Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Re-Visit II (temple nine)

The second re-visit temple on the pilgrimage route that my parents and I visited was number nine, Nan'en-do. My first visit to Nanen-do that I remember was in March of last year (I might have walked through or by it in December of 2010, but I don't have any photos if I did), almost immediately following the March 11th disaster in north Japan.

Back then, I didn't have a book yet, but actually my trip to Nara on March 12th and 13th was what prompted me to buy the book in the first place, so it's kind of connected. If you recall, I had planned to visit Nara for Omizutori, which always takes place on the night of March 12th, but which only sometimes falls on a Saturday. I had decided to book a hostel and take advantage of my timing of being in-country for one such Saturday.

While we were waiting for 2am, T-rav told me about how you can get stamped, sealed, calligraphed pages from the temples as you visit them, how lots of people have a book where they collect these. It was his explanation that prompted me to buy the pilgrimage book without really knowing what it was, because I thought it was a book of all the major temples in the area (not totally wrong) or all the temples of a certain sect or something. Nigatsu-do, the place we visited that night, is not part of the Kannon Kansai 33, but the following morning's wandering did include Nanen-do, which was.

The pagoda for Kofuku-ji, I believe.
The way Nanen-do will be in my pilgrim book reflects the scattered nature of my visit there. On the re-visit, part of my day in Nara with my parents, I remembered too late that I had forgotten my book even though I knew there was a temple in the area. I then thought it was Kofuku-ji, to which Nanen-do is a sort of offshoot; Kofuku-ji is under construction and a bit confusing for that (last March I visited the museum shop without going to the treasure house museum and stocked up on Kofuku-ji postcards for some reason).

From the side.

The style of Nan'en-do makes it different from most of the other stops I've gotten to, as does its location off to the side of Kofuku-ji. I don't have much information to offer about the place, other than it's very photogenic, and that's how it caught my eye back in March.

So we did two re-visits this not-yet-spring, both to temples I had visited without stamping my book for whatever reason, both on the first weekend following one kind of sad event or another.

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