All in all, an eventful day
When we first met our guest Ms. L. from Malaysia at the station, she spent no moment in nodding with a big smile to our sudden relaying enquiry originally raised by a gentleman, Mr. M. from Vietnam whether he could join our tour.
Another affirmative reply of Ms. L. followed soon to the enquiry by Mr. M. weather she might be a Buddhist.
He didn’t ask it without a reason.
Although he showed almost no interest in a fire ritual of the temple, he prayed in many places in the most serious and ardent manner I’ve never seen before.
Asking my colleague Kimie to guide at some regular points, we took a luncheon earlier than the norm before restarting to walk down on a natural trail called Inariyama around noon to arrive at the site of “Walking on Fire Festival” around 1:30 well in time for all of us to enjoy this showy ritual including sights of “firing” and “first monk walker”.
Flaring flame on the alter
Monk purifying his body with hot water
Monks walking on “Hot Ashes”
This was not the end of the tour.
Saying thanks and good-bye to Mr. M. and Kimie at the station, Ms. L. and myself headed to the site of “Japanese Plum Festival”, one of the most successful events of the city, to enjoy its full bloom.