It seems that in Japan, every place of importance has at least one cherry blossom tree. Parks, schools, temples, shrines….
So I rode my bicycle out to Mochizuri Kannon with the hope of seeing the cherry blossoms there in full bloom. Unfortunately, the temple has only one cherry blossom tree. (It is more famous for its autumn leaves.) And also, it was too early–it wasn’t blooming yet!
Mochizuri Kannon is about a forty minute bike ride from downtown Fukushima City. It’s kind of out in the countryside, away from the city. I have been told it is the largest temple in Fukushima in terms of land area.
These are “Omamori.” As you can see on the sign, each one costs five hundred yen. (Approximately five U.S. dollars.) Omamori is often translated as amulet.
Believers purchase the amulets and keep them as charms. So as you can see on the amulets in the photos, some have pencils on them. Students might buy those in hopes of doing well in school, and then attach them to their school bags.
Mochizuri Kannon is most famous because it was visited by Matsuo Basho. He was the most famous poet of the Edo Era. He was born in 1644 near Ueno.
Basho visited this rock and wrote a haiku here.
sanae toru temoto ya mukashi shinobuzuri
with the hands—ancient patterns
from the fern of longing
A different view…
Walking on the grounds… I have lots of photos so I will just show them from here on out and not say anything.
Imagine yourself on a spring day, a slight breeze, exploring a temple in Tohoku….
Pardon me for interrupting your meditation, but I want to say that this structure was damaged in the earthquake of 2011. When I visited a couple years ago, it was being repaired. The repairs seem to be finished now.
This is a box where one can donate money if one so wishes. Usually a person throws in some coins (or bills) and prays. The slats prevent theft.
These are “Omikuji.” You donate money (usually 100 yen) and pull out a piece of paper. It tells you if your luck will be good or bad.
If a person recieves a fortune with bad luck, he or she will leave the bad luck behind at the temple.
Nobody wants bad luck!
This is the temple’s one and only cherry blossom tree….I arrived MUCH too early!
Here it is on the map! Easy to ride a bike to, so I recommend it!