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Tue, Jun. 20, 2017 Monobe, Kochi: Tales from the Magical Mountain Hamlet
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In the mountain village of Monobe-located in eastern Kochi Prefecture-a folk belief called Izanagi-ryu has been passed down for generations. Izanagi-ryu harmoniously blends elements of Shintoism, Buddhism and folk religions in a rare style of prayer.
Traveler Alessandra Lupi discovers the world of this mysterious belief system. She visits the residence of a tayu; tayu are mentors or leaders of Izanagi-ryu. And, she learns about its religious art and how to make a ritual paper tool called gohei. She also gets to study its Mai Kagura ritual dance. Gradually, after a walk along an ancient Salt Road and farmhouse inn stay, Alessandra gets a sense of how Izanagi-ryu plays an organic role in the rural community.

Kagura Performing Art
Kagura Performing Art
Befukyo Onsen hotel presents Mai Kagura performances and workshops. Week prior booking required for ten persons or more.
452-8 Befu, Monobe, Kami City, Kochi Prefecture 781-4644
Tel +81-(0)887-58-4181(Japanese Language only)
Known as the village of Izanagi-ryu. 95% of its land is forested, and its main industries are forestry and agriculture. Beautiful terraced rice fields, hamlets, and warm people make this an ideal place to experience traditional mountain life.
Befukyo (Befu Gorge)
Befukyo (Befu Gorge)
Scenic spot for autumn leaves in Monobe.
Salt Road Walk
Salt Road Walk
Walk the 30-kilometer stretch of the historical Salt Road between mountainous Monobe and coastal Akaoka. Guides are available. Week prior booking required for ten persons or more.
Kami City Tourist Association
Tel: +81-(0)887-52-9880 (Japanese Language only)
Farm House Inn (Farmhouse Inn Yurari Ymasaki)
Farm House Inn (Farmhouse Inn Yurari Ymasaki)
Experience farming and cooking at this couple-owned inn.
1147 Iwakai, Kahoku-cho, Kami City, Kochi Prefecture 781-4214
Tel: +81-(0)887-59-2435
From Tokyo, it takes about 90 minutes to Kochi by air. From Kochi
to central Monobe is about an hour's drive. Train and bus
services are also available.
Travel Log

Traveler: Alessandra Lupi > More Info


Occupation:Dancer, Model, Stylist

Length of residence in Japan:6 years

Reason:I came here to study Japanese language and culture.

Traveler's Archives:

> SADO ISLAND: Behind the Mask Dance

> Kagura: Dancing Beyond Time

Every time I travel for Journeys in Japan it's a very emotional experience and marks a personal growth. It makes me understand better not only Japanese culture, but also makes me reflect on my life and myself as a human being.

This time, I went to Monobe in Kochi prefecture. The best memory I have here is meeting with wonderful people-their true hospitality just amazed me! And I have to mention their beautiful nature; forest, river, smell of soil, and sound of wind…it was a time to renew myself.

It is easy for outsiders to think about Japan as a very different and a bit unreachable country in many ways, but I'm realizing that we are sharing the same feelings, joys and doubts about life. This journey gave me important lessons I should never forget no matter which country my travels take me to.

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