Kumano Kodo III

We are in Yunomine Onsen, a place known for its hot springs. We will stay in this village for three nights — during that time, we will hike the Kumano Kodo in both directions, to Kumano Hongo Taisha the first day and toward Akagi-goe, the second day.

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Today, we use the map on the right side.

The trail is steep. We reach the top and see a Jizo.

Jizo cut into the rock.

We pass through villages and stop to have coffee.

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We see various shrines.

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We approach the Kumano Hongo Taisha and walk up the stairs.

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We enter the Kumamoto Hongu Taisa complex.

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Main shrine

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We return through the great torii.

We walk back the way we came. The decent is steep.

The next day, we set forth for Akagi-goe.

In Yunomine Onsen, we visit a shrine —

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Amulets for sale

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People write down their requests, tie the request on a rack, and leave these papers behind.

We see a memorial stone marking the caligraphy carved by Shonin (1239-1289), founder of the Jishu School of Pure Land Buddhism. Shonin etched characters for Amida Buddha and his two main attendants and the words “Homage to Amida Buddha” — the phrase recited to achieve rebirth to the Pure Land of Amida.

We buy eggs and cook them by dunking them in the hot spring water for 15 minutes. That will be our lunch.

We walk up the hill on the Kumamo Kodo and see the Jizos.

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This Jizo commemorates a pilgrimage by Shonin (and a “miracle” witnessed by his cook — the rice water disapeared). Shonin became enlightened at the nearby Kumano Hongu Taisha.

Meditation view

Meditation view

Meditation

Meditation

Karen talks to a guy from Chicago who used to work in finance.

I hope someday that you will walk with me — walking meditation.

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