Yashima, Japan - The Traveller


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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yashima, Japan


Yashima – Flat Topped Mountain, outside Takamatsu’ City Centre

Yashima is a flat topped mountain, a peninsula of lava which is located outside of Takamatsu’s city centre. It is a lava plateau having an altitude of 293 meters within Setonaikai National Park and the name Yashima or Roof Island had been derived from its flat top which tends to look like a roof. It had been an important site in the 12th century battle during the Gempei War between the Taira and Minamoto Clan.

 The Taira had been defeated here in what was to be the last battle before their final destruction. Surrounding the flat summit one will find some of the attractions connected to the history of the mountain as a battleground, inclusive of the Monument to the Battle of Yashima and Chinoike, which is a pond said to have turned red with blood after the victorious Minamoto had washed their swords in it.

Yashima provides amazing views of Takamatsu as well as the Seto Inland Sea. Among the various viewpoints, around the mountain top, one will find shops where one can buy small clay discs that are thrown off the mountain.

The Famous Clay Plate Throwing Event

Visitors can take up the challenge of participating in the famous clay plate throwing event which is based on an episode wherein officers as well as soldiers of the Genji clan who had won the battle of Yashima had thrown their wooden headpieces from the mountaintop as they shouted in victory. Participants during the event would throw the unglazed clay plate as far as they could which was said to ward off evil.

Another attraction is the Yashima-jo Temple and the main temple that is said to have been constructed by the great Chinese priest Ganjin in the 8th century is painted in red and accommodates a Buddhist image of a seated Senju Kannon. The Yashima Temple, which is the 84th of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, is near the summit’s parking area.

The temple, in addition to a number of buildings which seems to be of a different era also has a modern museum that tends to display artifacts from the history of Yashima. The New Yashima Aquarium is about a five minute walk from Yashima Temple that features dolphin and seal shows.

Yashima – Best Scenic Spot to View Seto Inland Sea

Owing to its state of aging, the small aquarium would probably be closed or renovated in the near future. Scheduled to be built near the aquarium with planned completion date in 2019 is a new tourist centre and observation deck. Towards the base of Yashima is the Shikoku Mura, an open air museum, displaying traditional farmhouse, bridges, and storehouses together with other structures from all over Shikoku Island. Yashima was the site of the famous battleground of the 12th century samurai general Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune of the Genji clan who had defeated the enemy clan, the Heikeand one can have glimpses of the old battleground from the Dankorei observation deck on the mountaintop.

From another observation desk in Shishi-no-reigan one can enjoy the amazing view of the island in the Seto Inland Sea. Yashima is said to be the best scenic spot to view the Seto Inland Sea.

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