Pilgrimage

Me, Chris and Izzy all wearing matching mugenjuku blue t-shirts and Takenaga wearing……well she’s special! We were waiting at the car rental shop for Payet Sensei and Chris Sensei to join us to pick the cars that we would use to drive to Wakayama the final resting place of O’Sensei! We spot two very nice family cars “their ours!!!” I said, well one was – Kenshusei and me, we get a cute little bubble car (street cred minous 80 points) the worst bit was when our DRIVER wanted to put her bag in the boot (trunk) and popped the bonnet to the engine open! I said my preyers and we left!

Joe (visiting from NY City), his family, Nakaema San and Okitani San from the part time Kenshusei also joined us – not in the bubble car!

After a very noisy and long drive we finally arrived at O’Sensei’s grave. We looked around the shrine and the gardens before heading into the grave yard it’s self. It was a very peaceful and beautiful place with a view of the sea. Takenaga braught some insence, so we all said a prayer and put it at O’Sensei grave. We then scrubbed it clean and swept away any leaves and litter. After paying our respects we got back in the cars and Payet Sensei led us to the place O’Sensei would go when he was younger to study the mantras and meditate. It is said that this was a key factor in his unearthly strength. I didn’t find any extra strength but I did find a fruit on a tree which we could eat, a little like a peach, it was delicious!

…next stop and just around the corner was the site where his original family home stood, now just a rectangle of grass with some trees, it was still strange to think what it would have been like for this young Japanese lad with a remarkable future ahead of him.

Viking – that is what they call an all you can eat buffet, that always makes me giggle…I wasn’t giggling at the end when – yes once again I ate to much!

Final stop – ONSEN!!! In fact the oldest in Japan, it was liturally two huge rock pools with very and I mean very hot water in them. You sit boiling like potatoes whilst watching the waves crash up against the rock – peace! Defently a story to tell, especially the giant woodlaos that crueled along the rocks, they were the size of my inappropriately sized……….thumb!

Ow wait Final – Final stop – a fish super market (with its own mini aquarium) for some beers to drink on the way home!

Arrived home just in time to get the cars in in time…quick drink by the river and off to bed. Good day had by all!

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