October 9, 2011
From Shinagawa station, we took JR Tokai line to Atami station, then we changed to the local train to go one station further, from which we walked for 4 hours in the mountain due to a little misunderstanding. But it was fun, at least I was not alone. The temple was actually only 20 minutes away by taxi from Atami station.
The monk of this temple is also a Zen artist, DJ, and event producer. He used to be a backpacker, as well. It is always fun to speak with him.
We enjoyed a lot the experience of staying in the temple; we slept in the main hall of the temple on futon. The temple is located in a very quiet place on a small hill. It was interesting to see the inside of what you usually see only from the outside.
We started the following day with Zazen. We sat in seiza position as the monk beat the wooden fish while he chanted with certain rtythm. He looked like an drummer from some unknown country to me.
While we cleaned the yard, including cemetery area, the monk prepared GODIVA chocolate and coffee for a break, and we had it together on the veranda. It was a beautiful day of early autumn.
We stayed only 1 night, but we wanted to say more. This place will be perfect for non-Japanese WWOOFers to experience Japanese Buddhism culture and spend a good time in nature.
On the following day, we moved to a ryokan and enjoyed onsen (hot spring). Seiseiso in Atami is resonable, has spacious room, and serves great breakfast. It was a great place to stay.
From Atami station, we walked to the port. The sea water was very clear and there were many tropical fish. It made me wonder how much contaminated this area was by radiation. Dried fish, or Himono, was sold everywhere, and I ate the grilled fish served in breakfast.
Japan is full of water and green. I feel so sad that we all took it for granted, never took care of it, and even allowed the country to build nuclear reactors out of ignorance and indifference.