Recently on my walk, I ran into some historical spots...
Like this enclosed area which houses the remains of a large sugi (cedar tree), which I think is that thing that looks like a wet spot in the next photo.
(In older photos that I've seen online, there was actually a stump.)
It is said that when the sun rose in the mornings, the cedar would cast a shadow all the way to Ikeda (nearly 2 kilometers away) and was the pride of the city.
The oblong stone monument in the photo dates back to 1677.
Unfortunately, in 1991 a strong wind toppled the tree down.
On the right side of the stone monument is another large cedar and a kuroganemochi (round leaf holly) tree, which made me think that the one that fell must have been really tall!
Down a bit from this stone monument is an atagosha, a place that houses a charm to protect against fires.
In the olden days, a very tall tower with a bell would sit next to a barber shop and the barber and volunteer firefighters would take turns to watch for fires.
When a fire arose, someone would scurry up the ladder and ring the bell with a hammer/mallet to warn everyone.
After reading about this, I remembered that near our house is a volunteer firehouse and that nearby is also a barber with a tower in front.
(I had always wondered why there was a tower next to the barber shop and now I know why.)
So, I went to check it out and it looks exactly like the tower I saw on my walk.
Only thing is that the tower I saw the other day didn't have a barber shop nearby, I guess times change.
Getting back to the atagosha, the charm that it houses was brought from Kyoto's Mount Atago, which I've read that if you visit the shrine there, you can pick up an amulet. The atagosha in Minoo has been there since 1691.
(This tower is probably not used these days, this one had lots of television antennae attached)
(A close-up of the hut that houses the fire protector charm.)
Down the hill from the charm and tree remains is an inari-jinja.
The Inari god is the god of harvest.
This particular shrine is actually part of the Sakuragaoka kofun (Sakuragaoka tomb).
The tomb dates back to the 6th century.
The Seimaru-inarisha (shrine) was created for the people in the area to pray for good crops.
The "backside" which still houses the tomb, has city protected trees such as kuroganemochi (round leaf holly) and mukunoki (apahnanthe) planted around it.
There are still many places to discover, and it has been interesting and fun to find out more about our city. I'm glad our city has more "natural" areas than "concrete" ones.