October 2005 - December 2005
1)Sunday, October 30, 2005
Pilgrmage in Bando Fudasho (Part XIII) Weather : Cloudy then sunny
- The Seventeenth Fudasho : Manganji Temple (288 Izuru-cho, Tochigi City, Tochigi Pref.)
- I left home around 5:20 in the morning. It was cloudy and chilly.
- I took on the Seibu Line and JR Musashino Line then changed to Tobu Isezaki Line from
- I changed to the express train of Tobu Nikko Line from Tobu Zoo Station.
However, when I took on the train, I was surprised that the all four-person seats were occupied with
old gentlemen and ladies who were going mountaineering/hiking. The baggage racks were filled with their rucksacks.
I was forced to stand in the train to Tochigi Station.
- I arrived in Tochigi Station at 7:39 AM. The building of Tochigi Station is very new and great.
However, there were a few shops in front of the station.
- The first bus would start at 8:45 and thus I decided to have a coffee at McDonald in front of the station, which was only
open at that time. FYI, only three buses are available to the Fudasho per day.
(One-way fee : Yen 800)
- The bus (Micro bus) came before 8:30 AM. Around ten people got on the bus.
- It took almost 50 minutes to the terminal. Just before the terminal, I could see big pit of limestone.
- I walked 5 minutes from the terminal and saw a big temple gate in front.
The precinct was not so spacious.
- Soon the main temple appeared in the tr4ees. First I visited the main temple.
- I could not see the eleven-headed main Kannon since she was in the small shrine.
- Although the number of buses available are limited, the worshippers come by cars or sightseeing buses.
- There are three souvenir shops near the precinct. This means a lot of worshippers visit the temple.
- After worshipping the main temple, I got red stamp. Then I went to innermost shrine.
- The slope to the innermost shrine (1.5 km) started just beside the main temple.
You must to pay Yen 300 to enter.
- I started to climb the stony slope in the cedar trees.
Small stream ran alongside the slope.
- I could see many moss-grown stone Buddhas and pagodas alongside the slope.
- It was cool and quiet and thus I felt deeply refreshed.
- At the top of the slope, there existed a small fall named " a fall of one's earnest wish".
You can also look up a red innermost shrine from there.
Climbing up the steep stone steps (almost 100 steps), you will reach the innermost shrine.
- A 4-meter tall natural stalactite is consecrated as the back figure of Kannon in the limestone cave.
- When coming back from the innermost shrine, the prayer by main priest started at the main temple.
I could see it for a while.
- I had enough time there since the bus to the station would start at 12:55.
I strolled around the Fudasho.
- I heard that the Izuru Soba noodle is very famous and tasty and I looked for Soba restaurants.
I could find several restaurants around the Fudasho.
- I entered one restaurant and ordered one beer first. I drank beer and then had Soba with edible wild plants.
I did not think the soba was so tasty.
- By the way, you can have vegitarian diet at the restaurant of the Fudasho.
Menu: Main dish of vegetarian diet : Yen 3,150, Table d'hote of vegetarian diet : Yen 3,150,
Lunch box of vegetarian diet : Yen 1,260, Table d'hote of Soba noodle : Yen 1,580 etc.
- After the lunch, I took on the bus to be left at 12:55. Only three passengers including me
were in the bus. I wondered where other people came with me in the morning were going.
The next bus available would be 15:40.
- Anyway, it seemed that I fell into asleep in the bus. When I waked up, the bus was almost approaching to
Tochigi Station. The bus reached at 14:38.
- I rushed to the platform to catch the express train to be left at 14:48.
- I could sit down the seat since the train was not so crowded. I regretted that I did no
have a time to buy a canned beer at Kiosk.
- I could come home around 16:00. It was much earlier than I expected.
Stone Kannon Temple
Guide Plate to innermost shrine
Slope to innermost shrine
- I could enjoy a small journey after a long interval.