First stop, Soji-ji, Temple 22 of the Pilgrimage and the one from which the walking trail still leads to Katsuo-ji (visited the day before). Soji-ji is the size of an unassuming city temple.
There were some old ladies chatting in the shade of the garden near the pond, and I could feel them watching me.
|I was proud that I was able to read the sign. It said you were permitted to ring the bell, but to please do so gently, as it's really freakin' old. I did.|
|So I took a photo of a poster.|
Since it also had to do with pets, I had been looking forward to getting a couple of charms for the family's dogs along the way.
|Buddhist Pet Cemetery.|
Stop two was Fujii-dera, in the town of the same name, another city temple (as opposed to sprawling mountain complex) filled with the wisteria (fuji) plants that would make it absolutely gorgeous (and crowded, I'm sure) come early May. Fujii-dera is temple number 5 of the 33, and was the first for me of that opening sequence of temples that wraps around the peninsula of Wakayama Prefecture.
It was a nice little oasis of space, mostly empty when I was there at the end of the afternoon, with gates on all sides leading into the city's streets.
|Can you imagine this fuji in May?|
|A few blossoms persist through the August heat!|
|I love the fabric in this portrayal of the wind.|
I was headed for Wakayama City and the end of my Pilgrim Trail....