiet and it was a pleasure to just wander around and listen to the wind chimes. I took several videos and pieced them together so if you're interested, you can watch it and hopefully get a feel of what I experienced.

I was so tempted to get something, but I managed to exercise some self-control (for the moment).

And more photos of the windchimes.

If you'd like to learn more about the town, you can download a PDF of the map that they give out at this link. The PDF is basically a map of the town and a few explanations of key points. And like I mentioned, here's the video that I mentioned earlier:

Next post: Lunch + the rest of the village

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