- October 5th, 2016
[Sainokawara Park in Okushiri Island] Too Blue Sea, Wooden Grave Tablets and Stacked Stones with Dreadful Atomosphere Can Be View in One of 5 Major Sacred Places in Southern Hokkaido
Sainokawara Park (河原公園) is a park at the northmost point of Okushiri Island (奥尻島), and the whole area of Cape Inaho (稲穂岬) has been maintained as the park. Stones piled up for mourning over marine accident victims, drowned people and deceased children at 6 ha of a rocky seashore, so this place seemed to be named as "Sainokawara (賽の河原)" by its view. The Sainokawara Park is one of 5 Major Sacred Places in Southern Hokkaido along with Sasayama Inari Shrine (笹山稲荷神社) in Esashi, Ota Shrine (太田神社) in Setana, Monshoan Temple in (門昌庵) Yakumo and Sainokawara (賽の河原) in Esan. The park is windswept, so the wind is blowing hard. A camping ground, a baseball ground, an observatory deck and a restraunt "Kita-no-Misaki Sakurabana (北の岬さくらばな)", a public restroom and a parking lot are built at the site. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge.
Movie of Sainokawara Park
In Buddhism, The Sainokawara is a riverbank of the Sanzu-no-kawa River (三途の川) between this world and afterlife. It is said that deceased children before their parents die heap up the stones for praying for the happiness of the parents and complete it, and their wishes are realized. Therefore the deceased children are busily heaping up the stones, but Oni in the hell will break their stacked stones, so their wishes can not be realized. This is a sad tradition. Image of Buddhist Hell is here. Fortunately, do not worry because there is not the Oni at this park. But the oni seemed to once appear only when the tsunami came. By the way, Sainokawara Festival (賽の河原まつり) is held only in a day, late June.
Movie of Sainokawara Festival
There are some means of transportation for the island tourism, for example, a fixed-route bus, a regular sightseeing taxi (from late April to late September), a sightseeing limousine taxi, a rental car, a rental motor scooter and a rental bicycle. I went around the island by the rental motor scooter, and it was very comfortable.
Okushiri Island (奥尻島) that about 2,800 people live is a remote island with about 18 km in circumference in the southern part of Hokkaido. It is locatd about at the westernmost part of the Hokkaido, and the island from north to south has a similar shape to Rebun Island (礼文島). About 32,000 tourists come here. Speaking of the Okushiri Island, clear blue sea called Okushiri Blue is famous, and sea urchin, abalone and wine are noted product. The main of Okushiri tourism is going a round the island. The Okushiri Island is roughly divided into 4 areas, Okushiri Area with Okushiri Ferry Port, Aonae Area with Okushiri Airport, Northeast Area and Northwest Area. Read More
Look of Sainokawara Park
It does not mean that a lot of people died here. But Mr. Nobuhiro Takeda (武田信広), ancestor of Matsumae clan (松前藩), knew about this place 500 years ago, and seemed to held a memorial service, so this place would be considerably known from old days. The too blue sea and wooden grave tablets have very dreadful atmosphere.
Atmosphere of Sainokawara Park Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (60 Cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||781 892 823*08|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Okushiri Island. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Okushiri is here
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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