Hiking in Mt. Takatori; What A Gigantic Buddhist Image the Magaibutsu Is!

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Date & Time: Saturday, July 1, 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Places: Mt. Takatori and Dokuonji Temple
Visitors: Hiking: 2 Germans, 1 American, 1 Japanese, 1 Danish and 1 Malaysian
Zazen: 2 Germans, 1 Japanese, 1 Dane, 1 Malaysian, 1 Bulgarian
and 1 Chinese
Guides: 4 KSGG members
Language: English

Although it rained heavily in every region of Japan on the day, we could luckily go hiking on Mt. Takatori in the light rain. When we stepped into the hiking trail through the residential area, I was surprised to find there were more attractive spots than I had expected. Some people practiced rock climbing on the steep cliff there. We found the amazing spot among trees where the inner rock was exposed after the surface layer was quarried out for construction materials called Takatori-ishi. It made me feel like I stood in the ancient ruins of Inca Empire. The gigantic magaibutsu, or the image of Buddhist engraved in the cliff, was overwhelming, and what was more, I was also captivated by a lot of carved Buddhist images and the pictures drawn on the wall of a cave. The rain stopped during our hiking, so the view from the observatory on the top of the mountain was breathtaking! We could command a panoramic view of the Landmark Tower Yokohama, Tokyo Bay (We could also see the Tokyo Skytree.), the Boso Peninsula and the whole area of the Miura Peninsula. After this hiking, we headed for Dokuonji Temple to join zazen or zen meditation in Buddhist sitting posture. After the lecture by Priest Fujio, the head of the temple, in his fluent English, the participants performed zazen three times. Then we concluded all of the scheduled activities without any troubles.