Kumano Kodo V – Kumano Nachi Taisha

We are completing the Kumano Kodo, visiting the last of the three great Japanese Shinto shrines.

We climb the stairs toward Kumano Natchi Taisha.
image

Overlooking the valley

I look at the view and the tourists — then walk towards the great shrine.

image
The shrine

At Kumano Nachi Taisha Great Shrine they bow, ring the bell, bow, clap hands, bow.

image

Amulets for sale — some prevent car accidents, others bring alternate types of good fortune

image

Goddess of Mercey (Buddhist)

We visit the Buddhist shrine — which is unusual in that the monks are selling merchandise inside the shrine and there is no requirement to remove one’s shoes. Some tourists stand in the entry way but I maneuver past.

image

The altar

We walk toward Nachi-no-Otaki Waterfal (Nachi Waterfall) — the source of spiritual energy. Shintoism includes a kind of nature-worship — honoring particular trees, waterfalls, special rocks — but there is also an element of ancestor worship and acknowledgment of one’s heritage. Shintoism became connected to Japanese nationalism during World War II and this form of belief was rejected after the war. Today, some people acknowledge the ancient spiritual forces — and appeal to them — but few would label themselves as part of “Shintoism.”

I merely watch — being present in the moment.

Commemorative rock, tree, waterfall, pagoda

Fire, group photo (hurry), waterfall (you can write your infirmity on a piece of wood, and for a fee, have the wood added to the fire).

Fire, waterfall and prayer flags.

The next day, we take the train to Kyoto Station and then to the airport. We will fly to Bangkok and Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Before, we were at the waterfall — now we are in the train station. Can you bring the waterfall into the train station?

Here is what I say: When you are by the waterfall, be present at the waterfall. When you are in the train station, be present in the train station.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s