One fateful cold rainy day, we suddenly had the urge to go for a dip in an hot spring somewhere in Hakone, Kanagawa.
Just thirty minutes before we reached Hakone, around Minamiashigara to be exact, he recalled, there was this temple he once visited as a high schooler.
Daiyuzan Saijoji of Kanagawa. We decided to drop by.
The temple was hidden in deep lush forrest and I read that not so many people know about the place(?). It was drizzling when we got there and there were only few people visiting.
I don’t mean to compare but I have been to temples in Kyoto and Kamakura which was said to be the center of Japanese culture. So, I did not expect that this hidden temple was gonna take my breath away.
I have always loved the serenity and the peaceful feels that temples gives. But sure this one has real thick ZEN atmosphere.
Exploring, I followed the stairs to the deeper part of the temple complex (a mini cable car also available, for those who can’t take the stairs).
The long winding stairs leading up to a higher place where the monks were chanting their prayers…
I had never heard of something as strong and intense as that. The monks chanting long prayers continuously, endlessly while sounding the chime at a regular pace. As if they have a very long one breath. As if they were intensely messaging God, and I bet, the God must have heard that out loud.
The praying session was already begun as I got there, but I couldn’t help to enter the solemn space anyway and just sat there in a ‘seiza’ position for quite a while until the prayers ended. Absorbing all the chants and let them echo throughout my whole.
I was in a peaceful trance.
I would love to be here again just to hear the monks chants to clean up the darkest part of my soul;)
After that finally we went to the nearby hot spring Tenzan. It was fine.