January 2010 - June 2010
3)Monday, May 3, 2010
Pilgrimage in Saigoku Fudasho (Part XVII)Weather: Fine
- 30th Fudasho: Hoganji Temple (16654, Chikubujima, Hayasaki-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Pref.)
- I got up at 5:00 AM and checked out the hotel at 7:00 AM.
I chose lower-priced hotel and thus it was far from the station.
It took 30 minutes to reach the station on foot. The luggage was so heavy.
It was slightly cloudy in the morning.
- I deposited a big luggage to the coin-operated locker and went to
the embarkation port of Biwako Steam Ship.
- Usually, The first ship would set sail at 9:00 AM. However, I found that the extra ship would be served at 8:20 AM.
I was lucky. The early bird catches the worm!
- As scheduled, the cruise ship left the port at 8:20 AM.
Anyhow, the ship was crowded. It was getting fine weather.
- It took 30 minutes to Chikubujima Island. There was no wind and thus the surface of Biwako Lake was calm.
The flock of cormorants flew away when the ship passed. The scenery from the boat was misty and monotonous. I was getting asleep.
- When reaching the island, I was charged entrance fee of Yen 400, which I was a little bit surprised.
- Anyway, I rushed to climb up the stone stairs to the Nokyosho of the precinct of the temple where Benzaiten (Sarasvati) was enshrined
I got red stamp there. The worshippers immediately made long line there.
- First, I worshipped Benzaiten (Sarasvati). It was one of three famous Benzaitens.
The small shrine is open every 60 years and this it was not open this time.
- Then I visited the Kannon Temple located lower level of the island, where one-thousand-hand and one-thousand-eye Kannon was specially opened to the public
for the limited period. The roof was fleeced with moss and it brought up me the image of ancientry.
- There were many staff in the temple and they guided the worshippers.
I thought the number of staff were too much.
- The main Kannon was splendid and gold. I could not see the whole figure, but the face seemed to be
well-fleshed. The staff said the main Kannon usaually could be seen every 60 years.
- Then I visited treasure house (Fee: Yen 300) and went to
Chikubujima Island Shrine.
- There were several souvenir shops at the wharf.
- The sightseeing ships came to the harbor one after another
and the tourists were getting on shore.
I thought the hollowed island was too touristy.
- I could stay in the island for 75 minutes. The return ship would leave
at 10:05 AM. Since the island was so small, 75 minutes was enough for visiting.
- It took 30 minutes to return to Nagahama Port. On the way back to Nagahama Station, I dropped in
Nagahama Castle, which Hideyoshi Toyotomi built.
- I took on the rapid train left Nagahama Station at 11:07 AM.
View from Ship
- 31st Fudasho: Choumeiji Temple (157 Choumeiji-cho, Oumi-Hachiman City, Shiga Pref.)
- I arrived in Ohmi-Hachiman Station before noon.
I asked where was bus stop for Chomeiji Temple at the tourist information center.
I also got the sightseeing map of Ohmi-Hachiman City.
- The next bus would leave at 12:05. I deposited large luggage to the coin-operated locker.
Only two lockers were available.
- I could see a lot of tourists were strolling in the city from the bus.
It took 20 minutes to the temple. The bus fee was Yen 480, which I thought too expensive.
- Passing in front of the souvenir shop, I could see 808-step stone stairs.
- I started to climb up the stairs. I saw only a few worshippers.
The stairs continued endlessly and I started to sweat.
- Finally I climbed up the stairs and I could see the main temple in front of me and big three-story pagoda in the right.
- There were considerable number of worshippers in the precinct.
- I worshipped main temple. I thougt the main Kannon would be open to the public here, but it was not.
I made mistake.
- I could not see inside the main temple owing to lattice gate.
- The precinct was so spacious and there were several large buildings.
The rooftops were all roofing with thatch.
- I could see Biwako Lake from the precinct.
- I got a red stamp and strolled around for a while. It's a pity that I could not see the main Kannon.
- I walked down the stone stairs, but I felt a pain on my foot.
By the way, almost all visitors came by car parked just blow the precinct.
That was the reason why I saw only a few visitors climbing the stone stairs.
- I bought a pickle, which was effective for preventing dementia
at the souvenir shop.
- I took on the bus for the station at 13:44. My pilgrimage finisihed this time.
- My pilgrimage in Saigoku Fudasho will complete when I visit the last 33rd Fudasho.
Then I could finish visiting 100 Kannon temples.
- When I came back to the station, it was already 14:00 and I felt hungry.
I took Ramen noodle as lunch and then I started to stroll the city according the guide map.
Ohmi-Hachiman City is famous for Ohmi marcahnt.
- It had been fine during the Golden Week and it seemed to be early summer.
- May tourists were walking with guide map.
- The canal was famous and small boats with tourists were coming and going.
- "Funa-zushi", famous sushi made with fermented cruciam carp caught in Biwako Lake,
was sold every souvenir shop. I would like to buy as souvenior, but it was too expensive
and I gave up.
- It took two hours to complete the tour according to the map.
It was too hot and I was tired a little bit. When I return to the station, it was 17:00.
- I bought a locally brewed Japanese Sake instead of Funazushi at the supermarket
in front of the station.
- Then I went to one of famous Chinese restaurants in Kansai District and
ordered beer and Gyoza. The beer was so delicious since I walked in the hot weather.
- I took on the train bound for Maibara to bet on the night bus to Tokyo.
- Pilgrimage tour safely finisihed as scheduled.
2)Sunday, May 2, 2010
Pilgrimage in Saigoku Fudasho (Part XVI)Weather: Fine
- The 20th Fudasho: Yoshimine-dera Temple (1372 Koshio-machi, Oharano, Saigyo-ku, Koto City)
- Last night, I lodged business hotel in Takatsuki City, closely located JR Hinatamachi Station.
The commercial avenue of Takatsuki was vibrant with life. Many Japanese pubs competed.
- I checked out the hotel at 8:00 AM and arrived in JR Hinatamachi Station at 8:20 AM.
- JR Hinatamachi Station was small and there was no coffee shop around the station.
I had to wait the bus in front of the station. Anyway, it was fine and warm.
- I took on the bus bound for Yoshiminedera Temple at 9:14. Several passengers were on the bus.
- However, a large group of old-aged hikers took on the bus from Hankyu Hinata Station.
The bus was immediately filled with passengers. The group consisted of around 70's aged old men and women.
They were so noisy. The terrible aged power!! A group of 21 hikers took off the bus just before the terminal bus stop.
Then the bus finally became quiet.
- As the bus approached the Rakusei district, the bamboo groves appeared
from one minute to the next. A lot of bamboo-shoots appeared in the bamboo groves.
It seemed that the bamboo-shoot was specialty there.
- Soon the bus started to go up the slope and reached the bus terminal.
A considerable number of passengers got off there.
- After crossing red bridge, a 300-meter zigzag upward approach started.
Fresh green of maple trees was so beautiful.
- The bus reached the terminal at 9:45 and would leave at 10:51. Only one hour was
available for worship.
- After climbing sharp slope and stone stairway, you can see a magnificent temple gate.
You have to pay Yen 500 to pass the gate. (It's worth paying Yen 500.)
- You can see main temple just after passing temple gate.
- By paying additional Yen 200, you can see specially exhibited main Kannon,
an eleven-faced and one-thousand-hand Kannon. The main Kannon was black. At right side,
there was a substitute Kannon of main Kannon. This one was a main Kannon of Rakusei Fudasho.
It's a little bit complicated.
- The precinct was very spacious and many buildings such as Gomado Temple, Pagoda, Hexagon Temple,
Kaizando Temple, Jusanbutudo Temple, Buggha Temple, etc. were there.
- When you reach to the Yakushido Temple built at the highest location,
you can see the urban areas of Kyoto and Osaka.
- There was a big pine tree called "Playing dragon pine tree" estimated to be over 600 years old
It is designated as a protected species
- I wanted stay longer as much as possible, however, I did not have enough time.
I strolled around the precinct in a hurry and came back to the bus terminal.
JR Hinatamach Station
Temple Gate II
- The 21st Fudasho: Anatadera Temple (46 Higashinotsuji, Sogabe-cho, Kameoka City, Kyoto Pref.)
- Then I took on the local train bound for Kameoka from Kyoto Station at 11:57 AM.
- Owing to Golden Week holidays, the train was crowded with passengers for
sightseeing at Arashiyama and Hozukyo. Young couples stood out in the train different from
buses bound for Fudashos.
- The train reached Kameoka Station at 12:30. I had a plan to walk to the Fudasho and
I deposited my rucksack into the coin-controlled locker. It was a right decision, because
I was forced to walk longer than scheduled.
- I found a tourist information center in the station.
I asked a lady how to go to the Fudasho. She gave me a map and explained how to go there.
- Anyway, I started to walk. It was hot like summer.
The building of Kameyama Station was new and modern style.
- I found a festival called "Mitsuhide Festival" in commemoration of the
400-year anniversary of Kameyama Castle built by Mr. Mitsuhide Akechi, a famous military commander in 16th century, was held
- I saw a guide pole indicating "O.9 km to Anatadera Temple" very close to the
bridge of Inukai River alongside Kameyama Athletic Park.
- Several families had barbecue parties there. I absorbed delicious odor.
A row of cherry blossom trees existed alongside the river.
- I finally arrived in the Fudasho. But I heard noisy sound there.
- I wondered what it was. I found the temple gate was being repaired and the sound
came from there. Thus I could not enter from the temple gate.
I felt a little bit disappointed.
- The precinct was not so spacious. The main temple and the garden occupied the premises.
- The peonies were in full blossom in the precinct.
- You can see specially opened main Kannon and temple garden by paying the fee of
- You can see Fudomyooh in the left side of the main temple and
golden main saint Kannon in the middle and the golden substitute Kannon in the right.
- It is said that the temple is related to the legendary story of
the daughter, Anju, and the son, Zushio. They were sold into slavery to the private
manor of Sansho the Bailiff, who was a cruel master. A very small golden Buddha, which Zushio
always kept to get over his sufferings, was also exhibited.
- Furthermore, at the right side of the main temple, the Buddha was lying down covered with
Futon (blanket). The body was shining black since the worshippers had rubbed him.
- The garden was not so impressed as expected.
- Then I visited Kongoji Temple where Ohkyo Maruyama, a famous artist in 18th century,
stayed during his early years. Although the guidebook strongly recommends to visit there, I found only
the belfry-towered temple gate was impressed.
- It was fine and the temperature rose. I tried to return to Kameoka Station by a short cut.
However, I lost my way, resulting in a circuitous course. Anyway,
it took great pains but in vain.
- I arrived in the station before 15:00 and could catch up with the train
bound for Kyoto at 14:56.
- Fortunately, I could immediately get on the rapid train bound for Nagahama
where I would stay at night.
JR Kameoka Station
Temple Gate of Kongoji
1)Saturday, May 1, 2010
Pilgrimage in Saigoku Fudasho (Part XV)Weather: Fine
- The 4th Fudasho: Sefukuji Temple (136 Makiosan-cho, Izumi City, Osaka Pref.)
- This time, I again planned to visit several Fudashos when I came back to
Okayama during Golden-week holidays in May.
- Fortunately, several main Kannons were being specially exhibited to the public
for the limited period at several Fudashos.
- I took on the first Bullet Train "Nozomi" from Okayama Station at
6:08 AM and got off at Shin-Osaka Station. Then I took on the train of the subway Midosuji Line
and reached the terminal "Nakamozu". I changed the train of Senhoku-kosoku railways.
I finally arrived in "Izumi-chuo" Station.
- "Izumi-chuo" Station was located in the middle of satellite town.
- The bus bound for Mt. Makiono would leave at 9:26 AM.
- I had enough time and thus I drank a cup of coffee at McDonald.
- When I came back to the bus terminal just before 9:00 AM, I found another bus bound for
Mt. Makiono was just leaving. (The route was different.)
- Anyway, the sooner, the better. I immediately took on the bus.
However, I found the bus was full of aged hikers. I was forced to stand up with heavy/large daypack.
- The bus arrived in the terminal 20 minutes earlier than scheduled.
There was a sign that the distance to Sefukuji Temple was 4 km.
- I found a lot of passengers got off at the last bus stop.
I later found that the minibus service to the entrance of Sefukuji Temple was
- Anyway, I started to walk under fine weather. A few people followed me.
- The guidebook said it would take 30 minutes.
I later found that it took 30 minutes from the terminal of minibus.
- Anyway, I could not reach temple although I walked 30 minutes as quickly as possible.
The paved road became gradually upward. I could enjoy seeing fresh greens.
I could see several stone Buddahs.
- It took 40 minutes to arrive in the entrance of the temple.
The concrete upward approach started from the terminal.
The approach was crowded with people who came by car to the terminal.
- Soon the concrete slope was changed to stone stairway.
The stone stairway endlessly continued.
Since the rucksack was heavy, it was hard to climb the stairs and
I started to sweat.
- Just below the main temple, there was a Aizendo temple, where
Kukai, a famous Buddhist monk in 9th century, shaved his head at the age of twenty.
- You can see the main temple when you finish climbing long stone stairway.
- I tried to have red stamp, but there was a long line.
- After getting red stamp, I entered into the main temple (No charge)
The main Kannon, an eleven-faced and one-thousand-hand and one-thousand-eye Kannon,
was specially open to the public only in May 2010.
- In front, there was a large and golden Miroku-bodhisattva in the middle.
At the right side, there was a Monju-bodhisattva.
At the left side, there was a main Kannon. Usually hidden main Kannon was
considerably large and gilding. They were worth worshipping.
- They were emerging in the faint light and I deeply felt the magnificence.
- In the back, there was a enormously large charm-against-evil Kannon.
Fortunately, a small horse-head Kannon, which was usually open to the public every 50 years, was
specially exhibited. The face was in a blaze of anger.
- Anyway, the fudasho was more hollowed than I expected.
- I could see Mt. Iwawaki (897 m) and Mt. Kongo (1,125 m) from the precinct.
I used to climb these mountains when I was a member of Wandervogel Club in
university. It was more than 40 years ago. I felt nostarigic.
- I stayed there more, but I had to visit another fudasho and started to come back.
- The return course was downward and I walked down smoothly. It took 45 minutes to return to
the bus stop.
- I found a bottle of locally brewed Japanese sake. I wanted to buy it. But my rucksack was full and
I gave up it.
- I came back to Izumi-chuo Station by bus and headed to next fudasho.
- The 22nd Fudasho: Soujiji Temple (1-6-6 Soujiji, Ibaraki City, Osaka Pref.)
- I took on the train of Hankyu Kyoto Line from Umeda Station and get off at Soujiji Station.
I took on the train of Hankyu after a long interval.
- It took only 5 minutes to reach the temple from the station.
- After passing gorgeous stone approach, a giant temple gate appeared.
- Passing the gate, you can see the main temple in front of you.
A eleven-faced and thousand-hand and thousand-eye main Kannon was also open to
the public in May 2010 only. The fee was Yen 200.
- It was not so crowded inside the main temple.
I could closely look deeply at the main Kannon. It was a small and black main Kannon.
The face was affectionate looks. It's notable that the Kannon stood on the turtle.
- There were various kinds of Buddhas and shrines.