Our last day in Japan
Trip Start Sep 17, 2013
28Trip End Oct 15, 2013
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The day was at our disposal as our flight does not leave until just before midnight. So we started with a leisurely breakfast - incredibly good value at Kokuu - just 500 yen for coffee, ham, egg, yoghurt, fruit and toast!
We didn't finish until just before the checkout deadline and finishing last minute charging up of iPhones etc we stored our luggage with Kokuu while we explored the town once again.
Kokuu is located very close to the entry to Kobo Daishi's mausoleum
The temple and mausoleum is a pilgrimage place for many Buddhists. Along the way we encountered a series of Buddha images that people were wetting. This is to ensure the safety of loved ones who have died. Next we came across a small shrine with a hole you can put your arm in. Inside is a rock that you can try and lift up. Apparently the weight of the rock varies for each person according to the sins they are carrying with them. I don't know how accurate that is, but for me the rock was so heavy I couldn't lift it!
At the end of the path, the temple of Kobo Daishi awaits. There are many devout people here and the scent of incense is heavy in the air. A soft chanting of Buddhist prayer floats across the throng. As you enter the temple you will notice people witnessing the prayer and others making prayers of their own.
It was a very calm and peaceful experience. Even though I'm not a Buddhist I can appreciate the serenity of this religion.
After continuing our walk for a while we left the cemetery and went to the bus stop to catch a bus downtown. In the window was a sign telling us to watch out for bears
Somewhat relieved to be unmolested, we found a cute cafe for a break. There we met an interesting New Zealand woman who was in Japan on holiday to celebrate finishing her novel. We ended up chatting with her for so long we had to grab some lunch before starting on the trek back to where we started this little adventure, Kansai Airport.
So here I sit in the airport. Our plane is due to be boarding in about 10 minutes so I am rushing this to get it done.
We've had a most fantastic holiday. Almost perfect weather, wonderful accommodation, no hitches or mistakes in the transport or other arrangements. All in all a brilliant time.
The Japanese are so polite, so friendly and so very very decent you can't help but have a great time.
So, thanks for your patience dear reader and thanks to my wonderful wife Jess and to Georgie and Maggie for being such excellent travelling companions.