Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Watashi wa junreisha desu - I am a Pilgrim

You can read about Day 1 here.

Komodo Kodo Trip - (start of) Day 2
I got up early and had a “western breakfast” in the hotel cafe.  The decorations in the cafe were very interesting - mostly American West, but some other things like JFK and Marilyn Monroe, too.  

This is the lunch box they packed for my hike.

After checking out, I decided to do a little walking around Tanabe before I got on the bus for Takijiri, the start of my pilgrimage walk. The founder of Aikido (Ueshiba Morihei) is originally from Tanabe and he is buried at Kozanji Temple in Tanabe.  Ueshiba lived in Hokkaido from 1912 to 1918, and Ted is a second degree black belt in Aikido, so I wanted to see the burial place and other things at the temple.

After taking the bus from Kii Tanabe Station to Takijiri and getting let out on the side of the highway, I was able to get across the road and checked out the Cultural Centre there to learn a little about what I was doing.

The Kumano pilgrimage was started in the 10th century by Japan's Imperial ancestors who lived in the ancient capital of Kyoto.  Over time, people from all over the country travelled by a variety of routes to the Kumano region in the southeast of the Kii Peninsula.

I headed out on my walk to see the 99 Oji, starting at Takijiri. As I walked I read the posted information along the way and tried to imagine what the pilgrims long ago went through on their journeys.  When I read the dates, I tried to compare what I knew about what was going on in the rest of the world at the time.  I had a few history classes when I was in school, but most of the world history I remember being exposed to was European. I know very little about Japanese history, so I was excited to learn all I could about the history and culture on my trip.

Takijiri-oji marks the spiritual entrance into the sacred mountains.

This was a long day with many pictures, so I'll stop for now and continue my story in a couple of days.


kiwikid said...

Love the photos you are sharing...looks like a very interestin place.

Brigitte said...

Very interesting pictures and information about a culture I hardly know anything about.

Janie said...

Last couple of days I've had 'business' to attend now I can spend time getting caught up. I'm glad to see you've begun to share your trip. Thanks for sharing, I'm enjoying the pictures and travelogue.