Journeys in Japan

Season 4, Episode 8 of 52

Mihonoseki is on the eastern cape of the Shimane Peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water: the Sea of Japan to the north and Miho Bay and Nakaumi to the south. It prospered during the Edo period (1603-1868), when it was a port of call of Kitamaebune trade ships. Today, it's a fishing port and a gateway to the sea. It still retains charming features from its heyday in the Edo period. Aoishidatami-dori, or the "blue" cobblestone alley (named for the color the stones turn in the rain), dates to the era. For visitors to the local beach at sunrise, it might be easy to imagine early Japanese mythology when they see the sky burnish red. The people of Mihonoseki have long cherished their gods and lived with the blessings of the sea. Rituals are an important part of their lives. In April every year, they hold the Aofushigaki ritual, enacting an episode in mythology when the god Kotoshironushi (more commonly known as Ebisu) decides to hand over his land to the heavenly gods and takes to the sea to hide. The traveler experiences this ritual, which evokes an archetypical image of Japan's revival. On Journeys in Japan they explore Mihonoseki, where the world of myths live on.

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3:30 p.m.
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