A few weeks ago, I hiked up to Kuuya-no-Taki (Kuuya Falls), above the village of Kiyotaki, in the hills west of Kyoto City with my wife and a friend. First, we swam in the lovely Kiyotaki-gawa. Then, we walked through the village and up to the falls. The falls have a magical air about them, hidden as they are high up on a hillside and surrounded by all kinds of stone statues. The big one in this picture appears to be a Fudo-myoo, one of the Kings of Light who act as guardians in Japanese Buddhism. We drank the water from the falls with no ill effects. This remains one of my favorite half-day trips out of the city.
It’s taken me a long time to post this entry. In early November, my local temple, Shinyo-do, held a festival in which the mikoshi (portable shrine) from the local shrine, Hiyoshi-jinja, was marched up the hill and presented to the temple. The shrine is the symbolic protector of the temple. This event is a perfect example of the generally happy marriage between Shinto and Buddhism here in Japan. The best part of the festival was when the local children performed a Chinese-style lion dance in front of the temple. I am very lucky to live within a few minutes’ walk of both the temple and the shrine. I feel like I’m well covered here.