Drizzling day with sun somewhere behind the clouds all the time, the trip was to a place far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The first leg of the trip being Kasamori-Kannon(笠森観音).
The first visual was of the trees standing straight (literally very straight) and a trail seemed to disappear into the woods. On the way up, three magnificent cedar trees standing upright; it is believed that these cedars are there since 700-800 years.
Taking a few steps further, there is one peculiar camphor tree with a see through hole in its trunk, and according to the guide if one rubs the edge of the hole the person will be blessed with a baby! Seriously! I wondered what would happen if a guy rubs it out of curiosity or by mistake!
Keeping this thought aside, took few more steps ahead to finally have the glimpse of the main structure, one of the ‘Important Cultural Properties’ of Japan; Kannon-Do(観音堂).The premises was engulfed by the sound of hymns resembled to that Ragas we have in India coming from Kannon-Do which. This wooden structured temple is standing undeterred since 1028 A.D., thanks to periodic maintenance. After washing hands and removing shoes we stepped inside Kannon-Do which enshrines an eleven-faced Kannon (Goddess of Mercy). A fun fact, the doors to have the sight of Kannon are opened only twice in 12 years and this time we couldn’t have the glimpse of Kannon. And finally, after getting down from the Kannon-Do, we proceeded towards the second leg of the journey, ‘Shiarai-Denen’.
Shirai-Denen(白井｢田園｣) is situated in the same city as that of Kasamori-Kannon, taking only 20 minutes by bus to reach the spot. Full of varieties of flowers, all the way down there stood a Japanese old style house with thatched roof structure. A tea ceremony waiting for us in the house, and I happen to sit at the main guests seat fortunately (or unfortunately). All the way from receiving the tea till having the last sip of the tea all the eyes were on me, making me conscious of the every move I made! Anyways after the tea ceremony, the time was to relax enjoy the scenic beauty with flowers, green in drizzling rain, and chirps being the icing on the top, amazing experience!
PS the lady who received us told me about her encounter with Mrs. Indira Gandhi, some 40 years back on her college trip to India.
Visuals of Kasamori-Kannon:
Visuals from Shirai-Denen: