First 24 hours in Japan; Cherry Blossoms and Kobe Beef.
Met In Kobe by my Camino buddy and guide, Mika Yamanoue wearing traditional Japanese kimono, who will accompany me the first 9 days of the Pilgrimage.
Arrived after 4 months in SE Asia and Nepal. Going from the noise and chaos of Kathmandu to the quiet and cleanliness of Japan.
Spent the day preparing with my uniform; The white cotton robe is a Hakui symbolizing purity and innocence. The green Wagesa marks you as a monk and the symbol on it signifies your Buddhist Sect. The rice field hat is called a Kasa in Japan and worn by monks and pilgrims. If you are into uniforms and a stickler for details there are alot more accessories. For further information https://88shikokuhenro.jp/en/
In my right hand is the guidebook that virtually all pilgrims use; Japanese and Westerners alike. In my left hand is my Nokyocho; a stamp book that I take to monks at each of the 88 Temples who write in Sanskrit 3 items; The Temple Name, The Temple Number, and The Temple Deity. The monk also adds 3 red stamps depicting the same information. It was interesting to learn that when walking the Japanese people consider you to be a monk.
Looking forward to this Buddhist Pilgrimage following in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi. — with Mika Yamanoue in Kobe.
When in Rome…….Had to try some Kobe Beef. Delicious!