April 20, 2011

Thank you for coming all the way to Japan

From April to October, KCCN provides 3-hour-English guided tour around Koyasan on Wednesdays.
You can participate the tour without any reservation and you can get a general information about Koyasan during the tour.
Since Tohoku and north Kanto Earthquakes and the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster,  less and less foreign visitors have come to Koyasan.
Well, actually Koyasan is about 700 or 800 km away from Fukushima and west part of Japan don't have much influcence from that.  But people in the west have been giving themselves self-restrain and even hesitated to do ordinarily.
But I hope people from abroad visit Kansai area and encourage us so that we could support people in Tohoku with cheerful smile and economically too.  Now the cherry blossoms are out of bloom in most area of Kansai but still you can enjoy spring flowers like wisteria, yellow Japanese rose, azalea, iris and so on.
And here in Koyasan, you can still enjoy cherry blossoms next week or later.  Well, it was 1.9 degrees Celcius today and the season were brought back to winter. People staying at Koyasan today is so surprised to feel the differences of the temperature.
On such a cold day, we were happy to have guests participating our Wednesday Tour.  They were from Holland and  they know a lot about Japanese history and Japanese samurai heroes.  The person in charge today was also a big fan of Japanese history and she was so happy to share the stories about samurai with them.  I hope they should come back sometime to see the grave of Date Masamune which they missed today.  
 (^-^) by KQ 

PS:Thank you for the candy!

April 8, 2011

On the Day with a Buddhist Ritual

At the head temple of Koyasan Shingon Buddhism, Kongobuji, the special decoration is done along the approach to the front and side gates on special days in Buddhism.

Classical wooden pails are lined up on both side of the approach and neat piles of Japanese cedar branches are placed by the gate. They are said to be used as drinking water and the grass for the horses who brought their masters to the temple.
The red tubs by the gate are said to be used for those masters purified their hands before entering the temple.

It was HANAMATSURI, the Flower Festival to celebrate the Buddha(Shakyamuni)'s birthday today. (By KQ)

Hana-Matsuri, the Flower Festival

HANA-MATSURI, the Flower Festival is held to celebrate the Buddha(Shakyamuni)'s birthday today, on April 8th.

At Kongobuji, the head temple of Koyasan Shingon Buddhism, abbots gathered in the main hall and hold the Buddhist Ceremony.

The alter decorated with colorful flowers holds a young Shakyamuni Buddha with his hand up in the pool of AMACHA, hydrangea tea inside.

After the ceremony offered for Buddha's birthday, his alter is placed in the hallway and any visitors celebrate his birthday with pouring (offering) hydrangea tea to the little Buddha.
The local kindergarten children as well visit Kongobuji and join this ceremony. They are all curious, line up in order and offering tea earnestly.

The visitors to the temple as well offered hydrangea tea served by wives of local temples. (By KQ)

April 1, 2011

VIC Small Opening

 After the long hibernation, we newly opened Koyasan Visitor Information Center to provide all the information about Koyasan and to answer your questions at the same place in Daishi Kyokai.
The entrance is a little difficult to find but please do not miss our sign.
We're waiting for your coming.

However the Reception is shared with 3 different organizations, so sometimes you may hesitate to come into our front desk when many Japanese visitors are buying their souvenirs or waiting for their order to have OJUKAI, the Buddhist ritual, SHAKYO, copying sutra, or GOSHUIN, the special calligraphy of Buddha. But once you see closely, under the English sign, you'll see our staff member smiling to you with our full hospitality. You can talk to us in English.
(By KQ)