Monday, November 12

Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 3 Jinguashi Surrounds

Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 3 Jinguashi Surrounds
[ this is a continuation of Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 3 JinGuaShi Gold Ecological Park ]

Not knowing where to go next after our tofu pudding dessert and with still some time left before nightfall, we decided to do more walking around. This time a steep climb uphill.

Jinguashi Shinto Shrine
Finally made it up to the Jinguashi Shinto Shrine ruins.

[The Jinguashi Shinto Shrine, also called the “Mountain God Shrine,” is dedicated to the three deities of “ôkuninushinomikoto, kaneyamahikonomikoto and sarutahikonomikoto. In 1933, after the Japan Mining Company took over the management of Jinguashi mine, it commemorated the event by building a Shinto shrine half way up the mountain below Siping lane. The original shrine included a main hall, prayer hall and pavilion for worshipers to wash their hands. There were also two walkways along the stairs, at either side of which were 3 torii (gate), 5 flag platforms and 1 bronze bull. During the Japanese era, large-scale religious ceremonies and rituals were held here every year. Unfortunately, the buildings were damaged in the post-war period and today all that is left are 2 torii (gate), a few stone lanterns and the shrine’s original foundation, beams and pillars]

 No more water but you can still throw some coins here and make a wish... Used to be where they left prayer gifts.

Teapot Mountian
But the climb was worth it as you get to see a spectacular view of Teapot Mountian.
[ Approximately 580 meters high, Teapot Mountain is shaped like a handleless teapot, giving it the name “Handleless Teapot Mountain.” Looking from the Shumei or Cushih mountain direction, it also looks like a crouched lion ready to pounce, which also gives it the name “Lion Rock Mountain.” Teapot Mountain itself is an ore body. It is a breccia ore chimney, comprised mainly of silicified sandstone and shale.]

Went downhill after that and kinda lost our way. Wandered past this osmanthus flower flavoured tofu dessert shop. Unfortunately owner said it was closed.

Somehow walked all the way downhill to a jungle stream. Some Jurassic period fern trees along the way.

We went uphill again and somehow after crossing a hidden tunnel ended up at this tourist information board with a platform overlooking the Keelung Mountains and Sea.

Yin-yang Sea. [As you travel along the coastal road you will see a strange scene - a bay where the sea is a mix of yellow and blue. This is Yin-yang Sea. It was initially believed that the sea color was the result of pollution from Taiwan Metal Mining Corp’s smelting activities but, over 10 years after the company stopped its activities, Yin-yang Sea still exists. It is speculated that the Jinguashi geology has a large amount of pyrite that, after millions of years has formed Fe3+ which does no dissolve easily in water. This forms iron ion floating particles when it flows into the sea, resulting in the strange sight of the Yin-yang Sea.] I just thought it was mud flowing into the sea. Anyways it was too windy and cloudy to see the Yin-Yang effect.

See the ruins of the gold mining / smelting factory? There is a snake like conduit running from the mountain top. I think it used to provide water to the facility.

Oh cold wind blowing and it was gonna rain soon, so we quickly turned back and tried to find some shelter otherwise might end up like this tree...

Cyuanji Temple
Looking around for shelter, we somehow chanced upon this temple called Cyuanji Temple. Had to visit this as I am a big fan of Guan Yu from the three kingdoms era. They call him Guan Gong formally and many Hokkien people treat him like a diety.

[Cyuanji Temple was built in 1896 and consecrated to what was the only golden-faced Guan Gong in Taiwan prior to Retrocession. The gold and bronze Guan Gong statue on the roof of the temple is the largest idol of that deity in the world, weighing more than 25 tons. Each year during Dragon Boat Festival, Cyuanji Temple holds the distinctively local Green Grass ceremony. On such occasions, believers carry a divinity sedan chair in search of herbs stopping whenever the sedan chair’s crossbars point in the direction of sought-after herbs. In addition to various herbs, local residents also collect stones and towel gourds and the ritual takes a whole day. The collected medicinal herbs are taken back to the temple and on the next day washed and dried. On the third day, they are ground into powder using a stone pestle, and then spread to dry, which depending on the weather can take as long as 7 days. Finally, local residents rub the ground herb residue onto balls that are roughly 3cm in diameter, thereby completing the “100 Herb ball” ritual]

Guan Gong Statue
Very nice sculptures especially the huge Guan Gong Statue sitting at the top with a book in hand.

If you what to ask for health or wealth or for anything else, you can buy some gold prayer paper to burn to the gods.

Chive Flowers

Some really beautiful and intricate wall carving depicting scenes from ancient china

Inside there are also a couple of ponds with fountains and pretty koi fish swimming around. Very relaxing place to be.

Next we go down the mountain to Ruifang and try to make it to Shifen town to release some sky lanterns. [ Continued at Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 3 Shifen Sky Lanterns
  1. Love it!! So informative and interesting to read with so many photos! Many thanks!


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