Hayataka shrine, beside a fountainhead, home of a miracle hawk

Hello everyone! How are you?

It will be a little warmer this week. Mt. Aso was covered with snow a couple times, but we haven’t seen much snow at the bottom of mountains, where we live, yet.

I am ready to play on the snow with my kids, but we have only rain so far this winter.

Today, I would like to introduce my favorite neat shrine.
It is not so far away from my daughter’s school. Her classmate is living around this area.
My daughter loves this place, I haven’t told her that I went there the other day again, she would be jealous 😀

There is an old route which the feudal lord of Kumamoto used to visit Shogun in Edo (Tokyo) every 2 years. It is about 125 km from Kumamto castle to Tsurusaki port in Oita. They took a boat from Oita to Osaka and kept walking to Edo. It is unbelievably long trip!!

Anyway, the route goes across Aso caldera, there are so many interesting historical spots along this route.

The shrine I would like to introduce is one of them.

The troupe of the lord was made by hundreds of people. They started  from Kumamoto castle and stayed over the first night at Ozu town where is just outside of the outer-rim of Aso caldera. On the second day in morning, they went over the Hutae pass at the outer-rim. (700m above sea level….!!! I can’t imagine how hard it was with a lot of loads, the feudal lord was just sitting in the cart his men carried, though…) After they reached at the bottom of caldera, they took a good rest at Matoishi tea house which is right next of my favorite shrine.

What is very special about this tea house is that it is located right beside a beautiful natural spring.

Koito family was told to take care of this tea house and garden for the lord, and their descendants are still living right beside it. The tea house itself got damaged from Kumamoto earthquake but you can still see the beautiful garden with amazing amount of clean running water which just looks like what the lord cherished.

The shrine behind the tea house is right beside the pond which is actually a fountainhead.

The shrine was nothing special in the beginning.
But one night……

The lord took a boat from Oita to Osaka, but the bad storm hit them and the boat was almost flipped over. At that moment, a white hawk flew over from somewhere and landed at the tip of their boat. And the miracle happened!  The storm calmed down right away and they arrived at Osaka in safe.
At that night, the lord had a dream. A hawk from the shrine behind Motoishi tea house appeared in his dream. The lord was inspired that  the deity of the small shrine became a hawk and saved his life, then he told his men to build a proper shrine there to show the respect for the hawk. And it was named as Hayataka (hawk, or could be falcon) shrine in 1700.

The front part of shirine (worship hall)was damaged from Kumamoto earthquake, but the building behind is close to the original.

Here is a sacred stone which looks like a hawk.

Even you are not interested in the historical story, the landscape of this area, cozy and quiet shrine , the sound of the spring water, beautiful pond and garden will soothe you.


In fall, the colors are amazing as well.

If you would like to visit Matoishi tea house garden and Hayataka shrine, I can show you the best way for you, please drop by Michi no Eki Aso!



カテゴリー: English Blog, Recommendations   タグ: , , , , ,   この投稿のパーマリンク

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