Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day 10 - 550 Vertical Meters through the Sauna

It doesn't sound like much? I probably was never this much out of breath as on our today's hike. Because I was a little sick my thought was that a meditative hike to two temples would cure me a little. And I really felt so much better arriving on the top - but the hike was hard. After less than a quarter my father and me had to take our first break because we couldn't handle all that sweat. Fortunately the path lead mostly through the forest, so the sun didn't burn too much. But the downside of hiking through the woodland was that there wasn't hardly any wind, just stuffy sticky air. It felt like walking through a sauna while stepping a multi mile stairs. As a bonus, we had to watch out for venomous snakes and aggressive bees (my father got stung by a huge black-red flying insect that hurt quite much).

Before we found the right path to the mountain top, we came across the wonderful Daisho-in temple, where we experienced so many different temple areas, for example a footpath with hundreds of little buddha sculptures lined up, all of them wearing a handmade knithead in various colours. In another area we found a submerged hall with a zigzag path through buddha sculptures and prayer rolls under a ceiling full of lanterns. Or another few shrine rooms, and some hand- and mouthwashing wells. Note: It's amazing how you feel attracted by the buddhism, as a main reason because of the boundness and love to nature, the beauty of the shrines and temples and the (for us) exotic way of praying.

After arriving at the shrine gate close to the summit, we first ate onigiri from our backpacks and dried ourselves a little in the cool summit breeze. From the shrine gate to the main building we had to hike another ten minutes, and when we did arrive, there was a deer eating all the good wishes on the cords.

I haven't mentioned the deers on Miyajima Island so far. It's incredible! When we arrived by ferry on Friday, the first thing we saw were some tourists and many many deers who ate their paper bags! At first I loved being so near to these normally shy animals, but just after some short time, they began to annoy me quite a bit. When I had my first Italian-Japanese ice cream today at Baccano, they did not go away for anything. Even when we walked away, they followed us for a while. So my feelings turned by 180 degrees from one to the other day, because the night before, we found a herd of them in the dark eating the restaurant's food garbage, and there was a bambi too that couldn't have been cuter.

Another thing that annoys as hell are these herds of hundreds of scouts from Norway, Sweden and even the Netherlands. Why in the world must scouts travel to a small Japanese island and instead of hiking around as scouts should do, take instead the cable car, hang around at the summit, and yelling around? For two or three days, half of the people we saw were Northern European scouts…

A religious sculpture decorated by local stones as a symbol for balance and materially sacrifice to buddha 
What I learned? Just accept and explore every religion, because you never know how it really feels, if you have not experienced it your own way. So be open for everything and do not have any prejudices when travelling into an unknown country with unknown behaviors and culture. 
The summit of Mt. Misen

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. There is wisdom in your final words but remember it is good to empathize with everyone, not only the Buddhist and those respectfully expressing their religion but also the "Northern Europeans" you were so annoyed by. They may be annoying little boys, but they also deserve our understanding.

    Ronni Casillas @ JNH Life Styles