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mountain in LARGE bus with a very skilled driver and knowledgeable guide
(Akai), teaching the history of Japanese Shinto and Buddhism along the way,
as we stopped for passing cars and maneuvered narrow turns, with a view of
mountains and cedars not to be surpassed. Buying ice cream cones, and
making our first "pit stop" (Akai's words, not mine), and a PIT stop is
truly quite an accurate description of roadside toilets in Japan; surprised
to find several of the males in our group lined up at the urinals as I
exited the woman's area.
Ah, but with happens in Japan, stays ...I'll never tell. The village and
the temples on the mountain top are lovely, and the best part was lodging
overnight in a Buddhist temple, eating a delicious Japanese vegetarian on
the floor, served by young monks, and awaking early to be with the monks and
other Pilgrims for morning prayers and chants, and all manner of bowing.
Wonderful! Both at night and the next day, we journed through the Okunoin
Cemetary, an exquisite tribute to thousands of ancestors, famous and just
loved (you even companies like Nissan and Toyota have monuments their to
their workers who have passed on). At night the cemetery is lit with
thousands of lanterns. I assigned Rev. Joyce the Seva of keeping them lit;
she retouted with giving me the Seva of keeping them clean. HA!
A Pilgrim I don't know awaiting his turn.
Love to you,