Friday, 11 April 2014

Temple 45 - Iwayaji

Slept well last night. Had a nice relaxing bath to get ready for my walk to temple 45 and back. The Route Guide says that according to legend, this location was given to Kukai by a mysterious female recluse named Hokke-sennin. Kukai carved two Fudo-Myoo statues and created this temple, which is considered a 'nansho' (difficult place).
On the walk I found it interesting to watch the farmers preparing their plot of land for planting. One guy was using this 5 foot long tube with fire at the end to burn something in the soil. Not sure what he was burning. I wanted to take a picture, but thought the person may not appreciate it.
I took some pictures attached of the shrines along the way, marking the path.
It was a slug up some of the mountains. At least Kukai was happy to be back in the mountains. The last picture is a statue of Kukai.
The day started off as cool and overcast. By the time I reached temple 45, I was so tired and it was now raining that I didn't take any photos for the blog, as I didn't want to get my smart phone wet. It has been my lifeline with the outside world. Don't know what I would do without it. I haven't seen many internet café along the way so far.
The scenery along the way was spectacular. I decided to walk down the mountain (steps) from the temple which took 30 minutes and walk along the river and thru two tunnels. One tunnel was 1.7 km and there was just the width of your body as the distance between you and the cars or trucks. A bit scary at times. I thought if I die, then what a better way, than while doing the pilgrimage. At the start of the tunnel is a box where there are reflector sashes you can put on. Then when you get to the other end, you put them in the box at that end. Very clever idea.  Needless to say, I made it thru OK.
There was this mountain of sheer rock and these big cave holes in them, which you would need to be a rock repeller to get to them, as they looked like big lava rock holes.
At the temple, there was a steep ladder you could climb to one, but because of the rain, I decided not to risk it.
Got back to the Garden Time hotel and it was nice to relax and dry out. The large hot bath, like an onsen was nice to relax in and ease some aching muscles.
There is a supermarket type store nearby, where I could buy a 1.5 liter size lemon drink. As well, my pilot pencil broke, so was able to buy a new one for writing my notes.
I needed some more small candles and stopped at a small shop at the bottom of temple 45. I purchased a small mokugyo (wooden fish drum) which you see them use at the temple to help with the chanting of the heart sutra. You can look on Wikipedia ( if you want to see what they look like. It is only a 2 inches in size.

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