My last week at GenkiJacs (around the end of augsut) was not a study week because It was Silver week. A week where Japanese people have a few consecutive days off from work (what is pretty rare, here in Japan). GenkiJacs decided to celebrate this by organizing a two day trip to Sasaguri. Here is my late and short report on Silver week: Sasaguri.
Silver week: Sasaguri
Two days felt more like one day
The trip is a two day trip but because we met at 12 o’clock at noon and we returned the next day at noon, it felt for me more like an one day trip.
The first day
Arriving at the ryōkan
after a short bus trip we arrived at the ryōkan (a Japanese-style hostel). It was an bit worn down, but it had it charms. After that we got a bit of free time to explore the area around the hostel. There was not so much to see except the many small shrines that you found everywhere.
after leaving or bags an a bit of rest we went to Sosho temple. There we where challenged to write Buddhist sutras. This was for some people a struggle because they just started to learn Japanese. But after two hours everyone finished their sutras and we return back to the hostel
Dinner and bath
Dinner was already served when we arrived at the hostel. Real Japanese styled dinner. In between or room was changed from a leisure room to a sleeping room. The futon where laid out and we all received sleeping wear. But first we all needed to take a bath. And this was in Japanese style, together. A bit awkward in the beginning we all got over it.
The second day
Getting up at…
On or second day we needed to get up at 5.30, this was for some people not so easy. But one hour later everyone was ready and we could checkout.
Back to Sosho temple
We returned to Sosho tempel for a session of Zazen (a kind of meditation) But before we could start the priest need to take his daily morning shower. This is a daily routine he does to clean his body and soul. One of the students also participated in this ritual.
The meditation was a recitation of sutras, Everyone was allow to sit down in a way that was the most comfortable for them. It was so calming I almost fell asleep.
Some more picture from the temple
For or goodbye we where rewarded with a Zen cuisine styled lunch. I did not know what to expect, but this was not my thing. It was a kind of curry sauce with carrot and potatoes with bread.
Returning home went so smooth we had some extra time. The guide therefore decided to stop at Nazoin temple. This is a hidden place you really need to visit when you are travelling around Kyushu. If you follow the path way up you discover the biggest bronze statue of Buddha in the world. A Reclining Buddha, 41 meters long 11 meter tall, with the impressive weight of 300 ton.
But there is much more to see than the Buddha itself. On you’re way up you pass many statues made in many different styles, small shrines, and many more fantastic things. If you are lucky and there are not to many visitors you feel like you’re entering a dream world.
This excursion was a nice experience, But I thought it was a bit short. I really like that I discovered something that I probably never would have discovered by myself. It was a real Japanese experience for my first Silver week.
Have you ever has such kind of experience? have you seen such a impressive statue? let me know. If you have remarks, suggestions, or questions you can always post them in the comments section, on my Facebook page, Google+ page or through Twitter.