The Search For One Of Japan’s Most Mysterious & Controversial Heritage Museums


Late final Summer time I obtained an e-mail from a reader of this web site who had seen numerous my posts about sights within the Izu space of Shizuoka Prefecture. He needed data on a really attention-grabbing heritage museum I’d by no means heard of, and one which the vacationer data centre in Atami claims doesn’t exist.

The pagoda, which initially opened in 1970 and sits atop a mountain, supposedly options all types of navy stuff with a basement containing some displays referring to historical past’s most controversial figures like Stalin, Nietzsche, Marx, Napoleon, Hitler and a few far-right Japanese nationalists. I used to be eager to research however needed to bide my time.

That point lastly got here at first of this yr once I had a day to myself and thought I may mix the uncertainty of with the ability to see that museum with a few different sights, one in every of which was a white pagoda I’d seen when passing by Atami on prepare. Together with the much more well-known and distinguished Atami-jo Fort, it’s the different noticable landmark atop the mountains.

I took the prepare up the east coast of the Izu Peninsula in direction of Atami however disembarked one cease earlier at Kinomiya station. It was a really steep (and lengthy!) stroll uphill from there to what’s generally known as Relics Pagoda (1993-27 Atami, Shizuoka-ken) however fortunately I used to be rewarded with some fairly good views alongside the best way.

After almost an hour on foot, a sizeable Buddha statue to the aspect of the street got here into view a brief distance away from my vacation spot. I by no means get uninterested in such sights no matter kind they’re in.


There have been a few shiny yellow lion statues maintaining guard simply earlier than the street break up however they each led to the pagoda which was situated to the rear of a resort resort.


Extra yellow vividness quickly adopted within the type of this buddha statue (under) which was slighly larger than the one I’d seen minutes earlier than.

Relics Pagoda was beside it and fairly a powerful sight. Whether or not it was price my efforts in getting there’s questionable for a lot of however I do take pleasure in going to such locations that are not often featured elsewhere on the web.

The pagoda contained golden statues on three of the perimeters and helped to make the entire thing extra spectacular than I believed it could be.


The subsequent place was a stone’s throw away additional down the trail. The steps main as much as the temple corridor took me to a garden space displaying a kannon statue which had been hidden from view till then.

A beautiful seven metre tall white kannon statue with a contented and delicate face was ready for me on the high.

It was inbuilt Might 1988 to respect the aged and holds a jewel in opposition to the chest which I attempted to duplicate with the one factor I had on me; an orange!


After that it was time for an additional one hour stroll to see what I may see of this mysterious heritage museum. My expectations had been definitely low however one at all times lives in hope of getting fortunate in a roundabout way. There have been another factors of curiosity alongside the best way equivalent to this home on stilts.

The winding street took me additional up the mountain and as I approached the subsequent sight I regarded again and will see the white pagoda I’d not too long ago left behind.

Through the years I’ve made a good quantity of effort to see solely the outside of some non secular cult buildings so the presence of Sukyo Mahikari was a most welcome sight.

As I approached the gates of the property I’d made such efforts to see, I started to get a bit nervous and there was one thing of an eerie feeling in regards to the space as I hadn’t seen an individual in ages. That didn’t change in any respect and the one factor I got here throughout was a locked black gate.


One other locked gate didn’t say something greater than the previous entrance worth of 1000 yen. One can solely hope that these gates do reopen for enterprise once more at some point however with the proprietor getting on a bit it appears fairly unlikely I’m afraid.

With such low expectations I can’t say I used to be too stunned that it resulted in nothing however I nonetheless loved the journey and a few of the splendid coastal views.

My journey definitely didn’t finish there although as I needed to get again to civilisation. Sadly for my already-tired legs it was an 80 minute stroll to Izu-Taga station. As I descended the mountain I quickly forgot all in regards to the street to nowhere. That was till I regarded up and will see the five-storey pagoda atop the mountain. It does look actually cool and I’d’ve been content material (on this event) to only see the outside up shut with out even going inside.

The street finally led me right down to Nagahama Seaside Park which is a spot I’ve been a number of occasions now. On a sunny day it’s a very nice seaside to go to within the northern a part of Izu.

Izu-Taga station was my route out of the realm on what had been a protracted afternoon of strolling. My physique was in a little bit of ache the next day however not less than I may relaxation simpler  figuring out that I had not less than tried to search out out what was in retailer at Atami’s most mysterious hilltop lair.

Click on right here to learn ‘Visiting All Of The Seashores On The North-Japanese Coast Of Izu’

Click on right here to learn ‘Coastal Adventures In Izu: Seaside Parks, Footbaths, Marine Cities, Lakes, Mountains & Large Ramen!’

Click on right here to learn ‘An Afternoon In Atami’

Click on right here to learn ‘A Weekend Away With The Household In Atami’



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