Here is the Vice Abbot of Chouju-in, a Soto Zen Temple in the countryside near Narita.
Thanks to Eiko for making the visit to this temple possible. We enjoyed our short stay and will probably go back during Golden Week towards the end of the month if possible. Everything in this small temple was familiar, the priest was friendly and spoke English well.
In the Ihaido (a section of the temple where memorial tablets are enshrined) we saw 88 bags of sand, with the temple seal on each bag, which had been collected from the temples on the classic pilgrimage around the island of Shikoku. Thus the merit of the pilgrimage was offered for the benefit of all those enshrined in the Ihaido, and all beings.
Here’s Eiko (on the right) who owns the Fura Restaurant where we ate lunch. She is a friend of Edera and made us feel very welcome. All of the dishes were served on hand made pottery and the meal was presented with great care and attention to detail. Thanks Eiko for a wonderful meal.
This afternoon when we were out in the car we gave way to a school girl who wanted to cross in front of us. First she bowed to acknowledge the offer then walked briskly across the road and then turned and bowed again in the direction of the car. This, apparently, is relatively normal behaviour for young school children.
Earlier Edera, Iain’s wife, saw this Haiku on the side of the road:
If you hold the wheel With the Buddha Mind No accident will happen.
I am so happy to be on the road at last and feel astonishingly ‘at home’ in Japan. Everything, the roads, the houses, the gardens, the rooms…everything is on a mini scale, rather like in Cornwall only smaller! People are SO polite, so considerate of others in their actions it is completely touching.