Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Touching the Nose of the Tengu (Long Nosed Goblin) @ The Top of Mt Tengu in Otaru [Hokkaido, Japan]

I actually don't recognise the word "tengu" but once i saw the Chinese characters (天狗), the memories of my comic-reading days came rushing back. 

Tengu is a famous goblin in Japanese legend and folklore and easily recognized by its significantly long, pointed nose. I actually don't remember any physical feature of this legendary creature, other than its phallic-looking nose. 

There's a reason why i used "phallic" as you just need to plant the nose on another part of the body and it would not look out of place. Okay, shall not mention more since my blog is, by and large, child-friendly.

At the side of the head statue was an information panel explaining the history of the creature and what you can do to it in order to make your wish come true. It actually came in five different languages; English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and even Thai! 

Zooming in to the English version for your reading pleasure! As you can see, all the wishes listed involved the touching of the nose which was rumored to make your wish come true! 

No wonder the nose was severely discolored; just imagine an overly greedy worshipper who hopes for the fulfillment of all four wishes and multiplies that one with the hundreds and thousands of visitors who came up to the mountain. 

Aside from molesting the nose, you can write your wishes on the votive tablets and hang them up. I do have one which was part of the admission package we purchased. However, the pens i brought along were not suitable for the wood surface; hence, i decided to just bring it home as a souvenir. 

There's actually a self-service counter with fine tip markers for me to write down my wishes on the votive tablet but i missed it as it was right where the gondola unloads the passenger and we were in haste to check out the beautiful view of Otaru.

Once you take the motion-sensor glass door next to the counter (where you can buy extra votive tablets, if one is insufficient for you to pen down your wish), the head statue is just ahead. 

My tablet, with my wish written on it! I signed off using Cavin so do send me a picture if you happen to see mine. Doubt so though as my visit was almost 5 months ago! 

Right when i was taking this photo to commemorate the hanging up of my votive tablet; it dropped and fell into the donation box! I couldn't reach it to pull out the tablet and guess it was a gone case. But, a Japanese kid saw what happened and with the help of his dad, got hold of the tablet using a twig! 

Frankly, the kindness i encountered from many Japanese in this Hokkaido trip made it extremely memorable and cemented the love i have for the country in my virgin visit. p.s. above isn't mine as i don't think i should damage your eyes with my ugly handwriting. 

The place can be crowded, especially with every new load of passengers disembarking from the gondola via the ropeway. If you prefer to have the "nose" for yourself, best time would be the 5 minutes before the fresh batch of enthusiastic visitors arrives. 


Top of Mt Tengu,
Otaru, Hokkaido, 

Location Map
As above.


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