July 2008 - December 2008
6)Saturday, October 25, 2008
Pilgrimage in Bando Fudasho (Part XXV--- Finally my wishes are fulfilled!)Weather: Cloudy
- The 13th Fudasho: Sensouji Temple (Taitoh-Ku, Tokyo)
- According to weekly weather forecast, it would be rainy on Saturday. And thus I had a plan to visit last three Fudashos on Sunday.
However, suddenly, the weather forecast had changed and it would be sunny on Saturday.
I decided to go on Saturday.
- But contrary to my expectation, it grazed over in the morning.
- Anyway, I left home before 6:00 AM to visit Sensoji Temple first.
- I arrived in the Kaminari (Thunder) Gate at 7:15 AM via Seibu Line, Yamanote Line and Subway.
I could see many worshippers in such early morning.
- Of course, the shutters of souvenir shops in the Nakamise Street were all closed.
I walked through the quiet approach to the main temple.
- It was before 8:00 AM when I reached the main temple. I thought it might be impossible to get red stamp in the
early morning. Anyway, I asked if I could get the stamp to the clerk at the entrance.
Contrary to my expectation, his reply was "Yes". The reception of Nokyosho was in the back of the main temple.
- I was waiting in front of the reception until the Buddhist monk came to the reception after his morning divine service,
He put red stamp on my nokyocho and calligraphed. One gentleman was waiting after me.
- Worshippers were coming one by one in the main temple.
- In commemoration of 50th anniversary of re-building main temple, the substitute Kannon could be specially seen.
I prayed with heart and soul.
- It was early in the morning and thus to my regret, I could not drink famous cocktail at "Kamiya Bar".
Large Japanese sandal
- The 29th Fudasho: Senyoji Temple (Chiba City, Chiba Pref.)
- After visiting Sensouji Temple, I headed Senyouji Temple.
- I reached Chiba Station via subway and JR Sobu Line. I tried to visit on foot consulting map.
- I thought it would take almost one hour to the Fudasho there and back. I walked as fast as possible.
so that I could catch up with the train bound for Tateyama to be left at 9:59 from Chiba Station.
Therefore, I was steeped in sweat when I reached the temple.
- I almost reached the temple, however, I could not find it.
I was wandering there and finally found it. It took approx. 30 minutes.
I found it was impossible to take on the train I planned.
- An old and grand temple gate was built just in front of the heavily-trafficked road.
- The precinct was more spacious than I expected.
There was a big ginkgo tree just in front of the main temple.
The leaves were still green. It might be wonderful to see the colored ginkgo tree.
- The main temple was closed and it's almost impossible to see the inside.
- After getting red stamp, I was wandering in the precinct.
Only I was there except two old men sweeping the precinct. Only the sweeping sound of broom could be heard.
- I was walking back slowly to Chiba Station.
- The 33rd Fudasho: Nakodera Temple (1125 Nako, Tateyama City, Chiba Pref.)
- I arrived in Nakofunakata Station at 12:52.
- The color of the sea of Uchibou was grey owing to cloudy weather.
- It took less than 15 minutes on foot to reach the entrance of the last Fudasho from the station.
I reached the approach after climbing the stone stairs.
- The precinct was not so spacious, but there existed main temple, Amida temple,
belfry and pagoda.
- The preparation of the completion ceremony of the repair of the main temple was being made.
Many workers were working there. It was so noisy and unrestful although this was my final visit of the last Fudasho.
- Anyway, I could worship the main Kannon in the main temple.
The Kannon was a multi-armed deity made by copper.
- The main temple was on the side of Mt. Nako and it was possible to see the sea of Uchibou from the temple.
- Nokyosho was located separately from the main temple. In case that the visit to the 33rd Fudasho is final, the certificate can be
issued from the temple if wished.
- Anyway, I could finally finish Pilgrimage in Bando Fudasho since I started
in August 2004. It took almost 4 years to complete. I felt a surge of pleasure when I got a certificate.
- According to the clerk at Nokyosho, today, a man who visited all Bando Fudashos
14 times visited. He said the Nokyocho (Stamp book) was almost red since the 14 red stamps were put every page.
- I returned to the main temple again and faced the Kannon and prayed again.
- Then I returned to the station. I have to pay a visit of thanks to the Zenkouji Temple in Nagano Pref. next time.
Sea of Uchibou
5)Saturday, September 13, 2008
Pilgrimage in Bando Fudasho (Part XXIV)Weather: Cloudy then sunny
- 25th Fudasho: Ohmido Temple (748 Tsukuba, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Pref.)
- According to weekly weather forecast, the weather of the coming three consecutive holidays would not be good.
- However, on Friday, the forecast had changed to good ones.
- I prepared to go out any time, I decided to go to Mt. Tsukuba.
- I was planning to climb Mt. Tsukuba when I would visit 25th Fudasho, because Mt. Tsukuba is one of one hundred famous mountains in Japan.
- When I think back, I flied at trying to climb all one hundred famous mountains in my late twenties.
However, after all, I climbed 66 famous mountains and ceased. If I success to climb Mt. Tsukuba this time, total number of famous
mountains would amount to 67 after an interval of almost 30 years.
- Anyway, I left home around 5:30 AM. It was cloudy contrary to the weather forecast.
- I arrived in Tsukuba Station of Tsukuba Express Line at 7:36 AM via Seibu and JR Musashino Lines.
The train connection of Tsukuba Line in the early morning was not good.
- The first shuttle bus to Tsukuba Shrine started at 8:00 AM. The bus was not so crowded.
- It took almost 40 minutes to the Shrine. The climbing route started from the side of the station of Tsukuba cable car.
- Before staring to climbing, I worshipped Tsukuba Shrine. The main shrine was so gorgeous. The shrine is the god of marriage.
- The climbing route was full of roots and rocks. Although there was only one down slope, the steep slope continued.
It was so hot that I drenched with sweat.
- I reached the pass where the Peak Cable Car Station locates around 10:00 AM.
It took 1 hour and 15 minutes from the foot of the mountain.
There was no view from there owing to fog. I took a rice ball.
- It took almost 15 minutes to reach the peak of Mt. Nantaizan. The route was
filled with rocks and it's hard to climb. There was a shrine on the peak (Height: 871 m). The view was not so good although it was fine weather.
- I descended from the peak and headed to another peak of Mt. Nyotaizan (Height: 877 m).
- I conquered the peak of Mt. Nyotaizan after 15 minutes.
The peak consisted of large rocks and the view was marvelous.
There existed large stone monument describing "Japanese famous one hundred mountain".
A lot of climbers took photos in front of the monument.
- Then I started to descend the opposite route.
- The route was filled with large rocks for a while.
- I though that the route was so easy since the height of the mountain is less than 900 m.
However, the route was so hard than I expected. I should have worn climbing shoes. (I wore running shoes.)
Mt. Tsukuba is worthy of climbing.
- Anyway, contrary to my expectation, it took much time to descend owing to rocky route.
- When I reached the foot of the mountain, it was almost noon.
- I dropped in Tsukuba Shrine again. I found a lot of people were gathering at the precinct.
I wondered what was going on, Then I found a sales staff of medicine called "Oil of Toad" , with Samurai style, was giving a sales message with sword.
I listened it for a while.
- Shortly after, I went to 25th Fudasho.
- The fudasho was located very close to the Shrine. It was so small and the precinct was not spacious.
- I could not see the one thousand-hand Kannon in the main temple.
- I tried to have red stamp, however, the Nokyosho was closed owing to lunchtime!
I had no alternative but to come back at 13:00.
- So I looked for the restaurant for lunch. I found it just close to the bus stop.
As soon as I entered, I ordered draft beer and Japanese noodle.
I refreshed after drinking beer.
- On the way back to the Fudasho, I dropped in liquor shop to buy locally brewed Japanese Sake.
(I already noticed the shop when I arrived.)
I bought the "Mist of Mt. Tsukuba" recommended by old lay of the shop. (720 ml: Yen 1,200)
I found there were several sakes there.
- I got red stamp at 13:00 and ran back to the bus stop to catch up with the bust to be left at 13:00.
I managed to get on the bus and my pilgrimage finished.
View from peak
View from peak
Sales talk of Oil of Toad
- I did not feel tired this time. I walked around 20,000 steps.
- I could finish the pilgrimage of Band Fudasho if I visit 3 more Fudashos.
4)Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Pilgrmage in Saigoku Fudasho (Part X) Weather: Sunny
- The first Fudasho: Seigantoji Temple (8 Nachizan, Nachi-Katsuura Cho, Wakayama Pref.)
- I visited the first Fudasho when I came back from Okayama.
- I took on the "Nozomi" Super-bullet train from Okayama at 6:08 AM.
I arrived in Shin-Osaka Station around 7:00 AM.
- I got on the Limited Express "Kuroshio No.1" from Shin-Osaka
to be left at 7:35 AM. It was announced that the reserved seats were all occupied owing to homecoming passengers.
- More than half passengers got off at Nanki-shirahama Station.
- It seemed that the harvest season (rice reaping) already started at Nanki District.
- I bought a ticket to Nanki Katsuura Station, but the conductor announced that the train would specially stop at Nachi Station today
and thus I decided to pass to Nachi Station.
- Nachi Station was a small and local station, but there existed hot spring facility for day-tripper and souvenior shop just next to station.
- First, I visited Nachi seashore located just at back to the station. The sea was blue and beautiful and a little bit crowded with sea bathers.
- Then I decided to walk from the station to Mt. Nachi (The distance to be 9 km) according to guidebook.
- I visited Hamanomiya Shrine and Fudarakusanji Temple in the vicinity of the station.
- At the precinct of the temple, there was a small ship in a restored condition. The ship was used to
go to the paradise, which was believed to be beyond the sea, by successive holy priests of the temple.
- I saw many tombs of the priests, who never came back from the sea, in the dark forest of the hill in the back of the temple.
- Anyway, I decided to walk the Kumano ancient road according to guide poles.
There are many guide poles on the road and thus one may not lose one's way.
- I walked along side the national road, then I entered into the upward mountain trail in the cedar trees or bamboo trees.
- It was darkish and gloomy in the mountain trail and I did not see anyone while walking.
Finally I reached the pass where stone pagoda existed. There, I felt something like inscrutable power.
- When descended from the pass, I found a array of private houses alongside the road.
Soon I saw a large stone monument with the description of "Daimon Slope".
- Stone stairway among tall cedar trees started.
I climbed the stairway in the dark cedar forest dripping with perspiration.
- When reaching the top of the stone stairway, I found two ways: one is the way to
the first Fudasho, the other is the way to Kumano Nachi Shrine.
- I once visited there more than 30 years ago, however, I didn't remember anymore.
- First, I worshipped Kumano Nachi Shrine. A lot of worshippers were there.
- Then I entered into the precinct of the fist Fudasho, Seigantoji Temple, through the Shrine.
After the worship, I got the red stamp on the Nokyocho.
- The main temple was splendid. The main Kannon (Nyoirin Kannon) was in the small shrine, but I could worship
the golden substitute Kannon just in front of the small shrine.
- I could see the Nachi waterfall far away from the edge of the precinct.
Going forward to he waterfall, then you can see three-storied pagoda and waterfall in the same view field.
- I went up to the top of the three-storied pagoda by paying Yen 200 entrance fee.
I could enjoy seeing the waterfall from the top. I could also see the Kumano open sea on the other side.
- Then, I approached to the waterfall on foot. There existed Hiryu Shrine.
I had to pay Yen 300 to see the waterfall closely, which I did.
Furthermore, one had to pay Yen 100 more to drink sacred water named "Life lengthening water".
I got disenchanted with such money-driven operations.
I would like to say loudly that the waterfall should be seen without charge!
- Anyway, it was wonderful to see the waterfall with 133-meter drop.
I had been watching the waterfall for the time I felt worth Yen 300.
- At last I bought candy named "Nachi black candy" at souvenir shop.
I walked around and was drenched with sweat. I didn't have any more energy to go back on foot.
I decided to go back to Kii-Katsuura sSation by bus.
- The bus reached station around 16:00. I strolled around the station.
I also checked the overnight bus terminal. The bus stop was very close to the port.
Kii-katsuura is famous for hot spring and thus there are many hotels and lots of tourists were there.
There were two footbaths near the port.
- Before getting on the overnight bus, I had to have a meal.
I dropped in the Japanese restaurant very close to the bus stop.
The specialty of Nanki District of tuna and whale dishes.
I checked the menu and found that the prices of whale dishes were expensive.
Anyway, I ordered beer and deep-fried whale meat. I used to eat deep-fried whale meat
at school lunch when I was young. I drank up beer instantly and ordered locally brewed
Japanese sake named "Pacific Ocean". The taste of deep-fried whale meat was nostalgic and delicious.
Again I drank up sake (360 cc). Finally I ate up "Tuna Don", a rice bowl with topping of tuna sashimi".
Tuna sashimis were thick and delicious. I was satisfied with each dish excepting bill amounting to Yen 3,800.
Later I found "Sashimi of dolphne" in the menu. I wished I could have it, but it's too late.
- The overnight bus bound for Tokyo left at 19:30. I could see two fireworks events from the bus. They were wonderful.
It took 11 hours to reach Ikebukuro Station. I was exhausted.
Sea from train
Couple Cedar Trees
Entrance of Shrine
Scenery from Shrine
Three storied pagoda
Kumano Open Sea
Entrance of waterfall
Kii Katsuura Port
3)Monday, August 11, 2008
Pilgrmage in Chugoku Fudasho(Part V)Weather: Fine
- The seventh Fudasho: Entsuji Temple (451 Kashiwajima, Tamashima, Kurashiki City, Okayama Pref.)
- While I was staying Okayama, it had been so hot and the temperature rose more than 35 Centigrade degrees.
- I was forced to visit the Fudasho by car.
- Entsuji Temple is famous for the fact that Priest Ryokan once performed the ascetic practices there.
The temple is located on the hill looking down the Seto Inland Sea.
- The area around the temple consists of Entsuji Park with extensivce forest.
You can enjoy viewing the Seto Inland Sea from the top of the hill (The height: 92 m).
- The main temple was gorgeous and roofing with thatch.
- In remembrance of Ryokan, I was staying in front of the main temple for a while amid the singing of the cicadas.
- The precinct was filled with greens and the garden was wonderful.
Statue of Ryokan
Seto Inland Sea
2)Saturday, August 9, 2008
Pilgrmage in Saigoku Fudasho (Part VIIII)Weather: Fine
- The fifith Fudasho: Fujiidera (1-16-21 Fujiidera, Fujiidera City, Osaka Pref.)
- As I did in May 2008, I got on the JR overnight bus from Shinjuku Station on August 8, 2008.
The seats were fully occupied.
- The bus reached Osaka at 7:40 AM. A delay of 40 minutes owing to traffic jam.
I took on the subway from Umeda to Tennoji.
- From Tennoji, I rode on Kintetsu Line and arrived in Fujiidera Station at 8:30 AM.
- The Fudasho is located at a distance of 300 m from the station.
There was an entrance of the temple when I passed through the arcade.
- The precinct was already crowded with worshippers although it was still before 9:00 AM.
- I found that August 8 was a day of so-called "1,000-day visiting".
It is said that one would earn merit equivalent to 46,000-day visits if he visit on August 8,.
Also the main Kannon is open to the public only 18th of every month, but it is also open on August 8.
That's the reason why I visited the temple this day.
- I could worship the main Kannon with a thousand hands (multiarmed deity) in the large shrine. The face of Kannon was benevolent.
- It was dark inside the shrine and thus it was impossible to see the details of Kannon, which
enhanced the mysterious presence and divinity.
- I faced with the Kannon in front of the shrine for a while alone.
There were many other Buddha statues in the main temple.
- Then I got a red stamp. The old man at Nokyosho behaved in an amiable way.
- The staffs of temple were working busily for the reception of prayer and selling good-luck amulets in the precinct.
I felt the commercialism of Osaka merchants.
- The precinct was not so spacious. I went back to the station to visit next third Fudasho.
Stone for 100-visit
- The third Fudasho: Kokawadera Temple (2787 Kokawa, Kinokawa City, Wakayama Pref.)
- I made connections from Fujiidera Station to Hashimoto Station via Kawachi-nagano Station.
From Hashimoto Station I took on the one-man two-car train of JR Wakayama Line at 10:38 AM. Only one train per hour was available
on the line. I arrived in Kokawa Station at 11:10 AM.
- It was almost noon and the sunshine was so hot. Almost straight street
runs down to the temple. The distance was almost 1 km. The street was renewed.
Contrary to my expectations, no one was walking to the temple. Soon I saw a big temple gate.
- Passing through the gate, I found an approach alongside Kokawa River.
- When you turn to the left at the end of the approach after passing Middle gate,
you will reach a gorgeous main temple.
- The main deity is Thousand Armed Kannon and is in the small shrine.
You can see the inside of the main temple by paying Yen 300.
I could see many Buddha statues and was interested.
- I could also see a big Amitabha Buddha in the Amitabha hall.
The face was endearing and I was much attracted.
- I wondered how come such a big temple was built in a local small town.
- I tasted " Kokawadera Soybean Paste", a specialty of the temple, at the souvenir
shop just beside the main gate. According to the lady of the shop. Two kinds of soybean pastes are
available, that is, dry soybean paste and sweet soybean paste. She said sweet soybean paste is more salable than dry one
and that it is good to eat with hot rice or rice with hot tea poured on it.
- I saw a lot of worshippers in the precinct than I expected. It seemed
they came by car.
- I returned to the station and got on the train bound for Wakayama Station at 12:32.
From Kokawa Station, two trains per hour are available.
The scenery from the train window of Wakayama Line was monotonous.
- The Second Fudasho: Kimiidera Temple (1201 Kiimiidera-cho, Wakayama City)
- From Wakayama Station, I took on the train of JR Kisei Line and took off at KiiMiidera Station.
- There was no shop around the station. I was at a loss since there was no guideboard about the Fudasho.
- Anyway, I headed to the temple according to the map of guidebook.
It was so hot. Soon I found the buildings in the mountain, which seemed to be a temple.
- Somehow I found a entrance to the temple.
- I climbed the slope under the hot sunshine and reached the precinct of the temple.
The precinct was crowded with worshippers.
- I could see Wakaura seashore far away from the precinct. It was wonderful scenery.
- To my regret, I couldn't see the inside of the main temple owing to lattice gate.
The main Kannon could be seen every 50 years! Next time is 2020.
- New main temple was built just opposite of the main temple.
It was completed May 2008. Entrance fee was Yen 200. I saw a tall and golden eleven-faced
Kannon in the new main temple. The height might be more than 10 m.
The Kannon was very new and also inside the temple was so bright and thus I did not feel
solemnity. I just felt commercialism.
- New main temple is three-storied and one can climb to the third floor.
On the third floor, he can enjoy wonderful view of Wakaura seashore and
- There are three big circle windows and one can worship the Kannon through the windows.
- When returning, I descended the stone stairway. On the way, I could see a well named
- The color of temple gate was vermillion. There existed many souvenir shops in front of the temple gate.
- I took on the train bound for Wakayama at 14:25, then managed to get on the limited express
bound for Shin-Osaka Station.
- I drank a canned beer in the train, and then fell in asleep. The conductor awakened
me at the terminal.
New Main Temple
1)Saturday, July 19, 2008
Pilgrimage in Bando Fudasho (Part XXIII)Weather: Cloudy occasionally sunny
- The twenty-first Fudasho: Nichirinji Temple (Daigo-machi, Kuji-gun, Ibaraki Pref.)
- I had been busy for visiting Chichibu Fudashos since April 2008. Thus I did not have a chance to visit
Bando Fudasho for the time being. However, I finished visiting Chichibu Fudashos and I decided to visit 21st Fudasho.
after a long interval.
- I left home early in the morning. It was cloudy and humid.
- I took on the train bound for Katsuta from Nippori Station. The main passengers were high school girl
students. They were chatting in the train and so noisy until the train reached Tsuchiura Station.
- I arrived in Mito Station past 8:30 AM. I changed the train of Suigun Line. The
three-car train was quite a new.
- The train started at 9:23 AM. I enjoyed the scenery of local train after a long interval.
The train reached Hitachi-daigo Station at 10:40 AM. A few minutes delay.
- Since the bus bound for Jaketsu would leave the station at 10:42, I would almost miss the bus although I could
manage to get on.
- It took 45 minutes to the terminal. Only 7 passengers were there.
The bus fee was Yen 800.
- I started to walk around 11:30 AM. I took rice balls while walking.
- With 15-minute walk on the forest road, I found the guide board indication
"Mt. Yamizosan approach" and I entered into it.
- I continued to clime the road covered with bamboo grass.
It was so hot and I was dripping with sweat.
- I crossed the forest road twice on the way and finally I entered into the natural trail to the Fudasho.
After almost one-hour climb, I reached the Fudasho.
- The 21st Fudasho is located at the 8th stage of Mt. Yamizosan (1,022 m).
- When I arrived in the Fudasho, the tour worshippers came by microbus were in the main temple and reading a sutra aloud.
- Anyway, I worshipped gold eleven-faced Kannon in the main temple.
- After getting red stamp on the Nokyo book, I headed to the top of Mt. Yamizosan.
- It took about 15 minutes from temple to the top of the mountain. I climbed amid the singing of the cicadas.
- I could see the guidepost of "Silver Water Spring" just below the top of the mountain. I visited there, but the spring was run out to my regret.
- There were observation stage and Yamizorei Shrine on the top of the mountain.
- I tried to climb to the observation stage. I thought it was free to climb. However, a middle-aged man was
at the entrance and I was charged Yen 100 to enter.
I complained that I thought it was free to the man. He said it would be cooler on the stage.
- It was surely cooler by wind and I could enjoy 360-degree scenery although it was hazy.
I was said that Mt. Fuji and Mt. Bandai could be seen, but I couldn't.
- When returning, I said, "I could not see Mt. Fuji" to the man. Then he answered, "It is not possible to see Mt. Fuji now. You can see it in winter only."
The he showed me picture of Mt. Fuji he took.
- I return to the temple and dropped in the souvenir shop just close to the temple.
The elderly couple served me a tea, which is Okukuji Tea, a specialty product.
I bought one pack of tea as souvenir. I chatted them for a while. The mountain is located
just between Ibaraki Pref. and Fukushima Pref. The accent of old lady was almost Tohoku dialect.
She said they did not have much rain during this rainy season.
- The Fudasho was quiet after the group worshippers were gone.
- Mt. Yamizosan is famous for springs. I visited another spring, however, the volume of spring water was very little.
- I returned to the foot of the mountain around 15:00. I asked old lady of the teahouse (The house was not so clean!) near bus stop for canned beer.
However, she just said in a chilly manner "Out of stock!". Unlovely old lady!!
- I had no choice but to wait the bus to be left at 16:15.
- The passengers were the same as those of morning bus.
The bus arrived in the station around 17:00.
- Almost 50 minutes was available and thus I entered into the liquor shop in front of the station.
I asked the master about locally brewed sake. He first recommended 1.8 liter bottle, however, it was too big.
I asked him 720ml-bottle. His recommendation was "Flavor of Okukuji".
The price was Yen 1,422.
- Then finally I enjoyed drinking canned beer bought at convenient store until the train started.
- I arrived in Mito station past 19:00. It was later than I expected.
- I took on the limited express "Super Hitachi" from Mito Station. It took only one hour from Mito to Ueno with non-stop.
I enjoyed it very much.
Scenery from the top
Silver water spring
- I got home at 21:30. I walked 21,000 steps this time.
It was not so hard compared with the last Chichibu pilgrims.