Sunday, 23 December 2007

Temple No.21 Iwano-ue-dō + No.20 Kannon-ji

After my shakuhachi lesson in Tokyo yesterday I found very tasty miso ramen in Ikebukuro. Cozy foods like noodles in hot soup are starting to peak in attractiveness with winter. It reached a maximum temperature of 5 degrees in Tokyo yesterday.

Today I set out to appreciate the views of the snow-fall on Mount Buko and anything lingering from the night's first snow of the season, maybe ushering in a white Christmas. Today was the Emperor's Birthday in Japan, that will be marked by a public holiday tomorrow (though this fact was imperceptible around town).

Temple No.21 Iwano-ue-dō belongs to the Shingon sect of Buddhism and houses the tomb of a local Kabuki star.

Hidden away in bushes below the road on the hillside dropping to the river, No.20 Kannon-ji of the Rinzai sect is well-preserved, the oldest hall built on a large rock. Its ceiling is covered by numerous senja-fuda, pilgrim's evidence of visitation. The hall stands on the cliff by the river Arakawa and dates from the early Seventeenth Century, considered to be the oldest on this Chichibu Pilgrimage route, still maintained by the Uchida family living in the house next door: descendants of its founder, a Samurai warrior of influence.