July 2006 - September 2006
4)Saturday, September 2, 2006
Pilgrimage in Bando Fudasho (Part XVIII)Weather: Cloudy, then sunny
Pilgrimage in Chugoku Fudasho (Part II) Weather: Fine
- The Eighteenth Fudasho: Chuzenji Temple 2578 Utagahama, Chuzenji, Nikko City, Tochigi Pref.
- I left home at 5:20 AM. It was cloudy and cool.
- I reached Tobu-dobutsukoen Station via Seibu Line and JR Musashino Line.
Then I took on the express train bound for Nikko to be left at 7:01 AM.
It was off-season and thus the train was no so crowded and I could get the seat.
I could see a lot of middle-aged and older mountaineers in the train.
The train had six cars, but only two were bound for Nikko.
- It was cloudy in the morning, however; the blue sky gradually appeared.
I could see the pastoral landscape of ears of rice plants from the train window.
- I arrived in Tobu Nikko Station at 8:24.
- I bought a bus ticket for Chuzenji Spa at ticket booth. I found two-day bus ticket was
available at a cost of Yen 2, 000, which can be used time and again during the period between Nikko Station and
(The cost of one-way ticket is Yen 1,100.) Anyway, I bought two-day ticket.
- The bus started at 8:33. Only several passengers were in the bus contrary to my expectation.
- The bus reached the terminal via Iroha-slope in 40 minutes.
The height is almost 1,300 m and thus I felt chilly when I got off the bus.
- Referring to the map, I headed for the 18th Fudasho. Soon I arrived in the Chuzenjiko Lake.
The water was blue and transparent. I could see big Mt. Nantaizan beside the lake. To my disappointment, the peak was
covered with cloud.
- I walked for 20 minutes alongside the lake, then I reached in front of the gate of the Fudasho.
There were many souvenir shops in front of the Fudasho.
- I had to pay an admission fee of Yen 500 (Too expensive!) to enter.
Then I entered into the precinct passing the small gate of the temple.
- I deposited the stamp note at Nokyo-sho, and then I went to the main temple.
- Somehow, there were two staffs at the entrance. One staff said he would guide me.
- The main temple was not so big. I could see a big and magnificent one-thousand handed Kannon in the center.
There existed four heavenly kings on both side of the Kannon.
- Only the staff and I were in the main temple. The staff started to explain about the Kannon. His explanation was very simple and short.
Finally he told about amulet ridding one of bad luck and asked to buy if I wish. I thought it was almost a high-pressured selling
and it hurt my feeling. Of course, I did not buy it.
- Looking carefully, there were many amulets. A lot of them were expensive.
- I wanted to face the Kannon by myself and quietly as I did at other Fudasho. However, it was impossible to do like that here.
- The staff said I should go up the stairs from the main temple to the Godai-do, where Godai-Myoohs were enshrined.
I could see many expensive amulets there.
- I felt that the temple is located in the famous sightseeing area, thus a lot of tourists also visit there, resulting in
- The scenery of Chuzenjiko Lake from Godai-do was marvelous.
- The pilgrimage finished less than 30 minutes. I felt that something was missing.
- Next I visited Nikouzan Shrine, where the mountaineers start to climb.
The ranking list of the times of climbing Mt. Nantaisan was shown there. I found that the
top climber visited the peak more than 1,000 times. I could not believe it.
- I climbed Mt. Nantaizan almost 30 years ago. However, all my memory was gone.
- Finally I visited the "Kegon Fall". I was satisfied to see the vigorous falling water.
- My schedule of today finished. I took on the bus at 11:30 AM after buying the Onsen steamed bean-jam bun.
At that time, the cloud came down from the peak of Mt. Nantaizan.
- The bus reached Tobu-Nikko Station around 12:00.
- I found the liquor shop in front of the station. I went to the shop to buy the locally brewed sake.
There were lots of sakes there and I was hesitating which one I should buy.
Finally I selected "Nikko Homare" and "Kiku". ( I tasted both sakes as soon as I came home. They were all tasty.)
- The number of trains of Nikko Line available during daytime was very few.
I wanted to take on the limited train. However, I could not.
- Anyway, I took on the local train to be left at 12:56.
I found the Nikko Mountains were covered with clouds. It's better to come back earlier.
The train stopped every station to Tobu Nikko Dobutsu Koen Station. I could enjoy the trip leisurely.
God of Thunder
Jizo & Japanese Judas tree
Mt. Nantaizan from Godai-do
Chuuzennji Lake from Godai-do
Water of lake
Mt. Nantaizan from lake side
- The First Fudasho: Saidaiji Temple (3-8-8 Saidaijinaka, Okayama City, Okayama Pref.)
- When I came back to Okayama during Buddhist festival period called bon
, I planned to visit some Fudashos in the vicinity.
- It was so hot in Okayama whose temperature had been around 35 degrees Centigrade while I was staying.
- The time was limited this time and thus I visited Fudashos by car.
- Saidaiji is nationally famous for its unique festival called "Saidaiji Eyo", festival in which the participants go naked to be
held in February every year. (Naked men scramble for two 20 cm wooden bars called "Sacred Bars".)
- The Fudasho is located very close to Yoshii River, one of three largest rivers in Okayama Pref.
- After passing the big Deva gate of the temple, you can see the main temple in front and the
three-storied pagoda in the right and the "Koshi-do" in the left.
- The golden Amitabha Buddha is enshrined in the three-storied pagoda.
- The main Kannon is a Thousand Armed Kannon and is enshrined in the small shrine.
The substitute Kannon in front of the shrine can be worshipped.
- You can enter into the main temple after paying the admission fee of Yen 500.
It's worth seeing since the main temple is so gorgeous.
- Climbing up the stairs in the main temple, you will reach the window, where the priest drops the sacred bar (from the good luck window) on the festival day.
- It was so hot and thus no other worshippers were there. The staff of "Nokyosho" was so kind.
Main Temple thru Gate
- The second Fudasho: Jokeiji Temple (1187 Kitajima, Okucho, Oku-gun, Okayama Pref.)
- I also visited the second Fudasho by car. The Fudasho is on the hill from where you can see Yoshi River far away.
- It was easy to reach the temple by car. However, it might be very hard to reach there on foot since one had to walk up the long winding slope
under the boiling sun.
- The main temple was a little bit small.
The main Kannon is also a Thousand Armed Kannon. The Kannon was in the shrine and the small substitute Kannon was in front of the shrine.
- There were no other worshippers in the temple. I was standing just in front of the main temple for a while.
- The man in the "Nokyosho" was so unfriendly and in silence.
- The precinct was not so spacious. I was strolling around there.
I could find the "Yakushi-do" innermost.
- There were many cherry-blossom trees. It would be very nice during the cherry-blossom vieweing season.
- When going back, the man in the "Nokyosho" suddenly asked, "Where did you come from?"
I answered "From Tokyo!". He seemed to be surprised to hear my answer.
It seemed that he was not so unfriendly!
- By the way, I thought it was much better for me to go pilgrims on foot than by car.
2)Sunday, July 23, 2006
Pilgrimage in Bando Fudasho (Part XVII) Weather: Intermittent rain
- The Thirty-second Fudasho: Kiyomizu Temple (1270, Kamone, Misaki-cho, Isumi City, Chiba Pref.)
- The rainy season is not over as yet. However, the weatherman said it would be cloudy next day on Saturday.
Thus I decided to go to the Boso Peninsula again on Sunday.
- It was my first experience to get on the JR Sotobo Line.
As is always the case, when I get on the train of the local line, I am always getting excited for the scenery.
- I got up around 4:00 AM so that I could catch up with the first train to be left Higashi-kurume Station
at 5:08 AM as I did one week ago. It was cloudy as forecasted.
- However, it started to rain around 4:30 AM, contrary to my expectation. To my relief, the rain almost stopped when I went out.
- I changed the train at Tokyo Station to Chiba Station. At Chiba Station, I took on the train bound for Katsuura to be left at 7:09 AM.
- It had been rainy since I took on the train from Tokyo Station and it seemed not to stop.
- Finally I arrived in Choujamachi Station at 8:14 AM. It was a tiny local station.
When checking the timetable, I found only one train was available per hour during day time.
- Fortunately the rain stopped and thus I started to walk to the Fudasho from the station.
There is no bus line to the Fudasho. It is necessary to go there on foot or by taxi.
- Referring to the map, I continued to walk, but soon I found I lost my way since the road became the
terminal!! There existed a house and one lady was standing in front of the gate.
I asked her how I could reach the Fudasho. She was so kind to tell me how to reach the Fudasho.
She said all I had to do was to follow the road alongside the mountains to reach the Fudasho.
- Shortly the rain started again. I had to open the umbrella.
- Anyway, I continued to walk in the rain, seeing the rice fields in the left and small mountains in the right.
No one was there except me. I could hear the Japanese nightingales singing in the mountains all along.
- No matter how far I pushed my way, the same scenery continued.
I could not see any signboard and I started to worry. To make matter worse, the rain continued.
- I finally found out the signboard of "To Kiyomizu Temple" after 50-minute walk and I relived a little bit.
- Shortly after I noticed the big display saying "32nd Fudasho: Kiyomizu Temple".
- I reached the entrance and found several fire trucks there. I wondered if something happened.
- A steep grade continued from the entrance to the precinct of the Fudasho.
It took one hour to arrive in the Fudasho from the station.
It was a little bit cool. but I sweated. The rain stopped again when I reached the Fudasho.
- I found one fire truck in front of the Deva Gate. It seemed that the local fire fighters were going to conduct a fire drill
there. The open space in front of the Deva Gate was occupied with many fire fighters.
- After passing through the Deva Gate, the four heavenly kings gate appeared. The gods of thunder were enshrined there.
- Then you can see small temple enshrined "Ako Roshi" in the right and one more temple enshrined one hundred Kannon.
In the left, there exist the small temple enshrined small wooden eleven-headed Kannon.
- After climbing up the innermost stone stairs, you will reach the main temple.
- The main Kannon (The eleven-headed Kannon) was put in the gorgeous shrine (the small golden substitute Kannon was put in front of the shrine.)
- Owing to bad weather, only I was standing in front of the main temple.
I felt solemnity. Standing alone in front of the main temple, I also felt that I were in the supernatural spot.
- A lot of pictorial offerings were dedicated there.
- When I got back to the "Nokyosho" to have got the red stamp, the fire drill started and
it became noisy in the precinct. The atomosphere I had been indulging in was broken.
- To go back to the station, I took the course, which I should have taken first.
The rain started again.
- The course was monotonous and it was dangerous since a lot of cars came and went.
I walked desperately, but it took much time to arrive in the station than I expected.
- Since I came to the Sotobo district all the way, I decided to see the Pacific.
- However, since I did not have detailed map, it took much time to find out the way to the Pacific from the station.
- I managed to reach the beach of the Pacific. It was raining and the visibility was not so good and the color of the Pacific was grey.
I watched big waves roll in.
- I saw several surfers were enjoying surfing in the rain.
- I was strolling on the beach in the rain. I wondered if it was fine.
- There existed cycling road alongside the beach. But no one was there.
- I walked from Chojamachi to Ohhara alongside the beach. (The distance to be approx. 5 km.)
- I took on the local train bound for Chiba Station at 12:38.
- The step of this time was 30,867. I think I walked almost 20 km.
- So far I visited 22 Bando Fudashos, which means the two third of Bando Fudashos.
Figures of Ako Roshi
100 Kannons Temple
God of Thunder
1)Sunday, July 16, 2006
Pilgrimage in Bando Fudasho (Part XVI) Weather: Cloudy
- The thirtieth Fudasho: Kouzouji Temple 1245 Yabe, Kisarazu City, Chiba Pref.
- I took on the first train at 5:08 AM and changed the train at both Ochanomizu Station and Chigba Station.
I finally arrived in Kisarazu Station at 7:36 AM. I had been sleepy owing to lack of sleep.
- Referring to the map, I started to walk to the Fudasho from the station.
The distance might be 8 km.
- It was cloudy and very humid. I started to sweat.
- I thought I could reach the temple easily, however, I found the route was complicated since many roads were
tangled. I almost lost my way and might go to completely different direction.
I walked carefully checking the map for a while.
- It seemed that I could not reach the Fudasho although I walked as much as I could.
Owing to the hotness, I was finally getting tired in waking.
- Anyway, I could reach the entrance of the Fudasho.
However, the Fudasho was located on the hill. I had to climb the slope for a while. When I reached the Fudasho (9:20 AM), I sweated very much.
- Climbing up the short stone stairs and passing over the Deva Gate,
the big main temple appeared.
- When I reached the main temple, a party of pilgrims was there and it was a little bit noisy.
- The saint Kannon was in a big and gold shrine. A small substitute Kannon was in front of the shrine,
- After I got the red stamp at the "Nokyosho", I visited the under stairs of the main temple, where you can
see the "Pure Land or Heaven of Kannon". (Entrance fee: Yen 300) You can see various kinds of Gods there.
- However, the main attraction there is that you can see the Saint Kannon from under stairs.
The Kannon is made from one Japanese cinnamon tree. You will be overcome with the figure of Kannon (The height: 3.6 m)
When I visited there, only I was in and thus I stayed below the Kannon and contemplated for a while.
- It was very quiet in the precinct after a party of pilgrims was gone. I rested under the big ginkgo tree and
detected the pilgrim diary.
- The number of buses available to the station was very limited.
Almost all pilgrims come by their car.
- Only 6 buses are available per day and thus I had to wait until 11:06 AM to go back to
the station. I reached the station at 11:30 AM.
- I decided to take on the bus to Shinagawa Station via Tokyo Aqua Line.
The bus started at 12:15 and arrived in JR Shinagawa Station at 12:50.
It took only 45 minutes. It's very convenient.
- I could get home around 14:00. It's much earlier than I planned.
I walked 19,664 steps today.
Tokyo Aqua Line