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The weather in Japan had been extremely hot in July into August, so it was a pleasurable surprise to find that on this tour temperatures were quite bearable, and indeed the days were beautiful.

There were many memorable moments, too many to list here, but I recall the hiking in Kumano (its ages since I'd hiked there in mid-summer) and the challenging trek up the Osugidani Gorge to Odaigahara, the chilled, fresh tomato tomato reimen salad prepared for us at Kosho-san's house, the delicious macrobiotic dinner cooked for us in Asuka, the silence during the sutra copying when the only sound was coming from the insects beyond the screens, and the amazing friendliness of the group.

Along with the highs there were lows. One membered suffered a broken ankle, which meant a mountain rescue and helicopter evacuation. The first such incident in twelve years. Hopefully the last.

All's well that ends well , however, and the tour turned out to be a true classic, up there with some of the best.


Click here to see a slide show of the tour




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