Date and time: Sunday ,September 24, 8:30am – 5pm
Spots: Kotokuin Temple (the Great Buddha), Hasedera Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, and Sogo Yokohama
Visitors: 5 couples from Argentina and Italy, in their 60s and 70s
Attendants: 2 KSGG members
The visitors were a group of cheerful couples. They were all very good friends often spending overseas vacations together, and were seasoned travelers. Long cruise trip didn’t tire them at all, and they had already spent the previous day seeing sights in Tokyo. They were interested in everything, and before even reaching our first destination, we were bombarded with many questions such as “What is the difference between Shintoism and Buddhism?.”My colleague answered in detail，which seemed to satisfy our visitors.
We made our first stop at the Great Buddha in the cool morning, and spent plenty of time guiding the sight. At Hasedera Temple, when we explained the legend that the main statue at this temple had drifted across the sea from Nara, they said, “We heard a similar story at the temple where we visited yesterday.” They had visited Senso-ji Temple the day before, and remembered the story that the Kannon Bodhisattva there was pulled up from a river by fishermen.
At Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine, the male visitors were overjoyed to take photos with a group of ladies in kimono, while the female visitors were very excited to see children dressed up in kimono for the Shichi-go-san, a traditional event to celebrate the healthy growth of children, commenting on how sweet they looked. Regretfully, time came to return to Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal where we bid farewell to our visitors.