Up early for 6:30 am breakfast, so I could catch the 7:40 bus to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
It was interesting yesterday when I was waiting to board the Shinkinsen in Osaka, I noticed a Japanese woman with a full day pack and collapsible walking poles strapped to the side. I thought, wonder if she is an ohenro. The train ride to Kyoto was only 15 minutes. When I got up to get off I noticed she was sitting 2 rows behind me and when I reached up to get my day pack and sedge hat from the rack, she smiled at me. After I got off the train, using my walking stick, as I walked past her, she smiled and waved from the window. I waved back. Maybe she too was an ohenro, who had just completed her pilgrimage and understood the amount of walking involved to complete the pilgrimage. Her friendly smile and wave lifted my spirits. I was ready to re-integrate into the world of lots of people.
Last night as I walked around the Kyoto station to find a Family Mart to buy my supper bento box, I noticed how young people today love to walk and text at the same time. It is a wonder they don't get run over. A next generation uniqueness I guess. They had a nice fountain with lights, water spray and music display, which I stopped to watch as I was checking the bus schedule to see when the bus I wanted to take to the temple left. The water and light show was very impressive.
I was glad I decided to take the early bus to the temple, as when I returned, there was a line up of hundreds of people waiting for it. I noticed lots of school groups. Must be part of their Golden Week to take a class trip. I hiked up to the temple with my walking stick. Kukai was happy to be in the mountains again. Actually it wasn't too high. When I arrived at the main gate and was about to take a picture this school group piled in in front of me for a photo. I thought what the heck and took the picture with them in it. It is the first picture with the gate.
The Kiyomizu-dera (Clear Water Temple) takes its name from the clear pure waterfall which originates from unknown source deep within Mount Otowa. It was established over 1200 years ago. Euchin the priest was told in a vision to "look for clear water origins of the Yobo river". After a long search he stumbled across the site in error. The last picture is of the Otowa-No-Tabi (sound of feathers) waterfall. It is one of the 10 most famous pure water sites in Japan. There is an image of Fudo Myoo enshrined on the waterfall. Many devout stand beneath the waterfall to perform the rite of cold water, while worshipping before Fudo-Myoo.
After touring the temple, I found the stamp office and had my book stamped. Probably the last stamp for the book. Next to the temple was the Jishu Shrine which is the dwelling place of the god of love and matchmaking. I found out later from Kaz, that the temple is actually not one of Kobo Daishi's temple.
Picture 2 is of the shrine. Picture 3 is of one of two stones. The two stones are set about 10 meters apart. They are called "love-fortune-telling" stones. If a person walks safely from one stone to the other with their eyes closed, his or her love will be realized. It is very popular among Japanese and foreigners.
Picture 4 is of the washing station, of which, I love the dragon spout. As well, in the corner of the shrine is a place to put a plaque with ones wish and a shrine, where there is a bronze statue you touch so your wish will be granted.
It is said the Jishu Shrine's god, the Cupid of Japan, can give the people of the world endless love, wisdom and happiness.
After visiting the temple and shrine I walked back down the hill, where now all the shops were open. I had to resist the pottery shops. It started to rain heavy. Good thing I brought my sakura umbrella. I was planning on walking back but because of the rain, decided to catch the bus back. I caught the 12:33 Shinkinsen train for Tokyo. It was a nice train ride back to Tokyo. Such a smooth ride and just zipping along. I got a window seat, but unable to see Mount Fuji, because of the low clouds.
A good day and back in Tokyo to spend a few days before flying back home to Canada.