In return for the completion vows of the 88 Shikoku sacred sites and the Bekkaku- 20 sacred sites, I visited Okunoin Temple of Mt. Koya and Toji Temple, and visited Osu Kannon Temple in Nagoya to conclude my pilgrimage. Osu kannon Temple is the Bekkaku-honzan (special head temple) of the Chizan school of the Shingon Sect and the principal image is Sho Kannon. I have a special feeling because I used to live nearby and visit the shrine almost every week. When I looked up at the sky after praying, I was surprised to see a very big and beautiful sunset. That seemed to be celebrating the end of my journey. In the evening,I had a meal after the trip. I can enjoy nostalgic dishes and sake at “Daijin”, a long-established izakaya representing Nagoya, and “Shanghai taste”, a Chinese restaurant of Shanghai couple. The next day, I had lunch at “Tenmaya” on Monzen-machi-dori Street, tasted cold kishimen noodles and dengaku, and then went home. I entered Tokushima on May 20, and my 84 days pilgrimage to this day on August 11 was finally finished. I am deeply grateful to the many people who supported me.
After Obon, there is a sign of autumn on the beach of Chigasaki. The sky rose and the wind cooled, and the color of the setting sun faded. Umbrella clouds hang on the top of Mt. Fuji and the afterglow shines. The moon rose and the light gleamed in the sea. Evening surrounded by the light of Enoshima lighthouse.
I visited Toji Temple to express my gratitude for the vow made during my pilgrimage to the 20 sacred places in Shikoku. Kyoto is as hot as ever in midsummer, and the blue sky is piercing my eyes. Toji was granted to Kobo Daishi by Emperor Saga and is the head temple of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism. It is also registered as a World Heritage Site. The mandala statues in the auditorium are powerful and beautiful. The temple is large and the five-storied pagoda is beautiful. The lotus in the pond in the temple precinct is in full bloom and it is shiny. After praying, I had “Toji udon” at a nearby udon restaurant. The taste of plum and Chinese yam was good for tired body.
I left Kudoyama at the foot of Mt. Koya, which is Okunoin (inner sanctuary) of the 88 sacred places of Shikoku, to make a prayer for the completion of each pilgrimage. I enterd Choishi-michi Street from the precincts of Jisonin Temple. Choishi-michi Street was one of the most beautiful and stately pilgrimage routes that Kobo Daishi has walked on since he opened Mt. Koya. On the way, I felt dizzy because of the heat, and I had to go around the cliff because a group of pit vipers were winding in the middle of the road, but I managed to climb the 22 km slope. I was deeply moved when I prayed at Okunoin surrounded by solemn air. I was healed by the ancient lotus flowers in Rengein.
This year’s Risshu is August 7. This day is regarded as the day when summer reaches its peak and signs of autumn begin to appear in China’s 24 seasons, and the heat after that becomes the lingering summer heat. After Risshu, the sky at Chigasaki Beach today was high and the wind was refreshing, and there was a hint of autumn somewhere.