Temples 59 and 62

Estimated distance walked this day:  6 kms

Cumulative distance walked: 300 kms

After so much walking the day before, this was a much lower-key day. We walked out to Kokobunji, Temple 59, in the morning. It was another brilliantly sunny day. The temple had a statue of Kobo Daishi with whom you could shake hands, which I did. You also could rub an afflicted body part for healing on a vase of the Healing Buddha, and I put my feet on this, because, what the heck.

When we walked out, there were several small booths selling the usual collection of snacks, temple items, and souvenirs. We bought a box of candles, and struck up a conversation with the young proprietor. He offered us a towel each as osettai, and then took us in to his little shop. He then embroidered, with his fancy computerized embroidery machine, I think, the words, Once in a Lifetime in Japanese on each towel. Then he took our pictures, and posted them to Facebook.

After this, we caught the bus to the train station, ate lunch, and went out to the town of Komatsu.   We then visited Temple 62, Horyuji, mainly because it was a stone’s throw from the station. It was a small, compact temple, and it didn’t take long to do our usual candle lighting, incense, and prayers. We then simply hung out at the temple, reading and relaxing. We checked in to our inn as early as we thought we could get away with. They said that they were completely booked, so we would need to stay in their annex. We were then led around the corner, up a narrow starcase a couple of flights, to a little flat. This “annex” consisted of a kitchen, two tatami rooms, and a Western room, which is where I guess they decided us Westerners should stay. The room was furnished in Early Jumble Sale, and the mattresses looked well-broken in, but Ann seems to sleep better on any bed compared to a futon, so she was a-ok with this. I brewed a pot of green tea in the kitchen, while Ann did more reading. A Japanese man took one of the tatami rooms. I thought how unusual this would be in the US, where we were sharing an apartment for one night with a complete stranger, and no way to lock anything.

When we walked to the dining room for dinner, it was clear that indeed the inn was full. About fifteen or sixteen people, all apparently pilgrims, were seated at the tables on the floor. Then enormous platters came out for us to make shabu-shabu. We ate a ton of shabu-shabu, more than we deserved for a day of largely loafing, and returned to our “annex” for bath and bed.

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