July 2009 - December 2009
2)Saturday, November 14, 2009
Pilgrimage in Saigoku Fudasho (Part XVI) Weather: Rainy, later sunny
- The 32nd Fudasho: Kannonshoji Temple (2 Ishidera Azuchi-cho, Kamba-gun, Shiga Pref.)
- After summer, I planned some pilgrimages in Saigoku Fudasho while specially exhibiting
main Kannon. However, I had been busy officially and privately and I could not carry out the plans.
- I could finally visit two Fudashoes in November between an interval of marathon race and overseas business trip.
- I got on the highway bus bound for Hamaohtsu at 22:10 from Ikebukuro bus terminal.
Unfortunately, it was rainy. The weatherman said it would be rainy next morning in Kansai District.
The seats were fully occupied from Yokohama.
- The bus stopped at Yoro Parking Area around 4:00 AM for toilet break.
I thought the rain already stopped, however,
I was surprised to know that it still rained like cats and dogs.
- The bus reached Maibara Station just before 5:00 AM.
No one except me got off. It was dark outside and still rainy.
- I could get on the local train leaving just 5:00 AM.
I arrived in Azuchi Station at 5:20 AM. It was raining hard and seemed not to stop.
- No shop was open in front of the station. There were no coin-operated lockers in the station.
- I asked middle-aged lady who was preparing for the open of Kiosk in the station if
there were coin-operated locker nearby. She heartlessly answer " The shop in front of the station has
coin-operated lockers, but I don't know when the shop would open."
I would not buy anything at Kiosk!
- Anyway, under the circumstances, it was impossible to go out.
I was forced to wait in the small waiting room of the station.
- Soon it was getting light outside, but heavy rain continued.
But I couldn't stand anymore and I went out in the rain around 6:45 AM
wearing cheap capa and umbrella. At that time, fortunately, I found the front shop was open and
coin-operated locker was available. Thus I deposited one luggage. (Only 9 lockers were available.)
- I was heading the fudasho patiently in the early morning with a map in hand. No one was walking in the rain.
I didn't expect to walk in the rain. To make the matter worse, it was cold!
- With a 50-minute walk, I finally arrived in the entrance of approach to the Fudasho in the small settlement.
Mt. Kannonji where the Fudasho was located was folded in mist.
- I was much impressed by the nandinas with red berries alongside the approach.
The approach was paved with cement at the beginning, but soon it replaced with steep stone stairs.
It told upon my body lack of sleep owing to overnight bus trip.
- Soon I started to sweat with capa and I pulled off my sweatshirt.
- I scaled long stone stairs and reached the precinct of Fudasho before 8:00 AM.
It was drizzling. I just came across a group of hikers while I was getting up the stairs.
- I found one group of people and wondered who they were. I asked one lady and found that they were attending
the morning assembly of the staff of Fudasho.
- Anyway, I first went to the main temple to worship the main Kannon which was specially
- According to the guidebook, the Fudasho was burned down in
1993. Both main temple and the main Kannon were re-built.
- I was surprised to learn that the size of Kannon (One thousand-handed and eleven-faced Kannon with one thousand eyes) made by sandalwood
was 6.3 meters in height. The sizes of hands were the same as those of human being.
To my regret, I didn't felt the venerableness from the Kannnon since it was in mint condition.
I wondered it would acquire the venerableness as years pass.
- It would be possible to go in front of the Kannon from 9:00 AM after the morning divine service
by the priest. So I then went to the Nokyousho to get the red stamp.
No one was there since it was still around 8:00 AM.
- I went back to the main temple. However, it seemed that it took time to finish the morning divine service.
I could not wait any more since I had next plan. I gave up and started to go back to Azuchi Station.
- The rain stopped and the fog dispersed. I could see the scenery below. I didn't meet anyone whicle descending.
- The 25th Fudasho: Banshu Kiyomizudera Temple (1194 Hiraki, Kato-City, Hyogo Pref.)
- I went back to Azuchi Station with hurried steps.
I asked ticket to JR Aino Station of Fukuchiyama Line at the ticket booth.
The staff arranged a discount ticket effective in the Kansai District all day
(Available until November 30, 2009 only) However, it took time to issue the ticket.
I was afraid if I would miss the next train. Anyway, I was lucky to save the fare.
- I could manage to catch up with the local train to be left at 9:33.
I changed the train to rapid train from Amagasaki Station.
Then I got on the local train of Fukuchiyama Line.
I could enjoy seeing local scenery after Sanda Station.
- I arrived in Aino Station past 11:00 AM earlier than expected.
The weather completely recovered and blue sky appeared.
Contrary to my expectation, there were no shops in front of the station.
Of course, coin-operated lockers were not be available.
- Only two buses were available to the 32nd Fudasho per day.
I first planned to go there by jogging. However, I was already tired and had no intension to do it.
- Anyway, I had to wait the second bus to be left at 12:45.
It was getting warm. I couldn't believe the bad weather in the early morning.
- The bus left as scheduled. The number of paseengers was around ten.
On the way, the bus passed the village of Tanba Ceramic Art.
I didn't know that the Tanbasasayama was famous for Ceramic Art.
There was a bus stop just in front of the gorgeous building named "Hyogo Ceramic Art Museum".
- Mountains seen from the window of bus were at the height of the fall foliage and the contrast with blue sky
- It took almost 50 minutes to the bus terminal where the 25th Fudasho was located.
There was a fee gate just before the terminal. Entrance fee of Yen 300 was charged in additi0on to bus fare of Yen 570.
The reached at 13:40.
- Since it was a season for viewing autumnal leaves, the parking lot was filled with cars.
- The last return bus would leave 14:25. If missed, I had to go back on foot.
Only 45 minutes were available. It's too short, but no choice.
- Anyway, I passed the red temple gate to reach the main temple.
There were a lot of worshippers.
- First, I went to the main temple where the eleven-faced one thousand-hand Kannon was especially
exhibited for a short period. The temple was so crowded since many toured worshippers were gathering there.
The staffs of Nokyosho were so busy since the tour conductor handed many red-ink books to them.
It seemed the business of temple was so thriving.
- I had to pay the fee of Yen 100 to enter into the altar.
I carefully worshipped the main Kannon . It was considerably tall and had a plump and merciful face.
The altar was also crowded with tourists and their sutra recitation was reverberated.
- A gorgeous temple called "Konpouchudo" was located when climbed up the stone stairs just beside the
main temple. The colored maple beside the stone temple was so beautiful.
The Kompouchudo was also crowded with tourists.
- The precinct was so spacious, but I did not have enough time to go around.
I had to go back to the parking lot to get on the last bus.
- Owing to lack of sleep, I fell in asleep in the bus.
The bus arrived in the station at 15:10.
- I could catch up with rapid train bound for Osaka at 15:18. Fortunately, I could get seat.
- I changed to Rapid train at Osaka Station and arrived in Kyoto Station
before 17:00. First I made sure the bus terminal for return bus.
Then I purchased seasonal "Senmaizuke: One thousand sliced turnip pickles".
Although there were several brand pickles, the prices were all @Yen 630.
I wondered if they were all calterized.
- Anyway, I felt hungry and had to have something to eat.
- I strolled around the station and found the sing of "Gyoza-no-ohsho".
- I entered Ohsho restaurant. I checked the menu and ordered "Dinner with beer set".
The cost was Yen 1,000. Very reasonable. I wetted my whistle with beer. Dericious!
Then, Korean pickle, sweet and pungent pork, and steam-baked meat pie were served in order.
The tastes were so-so. Anyway, I felt good by only one bottle of beer.
- When I came back to Kyoto Station, I found a lot of people took photos at the station lobby.
- I wondered what they were shooting. I found a big Christmas tree
in the middle of stage of station hall. The illuminations were blinking
and it's gorgeous. It's already Christmas there. I was admiring it for a while.
- ANNEX: Shoreiin Temple (Sanjouboumachi, Awataguchi, Higashiyama-Ku,
- The reason why I chose the overnight bus from Kyoto, I planned to visit Shoreniin Temple after I read the advertisement that a hanging scroll represented
", a national treasure, would be specially exhibited to the public for the first time
at Shoreiin temple from September to December 2009 only. This is one of three famous hanging scrolls represented
- I took on the subway from Kyoto to Higashiyama.
It was night and thus it was difficult to find out the way to the temple, but I managed to
find the route.
- I found a lot of tourists were strolling there even at night.
- I found that the visiting temple at night in Kyoto was my first experience.
- It took only five minutes to the temple. I was surprised that the entrance was crowded with visitors.
There were many bus tourists. I wondered why so many people were there.
The entrance fee was Yen 1,000. Too expensive! I immediately made rough calculation how much the temple could
get per day.
- Anyway, the line of visitors continued even after entering into the temple.
So many young gals! To my regret, I could not see their faces in the darkness.
- Finally I reached the room where the "Blue Fudomyooh" was exhibited.
I was surprised again to see a lot of people were sitting and worshipping in front of
the "Blue Fudomyooh".
- I could see the bluish illuminated gardens, which was very fantastic.
- The visitors' line continued even into the garden endlessly.
The garden was spacious. The bamboo trees were also fantastically illuminated.
- More and more visitors were coming even after I left the temple.
- There was Chionin Temple just next to Seireiin Temple.
I tried to visit there.
- The huge temple gate was illuminated. I found that the entrance fee was Yen 800
and gave up to enter.
- It was 21:00 when I came back to Kyoto Station. The bus would leave at 23:00.
I still had 2 hours.
- I decided to see the illuminated Christmas tree in the station.
- I sat down at the upper level of hall. I looked around and found a lot of couples.
- Anyway, I had nothing to do and was forced to stay there for a while.
Fortunately it was not cold. I took out one-cup sake from the bag and started to drink.
It was nice to drink sake viewing Christmas tree.
- Finally I could get on the bus before 23:00 and I was relived.
- Although I was exhausted, it was a significant day.
- Owing to lack of sleep, I could sleep well in the bus.
I arrived in Tokorozawa Station at 6:30 AM next morning.
I took on the train from JR Yamashina Station to visit Kyoto.
- Bangai Fudasho: Gankeiji Temple (13 Kita-kazan Kawara-cho, Yamashina-Ku, Kyoto City)
- On my way back to my home country during the summer holidays, I dropped in Yamashina City of Kyoto to visit
one of Saigoku Fudashos.
- At Friday night, I took on the overnight bus from Ikebukuro bound for Hama-ohtsu to be left at 22:10.
- The dawn broke and the bus passed the Biwako-Lake Big Bridge and went into the town of Ohtsu City.
It was cloudy. I could hear chirring of Kuma-cicadas (Cryptotympana facialis)
even in the bus. I felt I finally came to Kansai District.
- The bus reached JR Ohtsu Station around 6:35 AM, earlier than scheduled.
- I felt I could continue to sleep inn the bus although I was not drunk. But I couldn't get a good night's sleep and
I felt heavy in the head.
- Anyway, I went into the MAC and ordered a morning set with coffee to wake up.
- Then I took on the JR train to Yamashina Station.
The sun appeared and it became very hot and humid.
Based upon the guidebook, I started to walk from Yamashina Station to visit Gankeiji Temple. However, on the way,
I found I had completely lost my way. I wanted to ask someone, but no one was there. I was forced to wait
for a while. Finally, middle-aged lady approached by bicycle. I called her and asked her the way to Gankeiji Temple.
- She kindly told me how to reach the temple although it was a little bit complicated.
- I managed to reach the temple from the back entrance.
It was so difficult to find the location.
- The Gankeiji Temple, where the Emperor Kazan stayed for 2 years,
was a small temple. However, the precinct was filled with green trees.
No one was there except me and only the chirring of cicadas in chorus was heard.
- The main temple was also small and a small Yakushi (healing) Buddha was enshrined.
- I got the red stamp from the Nokyosho. However, the man at Nokyosho was too perfunctory.
I wondered if he should have said "Hello!"
- I stayed in the green for a while and went back to Yamashina Station on foot.
At that time, the light rain started.