Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Mt. Kurama: March 29: Part 2

Well, back to the Mt. Kurama. We took a train from Demachiyanagi station to Kurama station. It’s a very scenic ride. There were plum trees and cherry blossom trees blooming by the train tracks. At the train station, they do have a coin locker there as well if you want to leave some extra stuff you don’t want to carry up the mountain. I was lucky enough to have my guide warn me about wearing sneakers and wearing comfortable clothes. I did see some girls (that were not part of our group) wearing high heels and having a hard time walking. You could take a cable car up to the Kurama temple, but if you really want to get to the part where Master Usui meditated, be prepared to do a serious hike.

Kurama Train Station

Statue of “Tengu” (The Legendary Mountain Goblins of Japan) in a parking lot of Kurama Station. Mt. Kurama is known for stories with Tengu for Japanese people, not for Reiki. In fact, Reiki is lesser known in Japan than the U.S.

There are many steps just to get to the main gate of the temple and it’s just a beginning.

You want to make sure that you cleanse your mouth and your hands every time you come across water spots like this. This is to physically and mentally cleanse you to present yourself in front of God. The process normally calms you down and prepares yourself. Following is the proper etiquette for cleansing your hands and mouth.

1. Pick up a ladle with your right hand and fill it up. You only fill it up once and you will be using this water for the rest of the process.
2. Cleanse left hand by poring some water from the ladle.
3. Transfer the ladle to the left and cleanse right hand by poring some water.
4. Hold the ladle with right hand now and make a cup with left hand. Pour some water into your left hand and bring it to your mouth. (Please do not place ladle directly to your mouth.)
5. Rinse your mouth while you are covering it with your left hand
6. Hold the ladle with both hands and let the rest of the waterfall out by standing it up vertically.
7. Put the ladle back to where you got it.

By the way, I recommend carrying handkerchiefs in Japan. That’s what the most of the Japanese do. They use their own handkerchief instead of a paper towel to wipe their hands. Most of the bathrooms are not equipped with paper towel either. I completely forgot about it and had run out to get one the next day. I needed to air dry my hand every time I cleansed my hands at these water spots that day.