January 2009 - June 2009
3)Saturday, May 2, 2009
Pilgrmage in Saigoku Fudasho (Part XII) Weather: Sunny
- Bangai Fudasho: Kazan-in Temple (352 Amadera, Sanda City, Hyogo Pref.)
- I got up at 4:30 AM. I checked out the hotel past 5:00 AM.
It was fine and chilly. I could see few pedestrian while walking to the station.
I got into the local train bound for Fukuchiyama to be left at 5:45 AM.
- I changed the train at Fukuchiyama Station to the train bound for Sanada Station.
I enjoyed seeing local scenery from the window of the one-track train.
- The train reached Sanda Station at 8:29 AM. I could see a big factory of Mitsubishi Electric Co., Ltd. very close to the station.
The Sand Station was larger than I expected.
- I looked for the bus bound for Kazan-in Temple at the bus terminal of the station.
I found the bus just left at 8:30 AM and I had to wait by 8:55.
- The passengers on the next bus were two middle-aged couples and I.
The scenery was gradually getting rural as bus went.
It took around 20 minutes to the bus stop of Kazan-in Temple.
One couple and I got off there.
- The guide pole said the distance to the temple was 900 meters.
I saw a precipitous paved road continued. I was getting sweat after 20-minute walk.
The couple that followed me was soon out of sight.
- Then the small temple gate appeared. I reached the precinct where small main temple and Yakushi-do existed after climbing up the stone stairs.
The green leaves of maple tree were so beautiful.
- The emperor Kazan, who restored Saigoku Fudasho, demised here at the age of 41.
- No worshippers were there when I visited. It was so quiet.
I worshipped eleven-faced Kannon at the main temple. A small and candy-colored Kannon.
- I faced with Yakushi, the healing Buddha, at Yakushi-do.
I could indulge in the world isolated from real world.
- There was a tomb of Emperor Kazan in the precinct.
- The Nokyosho was also very quiet. I got red stamp there. I was amazed at the splendid hand of man.
I purchased the specialty of ginger tea. (@ yen 500 )
- The Fudasho is located on the top of the mountain.
There was a lookout near Nokyosho.
From there, you can see Mt. Arima Fuji. It was said that you could see Harima Open Sea and Shodoshima Island far away.
However, I could not see owing to haze.
- I left Fudasho and went to the tomb of 12 mistress and court ladies, who left Imperial court when Emperor Kazan retired.
- I took on the bus bound for Sanda Station at 11:07 AM.
I could catch up with local train bound for Osaka at 11:35.
The train was so crowded and I could not get seat.
- I was satisfied with the visit of Fudashoes since I could worship the main Kannons specially exhibited for an only limited time.
View from precinct
Mt. Arima Fuji
Tomb of Emperor Kazan
Distant view of Kazanin Temple
2)Friday, May 1, 2009
Pilgrmage in Saigoku Fudasho (Part XI) Weather: Sunny
- The 28th Fudasho: Seisouji Temple (339 Seisouji, Miyazu City, Kyoto Pref.)
- I got on the overnight bus bound for Higashi-maizuru at 22:15 from Shinagawa Bus Terminal on Thursday.
- Before getting on the bus, I dropped in the Japanese pub near the terminal for dinner.
- Several passengers got on the bus from Shinagawa, but the seats were fully occupied from Hamamatsucho Station.
- I shortly fell in asleep since I drank at the pub. When I waked up, it was 4:00 AM.
The bus just stopped at the service area and I got out of the bus. It was cool outside.
- Then I had been dozing over until bus reached the Fukuchiyama terminal around 6:00 AM.
The bus arrived earlier than expected.
- The station house was very new, but the passengers were very few.
- I got on the local train of Kitakinki Tango Railroad at 6:57 AM.
The train was an old one-man single-car train.
- The main passengers were male senior high school students with cropped hair.
- Anyway, I enjoyed seeing local scenery from the train.
- The train reached Miyazu terminal at 7:46 AM.
Fortunately, I could immediately make connection with train bound for Amano-hashidate Station.
The train arrived in Amano-hashidate Station around 8:00 AM.
- First I visited Chionji Temple, which is one of three famous Monju bodhisattvas, close to the station.
It was so early in the morning that no one worshipped there except me.
- Then I started to walk the Amano-hashidate. The distance was about 2.6 km.
It was fine and quiet. I enjoyed one-hour walking.
- I visited Kono Shrine.
- I got on the lift to the Kasamatsu Park, where Amano-hashidate can be overlooked.
It took only 5 minutes to the park by lift.
- I took on the bus from the park to Seisouji Temple. The bus ran on the narrow paved sloping road. (The
distance was 2 km and it took only 5 minutes by bus.
The round trip fare of both lift and bus was Yen 1,740.
- Both alpine roses and Japanese roses were just in full bloom on each side of stone stairway of the temple.
- In the main temple, the main Kannon was specially exhibited.
If one misses this opportunity, he has to wait for 30 years to see the main Kannon next time.
- When I arrived in the temple, it was 9:30 AM and there were only a few worshippers.
It was so quiet. I could see the main Kannon up close.
The Saint Kannon was around one meter in height and blackened across the ages.
- Near the ceiling of the main temple, there existed the carving of dragon. The legend has it that Hidari Jingoro, a famous sculptor, made it.
Taking photo of this carving was permitted.
- The fie-story pagoda, which was re-built after an interval of 400 years, was also wonderful.
- The double cherry blossoms were still in full bloom in the precinct.
- Then I returned to the park by bus. I took in the scenery of Amano-hashidate.
It is most popular for visitors to see Amano-hashidate through the fork of one's legs from the observatory.
(Matanozoki: Turning backward and to look Amano-hashidate through the fork of one's legs with bodies bent forward.)
Therefore, of course, I tried it. Everybody who came here held a pose and was taken photo.
Anyway, it was fine and I could enjoy beautiful scenery.
- Soon a lot of tourists including couples and families visited the park and I was pulled back to the real world.
- When returning, I planned to get on the sightseeing boat. However, when I reached the boat slip, I found that
the boat had just left and that I had to wait almost 20 minutes. I couldn't stand it, and I decided to return on foot.
- Heading to the 29th Fudasho, I took on the local train bound for Nishi-maizuru Station at 12: 20 PM from Amano-hashidate Station.
JR Fukuchiyama Station
Temple Gate of Chionji Temple
Double Cherry Blossoms
Long Distance View of Kanburi Island
River Mouth of Yui River
- The 29th Matsuodera Temple (532 Matsuo, Maizuru City, Kyoto Pref.)
- The local train of Kita-kinki Tango Railroad bound for Nishi-maizuru was called "Yuyu".
The train stopped for a few minutes at a couple of points where the scenic views were available for passengers
together with explanation by lady conductor.
It's a good arrangement.
(A long distance view of Kanmuri Island & River mouth of Yui River)
- I left the train at Matsuodera Station, next to Higashi-maizuru Station.
The train reached the station at 1:42 PM.
- The distance to the Fudasho was 2.6 km.
- It was fine and the wind of May was comfortable.
The elderly lady passed me when I was walking on the walking trail. She seemed to go to the 29th Fudasho. (I saw her at 28th Fudasho.)
- The walking trail soon merged into the broad paved road.
Shortly I found a guide plate "Shortcut" and thus I followed the guide plate.
The sharp slope continued.
- Shortly after climbed up the slope, the stone stairway of the Fudasho appeared.
- After the stairway, you can see small main temple. The main Kannon was also exhibited
here for a limited period.
- The principal image was unusually horsehead Kannon.
I could worship the Kannon closely. The Kannon was gorgeous and gilding.
The face was filled with blaze of temper similar to Cetaka.
- It seemed that the Fudasho was separated from the real world since the temple was not located at the
sightseeing area and on the top of the mountain.
- When I returned to the station from the temple, I found I had enough time to the next train
and thus I went to the convenience store very close to the station to buy canned beer.
- I arrived in Higashi-maizuru Station past 4:00 PM.
I went to the business hotel on foot. The hotel was located near Maizuru Port.
I booked the hotel via Internet. The room charge was 50% off on Monday and Friday.
- The Maizuru City was large, however, the street was less crowded.
A lot of shops closed shutters. Although the vitalization of local towns is claimed, almost all local towns
seem to go out.
- I went to the supermarket and bought locally brewed Japanese sakes. I tasted them at hotel.
- Zenkouji Temple (Nagano City)
- Heavy rain continued all day on Friday, March 6, 2009.
However, the rain stopped suddenly at night and the moon started to shine.
I wondered if good weather resulted from my recent good behavior.
- Anyway, I took on the special train Moonlight Shinshu No. 81 to be left at 23:54 from JR Shinjuku Station bound for Hakuba.
I think I took on the overnight train after an interval of almost thirty years.
- The train arrived in the platform around 23:30.
The train was old limited express type. The conductor said all reserved seats were occupied.
However, when leaving at Shinjuku Station, the seats were not fully occupied.
- There were many drunken persons at the concourse of Shinjuku Station after 23:00.
Especially, younger ones. By the way, I was not drunk before I took on the train.
The platform of Shinjuku Station was crowded with passengers around 0:00.
- There was not enough time to sleep in the train since the train would reach Matsumoto Station around 4:30 AM.
I might miss my stop.
- Anyway, I drank one one-cup Japanese sake and one one-cup Shochu so that I might sleep.
However, in vain.
- The passengers took on the train even at Tachikawa and Hachioju Stations. Then the seats
were almost occupied. I wondered where other passengers would go.
I saw only a few skiing and mountaineering passengers. I also saw a few salaried men.
- The train arrived in Matsumoto Station at 4:30 AM.
The first local train bound for Nagano would start at 6:20 AM.
I had to wait until then. I was waiting in the waiting room at the platform for a while.
However, I was bored and I decided to go out from the station.
Contrary to my expectation, there was no fallen snow on the road.
- I found both MacDonald and Matsuya were operating in front of the station.
I entered into the Matsuya and ordered morning dishes. Although the taste was not so good as usual,
the shop was crowded with young guys.
- Then I took on the train bound for Nagano Station.
The blue sky appeared. I could see mountains with snow far away from the train window.
However, to my regret, the clouds covered the top of the mountains.
- I could enjoy seeing local scenery for one hour.
- The train reached Nagano Station at 7:30 AM.
I immediately headed to Zenkoji Temple on foot. No snow on the road.
But the air was cold since it was still early in the morning.
- According to guide pole, the distance from the station to the temple was 1.8 km.
It might take around 30 minutes on foot. There were few worshippers on the approach.
- Soon the deva gate appeared. Passing over the gate, there were many souvenir shops on both sides.
Only a few shops were open since it was before 8:00 AM.
- After passing over the temple gate, you could see the main temple.
There were a few worshippers there. Anyway, first I paid my respects at the main temple.
Then I got a red stamp at the Nokyosho.
- The worshippers could enter into the main temple by paying the fee of Yen 500, however,
it could be done from 9:00. I had to wait by 9:00.
- Therefore, I retuned to one souvenir shop to look for some souvenirs.
- I read an article on the website of Asahi Shimbun lately that the commemorative oval gold coin for special exhibition of substitute Buddha of Zenkouji Temple every 6 years (@ Yen 1,300) would be sold. (Limited quantity of 20,000 pcs).
Fortunately, I could find it and bought 3 coins as commemoration. It is said more than 6 million worshippers would visit Zenkoji Temple during coming April to May.
- I entered into the main temple after 9:00 AM. There was an underground passage just below the main Kannon. The worshipper can pass through the
passage. The distance was only 50 meters, however, there was no light and it was completely dark. The worshipper has to go by touch.
I tried to pass through. It was completely the world of darkness. It is said there is a key in the middle of the passage. If the worshipper can touch the key in the dark,
he could be united with Kannon. Unfortunately, I could not touch the key in the darkness. Anyway I felt as if I was in the Tartarus.
- Then I visited the museum. The clerk emotionally said to me "From today, you can see the Buddha inscribed by Dalai Lama."
- The size of Buddha was so small and it might be possible to put on the palm.
It was gilding. I joined my hands in prayer.
- I went back to Nagano Station on foot and headed to next destination, the North-facing Kannon in Ueda City.
- North-facing Kannon (Ueda City, Nagano Pref.)
- I could catch up with the rapid train of Shinano Railroad bound for Komoro, which started at 10:06 AM.
Again I could fully enjoy viewing local scenery. The train arrived in Ueda Station at
- However, the next train of Ueda Railroad would leave at 11:10.
Anyway, I got a sightseeing map of Bessho Spa, which is called as the Kamakura of Shinshu District, from the
tourist information center.
- The train of Ueda Railroad was one-man-operated with two cars.
It took 30 minutes from Ueda Station to Bessho Spa. The distance between two stations was so short and that the train stopped
- On the way, a bus tour group with a stationmaster of Ueda Station took on the train.
The stationmaster suddenly took out a harmonica and said to the passengers "Let's sing a song."
He started to play a song on a harmonica.
- To the terminal, the chorus continued in harmony with the harmonica.
I thought it was one of Ueda Railroad's sales promotions to increase the passengers.
- The train reached Bessho Spa around 11:40 AM.
I headed to the North-facing Kannon first. On the way, I found the bus stop of highway bus to Tokyo.
- It took about 10 minutes on foot to the North-facing Kannon.
It is famous as a Kannon ridding one of bad luck.
It is said that the good luck comes after worshipping both South-facing Zenkouji Temple and North-facing Kannon.
- The main Kannon is thousand-hand Kannon, which is enshrined in the small shrine.
I got the final red stamp at the main temple. My thanks visit to the last two temples of Bando Fudasho had just finished.
- Highway bus would start at 17:40. I had enough time.
I decided to go sightseeing around there.
- First I visited Jorakuji Temple. The main temple was roofed with thatch, which conjured the images of the temple of Kamakura.
There was a stone pagoda in the precinct, which was an important cultural assets.
- Then I went to Anrakuji Temple. The temple is famous for octagonal three-story pagoda, which is national treasure.
- I felt hungry and I entered into Soba noodle restaurant and had Soba noodle.
I asked missus the location of the shop of famous "Steamed bean-jam bun ridding one of bad luck".
- I could find the shop, but I still had extra time. It was 14:00.
By checking the pamphlet, I decided to go to see a stone statue called "Dosojin".
"Dosojin" is very popular in Shinshu District. You can see the images of male and female on the stone.
The distance to "Nokura wedded couple Dousojin" was approx. 2 km from the Spa.
- Under the fine blue sky, I continued to walk on the hiking course by myself. No one was there.
I arrived at Nokura settlement in thirty minutes. It's a small settlement in the mountains. It seemed to be no one was there. Very quiet.
- I could find "Nokura wedded couple Dousojin" in the corner of the settlement.
The size was smaller than I expected. It is said the couple would have a happy married life after worshipping this
"Dosojin". I worshipped very hard!
- There was an unique red statue of Jizo very close to "Dousojin".
- It was around 16:00 when I came back to the Spa.
I bought the "Steamed bean-jam bun ridding one of bad luck".
(I ate it after return to home. It was so delicious.)
Then I went to the liquor shop to purchase locally brewed Japanese sake.
I found a one-cup sake named "Tsukiyoshino" (@ Yen 220). I bought three cups.
- My entire schedule had finished and all I had to do was to wait until bus started.
There was a waiting room, however, no door. It was getting colder.
I was forced to drink liquor (canned beer and one-cup sake to warm up.)
The sake was tasty.
- The highway bus arrived around 5:00 PM, but I had to wait for a while since the driver had to check the bus.
- I was quaking with cold. Finally the door of bus opened.
However, the driver said there were no reserved passengers today.
I was astonished and showed my ticket to the driver. Then the driver said that the reserved day of this ticket was tomorrow.
The driver was correct. I didn't know about this. I didn't make sure the date when I bought the ticket.
Anyway, I asked driver to take me and he agreed since the seats were not fully booked.
- The passenger from Bessho Spa was only I. On the way, the passengers got on the bus
one by one. However, finally, one third of the seas were occupied. I wondered if the bus company would be profitable.
Anyway, I drank one more one-cup sake in the bus.
- The bus reached Ikebukuro at 21:30. When I came back to home, it was
over 22:00. In case of snow accumulation, I bought a boot, however, I didn't need to use it.
Bessho Spa Station & Train
North-facing Kannon Entrance
Mountains with snow
Approach of Anrakuji temple
Octagonal three-story pagoda
Tree & blue sky
Red statue of Jizo