Homan Shrine, Pond, and Walking Trail (宝満神社) in Tanegashima

"Homan Shrine enshrines Princess Tamayori or Tamayori-hime, wife of God Ugayafukiaezu and mother of the first Emperor Jinmu. It is surrounded by forest and situated on the edge of a beautiful pond where many birds fly.

The written history of Homan Shrine boasts this legend: Once upon a time the villagers were suffering from heavy drought, so they set out to dig trenches for irrigation throughout the valley. As they continued to dig by the pond they found that a large boulder blocked their way. When they broke it, red, blood-like water spurted forth. Suddenly, a massive rush of wind blew from the rock, and a monsterous snake as thick as a tree slithered into the sky. The people were very fearful, and asked Nikkei, a Buddhist monk at Onmyoji Temple in Kukinaga Village, to pray to the goddess for forgiveness. After 17 days of prayer she seemed to forgive them. It began to rain heavily, irrigating their rice paddies. When the rain stopped, a beautiful lady appeared atop a dragon-headed boat in the pond. The monk had no doubt that she was Tamayori-hime, and prayed nine times in her honor. Since then Tamayori-hime has been worshipped as the Homan Daibosatsu, Great Bodhisattva of Homan. They carved her likeness into a wooden statue and enshrined it at Onmyoji Temple.

People believe that the goddess of Homan Shrine always blessed worshippers with rich crops, a peaceful village, and their descendants' prosperity. Many worshippers still come to the shrine to pray. It is believed that whoever offers red rice to the goddess will be blessed with a child, renounce the 108 worldly desires, escape ill luck, and receive good fortune."

This is the legend of Homan Shrine, which is situated across the road from the Akagome Red Rice Museum, on the left-hand side of Route 75 heading south into Minamitane.

Climb the curving mossy steps at left to visit a small shrine in a quiet woodsy clearing, or the tree-covered path through the large gate at right.

Lined by red lampposts, this path eventually leads to another gate, and eventually Homan Shrine itself. Aside from the legend of Princess Tamayori, the shrine is historically linked with Tanegashima's red rice (akagome) and traditional Red Rice Ceremony.

Just beyond the shrine is Homan Pond. The short hiking trail that curves left of the pond brings you to a pretty observation point and a pair of benches.

Keep driving south on Route 75 and follow the signs at left to find the official Homan Pond Lookout.