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07/05/2011 [Tue]

Mt. Fuji Opening Ceremony for Subashiri Route [Oyama Town]

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July 1st is the day for the ceremonies of Mt. Fuji Climbing, traditionally held in Fujinomiya, Gotemba and Subashiri of Shizuoka Prefecture on the same day every year to pray for the safety of climbers.
I went to “Fuji Sengen Shrine” for Subashiri trail in Oyama Town to join the Ceremony. I felt so excited because I’d never been there. You know, new experiences always enhance our intelligence and sensibility.

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It was overcast, about to rain. The ceremony was solemnly performed in Shinto main hall, starting with a long whoop of Shinto priest. Many concerned people got together in it to listen to him, to make a vow, and to give thanks to God. It lasted for about an hour and, believe it or not, hard rain came down on the shrine right after the ceremony. How fortunate we were not to have such a rain as that during the ceremony !

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After the ceremony all carried out, I drove up to the Subashiri 5th station, where I saw quite a few people walking already in a climbing suit and boots in spite of foggy weather. The shop-men were so vigorous, which delighted me much !
Subashiri Trail is often introduced as the only one with abundant nature among 3 trails in Shizuoka. It will take about 6 hours to the top.

The current condition of Mt.Fuji Climbing, as of July 1st, is as follows,


Fujinomiya Route : As far as New 7th station.
Gotemba Route : As far as 6th station.
Subashiri Route : As far as 7th station.
*Private cars are restricted to the 5th station every weekend and other predetermined days. Please refer to the notice from here.

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The opening ceremony was also held in Fujinomiya and Gotemba as well on the same day. They have respectively traditional way of it to pray for the safety of visitors from the world. These pictures are of Gotemba, by the way. I wish you try all routes to enjoy the distinctive atmospheres of each trail. I will also try Mt. Fuji climbing, or hiking, at the end of this month.

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To those who has a plan for Mt. Fuji Climbing.

Be sure to get prepared enough for the climbing. The god won’t help people who don’t pay respect for the spirit of Mt. Fuji.


“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^



Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 09:16 Permanent Link Trackback ( 0 ) Comments ( 0 )

07/01/2011 [Fri]

For Buddhist training – Kasuisai – 2 [Fukuroi]

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After Zen meditation, I headed for “Shojin Ryori”, the Zen Vegetarian Cuisine that is very popular here at Kasuisai Temple. Shojin Cuisine is a meal for Buddhist monks with no meat or fish, even in a soup stock. Each flavor might be felt too simple but it can be also regarded at the same time as the ultimate cuisine because it makes the best of its original taste. Each and every vegetable such as carrot, potato, and bamboo shoot is meant to be individually a main dish.

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I saw many visitors enjoying Shojin cuisine in a room despite a weekday. Telling you the truth, I’m not good with vegetables, but once I tasted it, I could tell that the sweet flavor infiltrated into my body that brought me an inexplicable relief.

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After Shojin Cuisine, I walked around the temple. First comes a Hondo main hall. Here, I advise you to look around carefully to find the Tokugawa family crest as in the picture. It can be found everywhere in the temple !

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Tokugawa Family Crest


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Next one is a main hall of Shuyoji Temple that was originally located in Mt.Akiha, allegedly believed to have 1300 year history. It enshrines Akiha Sanjakubo, considered as a god of fire protection, and many people still come all the way from a distance to worship it. A story says that he transformed himself as a figure below by supernatural power gained after the rigorous Zen training.

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Akiha Sanjakubo






This is “the best washroom in Japan” in Kasuisai temple. “Ususama-myo-o”, the god of fire is said to burn out every filthy thing.

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Ususama Myoo in the middle of the washroom

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That is, it’s indicating please keep the washroom clean. I don’t think anyone can get it messy right in front of this beautiful god. By the way, believe it or not, this washroom is for both men and women. Don’t get confused if you see a lady behind you.^^

They say that there are 33 spots to see in the temple. Stamp-rally is held every day and you will have a small gift only if you can collect more than 20 stamps on the reverse side of the map on the right. The washroom above is No18. I’m sorry I could not report all of them here. Go ahead and try !

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Kasui-sai
Access from JR Fukuroi Sta.: 10 minutes by bus from #1 to “Kasui” and 5 minutes on foot.
Admission : Free ( ※ ¥500 to get inside the temple )
Open Hours : 8:00〜16:30 ( 7 days a week )
Shojin Cuisine : Take ( ordinary course ) ¥2000/Take-jo ( upper ordinary ) ¥2500/Matsu ( deluxe course ) ¥3000/Matsu-jo ( upper deluxe ) ¥3500
* Prior booking necessary
Zen Meditation : Every Saturday Application from 12:30/Zen meditation from 13:30( 30 min×2 )* No reservation necessary
Zen monk experience : Overnight course/One-day course Please inquire us for further question

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^



Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 14:45 Permanent Link Trackback ( 0 ) Comments ( 0 )

06/30/2011 [Thu]

For Buddhist training – Kasuisai – 1 [Fukuroi]

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Today, I introduce a historically old temple in Shizuoka.
About 600 years ago, in 1401, a temple named “Toyoken” was opened by a priest in present Fukuroi City. At that time, in Muromachi Era, Ashikaga Shogunate ruled Japan. Soon after the power of Ashikaga family had become weakened, feudal lords around the country began to attack their neighbors to expand their land. The advent of the Age of Civil Wars, the epoch when the most powerful and dignified man could become the absolute monarch of Japan. In a time like that, the 11th priest of Toyoken temple helped a boy, in hostage of Imagawa family of Suruga district, get away from it to his home country, Mikawa, current Aichi prefecture. The Civil War Period was ended in 1603 by the fact that Edo Era was established by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and he was the very man that the priest had helped.

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Now, when Tokugawa Ieyasu reached his home country and became the lord of Hamamatsu Castle, he invited the priest to say thank you. It was when the priest sat right in front of Ieyasu, and while he was listening to his words, the priest fell into a nap in spite of himself. His men got furious about his terrible discourtesy but Ieyasu said, suppressing his men. “You may sleep”, from which word he was called “Priest Kasui” ( Kasui means “You can sleep” in Japanese old word ) and the Toyoken temple was also called “Kasui-sai” since then.

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Kasuisai in Fukuroi has such a history. It belongs to Soto Zen which is one of the Buddhist sects, which lay belief on exhorting people to do Zen sitting meditation. Of course, Zen monks are meant to start the day by sitting meditation and also finish the day by it. Zen meditation is, simply explained, to sit and meditate but what should you think of ? Nothing. Nothing in mind, set five senses free and feel what you naturally feel, that is Zen. Maybe like the absent-minded feeling right after you wake up. Zen meditation is a training to renounce yourself, or shut out your thinking, which is believed to be the very image of Buddha.

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I, this time, tried Zen meditation. This is the actual Zen room that monks and visitors use for meditation. If you join the overnight program, this is the room for it. I tried 30 min meditation. 30 minutes, having nothing in mind, may sound too long for you but honestly it was not. I felt rather too short. After the meditation, I felt so mind-washed with a sense of accomplishment.

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The founder of Soto Zen is Dogen the Buddhist priest, and his mausoleum can be seen in Kasuisai. I found his figure also in Zen meditation in the altar.
If you’d like to experience Zen meditation like a Buddhist monk, please go ahead and try it because Kasuisai is very positive in accepting customers or even group tours from abroad.
So, after Zen meditation, I moved to another room for “Shojin-ryori” the Zen Vegetarian Cuisine.

Next time, I’ll report “Shojin-ryori”.

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Shojin Zen Vegitarian Cuisine

Kasui-sai
Access from JR Fukuroi Sta.: 10 minutes by bus from #1 to “Kasui” and 5 minutes on foot.
Admission : Free ( ※ ¥500 to get inside the temple )
Open Hours : 8:00〜16:30 ( 7 days a week )
Shojin Cuisine : Take ( ordinary course ) ¥2000/Take-jo ( upper ordinary ) ¥2500/Matsu ( deluxe course ) ¥3000/Matsu-jo ( upper deluxe ) ¥3500
* Prior booking necessary
Zen Meditation : Every Saturday Application from 12:30/Zen meditation from 13:30( 30 min×2 )* No reservation necessary
Zen monk experience : Overnight course/One-day course Please inquire us for further question

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^



Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 10:05 Permanent Link Trackback ( 0 ) Comments ( 2 )

06/28/2011 [Tue]

Stay in Shizuoka ! − Half-off Campaign [Information]

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Recently, a new campaign has been started in Shizuoka ! That is “Stay in Shizuoka ! Half-off Campaign”, which is to discount 50% from the fare of “Oigawa Railway Day Pass ticket” and “Suruga Bay Ferry" and "Izu Dream Pass” only on the condition that you stay overnight in Shizuoka.
About Oiwaga Railway, I’ve just reported in this blog and I also wrote about Izu Dream Pass including Suruga Bay Ferry last year. Please refer to them for more information.
It’s very lucky for tourists because we have also “GoGo! Campaign” at the same time until July 22. You use this campaign to stay in a ryokan (¥5500〜) and get 50% off ticket as well.

Stay in Shizuoka ! Half-off Campaign
From Jun 25 (Sat) − Sep 30, 2011 (Fri)
Oigawa Railway・・・・・・2-Day Pass from ¥1150〜
Suruga Bay Ferry
Izu Dream Pass・・・・・・2 or 3-Day Pass from ¥2320〜
(*Dream Ferry, Tokai Bus and Izukyu Railway included )

Fujinokuni GoGo! Campaign
From Apr 11(Mon) − Jul 22, 2011(Fri)
Accommodation Plans from ¥5500〜 (with dinner and breakfast ) per night.

For Further question, please feel free to contact us.

Have a good day !^^

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^



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Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 12:59 Permanent Link Trackback ( 0 ) Comments ( 2 )

06/27/2011 [Mon]

Oigawa Railway ― Around Senzu and the way back to Kanaya [Kawanehoncho]

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So I stood in front of Senzu Station, Kawanehoncho, again around 12:00. The SL was supposed to leave there at 14:58. 3 hours to go. So what shall I do ? I visited the information office for some tourist information. They were so kind as to let me have some maps and brochures. They had also English ones !
On seeing the map, my plan was fixed. Another suspension bridge !

Kawanehoncho Tourism Association

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Starting from @ on the map, I walked on the red hiking pathway along Oi River as the map indicates, checking out the several sightseeing points, and in 40 minutes or so, I finally found it, Ryogyoku Suspension Bridge at I ! It looked so long. 145m, actually. The wind of valley was blowing a little strong.
I walked on it step by step, mindfully not to see beneath myself and finally, I made it ! No wasp that time.^^

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PDFファイル(329KB)

Illustrated map (329KB)


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Ryogoku Suspension Bridge

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Suspension Bridge of Konagai


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After returning to Senzu station, I visited “Otogi-no Sato” that stands beside the station. First I saw a roadside station that sells local products and souvenirs, and beyond it, I found a huge Sound Museum. “Otogi” literally means “ to play with sounds”. You will get startled with it because surprising sounds come out of unexpected stuff !

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I bought Shin-cha green tea, one of Kawane’s specialties, at some tea-stores before the station and passed through the ticket gate to the platform briskly. Many tourists had already been flocking together in front of the first car to take some pictures of its historically dignified face. I did, as well, with all thankfulness for its longstanding hospitality. It proceeds backward to Kanaya, by the way. Can you tell the difference among pictures below ?

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The old-fashioned seat was rather cozy for me. It began to move at the scheduled time after a squeaky whistle and smoggy smoke out of the blue, blotting out everything outside. A train conductor came in the car after a while to say hello and she talked to customers one by one about how they had enjoyed Kawane and Oigawa Railway. She went as far as to play harmonica to lift the audience, which seemed like a party to me.

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A journey for about 1 hr and 20 min to Kanaya. I enjoyed beautiful views through the window until I fell into a blissful sleep irresistibly. When I found myself at Kanaya, I felt somehow so sad. End of dream-like days. Reality was coming up again, I felt.^^;
Anyway, it was definitely a good travel for me ! Oigara Railway has brought me varieties of awesome experiences. Best season now ! Why don’t you try ?

Have a good day !^^

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^



Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 12:12 Permanent Link Trackback ( 0 ) Comments ( 0 )

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