The Imperial Pilgrimage Tour - October 2010
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Many of our clients come from the UK, North America, and Australia. There were eight participants on this year's autumn IPR, with the States, Australia, and England represented. It was a brilliant tour and there were some fine haiku poems written during the journey.
We flew with the gods
Now we must return to earth
Our days will be blessed
One of the highlights of the tour, as ever, was our day in Oku Kumano. On arrival at Sangakurin, we were treated to very special Chinese tea ceremony done by one of Kosho-san's friends. After a relaxing morning and lunch, we travelled up a narrow valley road to a hidden waterfall respected by gyoja mountain priests. Below the falls we played some music and observed other shugendo rituals.
With conch, bells, chimes, voices
Kosho-san, our monk in Japan
Blesses the waterfall
The conches weird call echoes
Calling the spirits
A very direct way of getting in touch with the nature spirits! We were most fortunate. That evening we enjoyed the usual dinner, and drinking, with Kosho-san.
Aromatic coffee - brought from the States - and the morning coffee ceremony, was another memorable part of the tour. Thanks Joe!
One of the walks I enjoyed most was the hike around Nachi-san and finding a tree at the top of the mountain that resembled an apple tree. Just like the one Kimura found on his mountain, and which is described in the English translation of the book Miracle Apples which I translated from the Japanese last year. You'll find it on Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace website
The tree was actually one of the many species in Japan that produce donguri (acorns or nuts).
Another of the pleasures of that day's walk was emerging from the misty climb into the woods above Nachi, and being rewarded, at the top, with a view to the coast and the southernmost tip of the main island of Honshu.
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