A long path continued deep into the property.
Either side had red lanterns spaced at regular intervals with trees lined up like an avenue. The entire surroundings were enveloped in tranquility.
Light slipped in through the gaps between the branches and the approach to the shrine had an ambiance of holiness.
I took a picture because I wanted to permanently capture this setting.
Before making my offering, I stopped at Houman Pond next to the shrine.
Apparently, this is the largest pond in Tanegashima and is a sacred place that must remain untouched.
The still surface, without a single ripple, showed me how far removed this place is from the din of the outside world.
The pond is visited by many ducks, with some reportedly coming from as far as Siberia in the winter.
It seems that this pond is also a refuge for those at the end of long journeys.
Coming back from the pond, I passed under the shrine gate with stone-carved canine guardians and two sago palms on either side.
This blend of Japanese and tropical elements was a rare sight to see. Without thinking, I held my camera at the ready.
Houman enshrines Tamayori-hime, who is credited with the propagation of red rice.。
With a name literally meaning "treasure filled," the shrine has become a secret spot that perhaps promises to bring the blessings of wealth.
The practice of buying a local lottery ticket and bringing it to Houman Shrine for good luck is quietly becoming more and more popular.
The shop selling the tickets, by the way, has sold some big winners.
I, too, brought a ticket and said some very earnest prayers.
A flight to Tanegashima can include a few flights of fancy.