Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shou Un Dai: (Flying Cloud Stone)

It is said that Mao landed on this stone 6,500,000 years ago from Venus to save the earth. When I placed my hand near the stone, I felt the dense energy past the rope. The rope is called Shimenawa.

Shimenawa is a rope that separate the sacred space for worshiping deities and other holy things from regular space. You see them often in temples. The 8000 year old sacred tree that I talked about earlier has the Shimenawa around it as well.

I pictured imaginary Mao on the stone and flying around. In my head he is made out of gold with golden stick navigating his flying stone around and patrolling the town to make sure everything is in order. I feel like he is a Science Fiction Super Hero.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Poems of Peace

Translation from the above poem:

A long time ago, Buddha taught us that when we get rid of hatred, anger and greed, there is peace.

Now we have a “Japanese constitution” humanity treasures that state of the courageous choice of not fighting.

So that we won’t be sad because of war
So that others won’t be sad because of war
Let’s walk the path of peace by using both the teaching of Buddha and the peace constitution.

Translation of the top poem in the above image:

Once upon a time, Yoshitsune (a samurai warrior) realized the cruelty and emptiness of war after fighting, fighting, and fighting at Ichinotani, Okushima, and Dannoura. He no longer continued on his fight at Hiraizumi.

A little while ago, our country found out about the tragedy and ridiculousness of war after the fighting, fighting, and losing at Pearl Harbor, Iwajima, and Okinawa. We have made a commitment not to have war forever.

So that we won’t be sad because of war
So that others won’t be sad because of war
We started to walk the path of peace
“ Japanese Constitution” is the base of peace
Something that we can be proud to show the world as our treasure.

Translation of the bottom poem in the above image:
Stop the terrorism
Stop the war
It is heartless & brutal
Let’s just keep praying for the wish of true peace.

By Kurama temple

These three poems were posted at the Kurama temple. The top one was posted right outside of the rest area and the other two were at the entrance of the main temple. They are written in calligraphy by hand on regular paper (not laminated), so I assume they make new poems to post at frequent intervals. I wish I found out who wrote these poems, but I assume one of the head monks at Mt. Kurama did.

These three poems touched my heart when I was there, but I purposely skipped them when I wrote about the rest area for the fear of discussing politics in this blog. However, I heard that a few days ago Japan decided to recall troops that were sent over seas and I was compelled to share these three poems with all of you. What do you think?

For those of you who don’t know, after WWII the “Japanese constitution” was created stating that Japan was only allowed to have military troops for defense only. After 911 Japan was pressured to make a six year agreement to support the war in Afghanistan. Many people, including myself, felt this was against the “Japanese constitution”. Now that the six years has ended I was happy to hear that the Japanese government decided not to renew the agreement of supporting the war.

A final note of clarification, the poems didn’t talk about any specific war or any point of view about the politics, only about war in general. And because I related to the poems based on current events, I wrote the last paragraph from my own personal perspective and not to be confused with the perspective of Kurama Temple.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mandala: Kon Gou Shou 

There is a Mandala located in front of the main temple. It is called Kon Gou Shou. According to Japanese wikipedia, Kon Gou is a Buddhist term that means the hardest metal on earth. For example, it is said that Kon Gou stone means diamond. Shou means floor or bed. So, I assume that Kon Gou Shou means that hardest floor/bed on earth. My interpretation is that it is symbolizing the most stable and reliable place on earth. It certainly felt that way.

According to broshure of the Kurama temple, the pattern of this Mandala represents the teaching of Kurama temple, about the ideal goal of uniting the universe and people who have the universe inside of them, coming together as one. The mandala seems to have special energy. I stood on top of the triangle for a long time enjoying the sensation in my body from the energy coming up from the mandala. Most people place their hands in a prayer position and stop and pray, some people kneel down and bow, others even perform some kind of sacred dance on top of it.

I also charged my crystals on top of it when there was no one else around waiting to experience the Mandala.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Special Edition: Reiki Photography greeting cards

Big News for Reiki Photography!
Open Center Bookstore is now carrying Reiki Photography greeting cards! They are trying them out for couple weeks and see how they sell. If you live in NY, please stop by and check it out in next couple weeks. It’s a blank card, so it can be used for birthday, holiday, or any other occasions you can think of. You could just keep one for yourself to decorate your altar as well. Please spread the word to people whom you know would be interested.

Open Center Bookstore
83 Spring Street, NY NY 10012

Reiki Photography on line store is coming soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Guarding Tigers

The main temple is guarded by two Tiger statues. Generally most of the temples are guarded by dog statues, but Kurama Temple has Tigers because of the temple’s special association to the Tiger. The history of Mt. Kurama begins with Bishamonten saving one of the monk from the devil on a Tiger month, Tiger Day, and Tiger hour. Tiger is considered a messenger for the Bishamonten at the Mt. Kurama. Back in 770AD when that happened, Japan was using animals to address month, days, and hour just like Chinese zordiac sign.

The right tiger’s mouth is open in a shape to pronounce “A” and that signifies the beginning of everything. The left tiger’s mouth is closed in a shape to pronounce “UN” and that signifies the end of everything. So, these are called A-UN tigers and represent everything in the universe from the beginning to the end.

Personally, I am born on a year of the Tiger, so I have an affinity with them. So, I loved reading this little Tiger themed Kurama temple history.

In case you are wondering what time Tiger hour is, it’s about 3-5am. Tiger Month is January and Tiger day comes up every 12 days. Coincidentally, today Oct 11 2007 is the Tiger day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Main Temple

I finally reached to the main temple compelx! I didn’t do that much research about Mt. Kurama before I got there, so I did not expect to see so much leading up to the main temple. I was so happy that reached what I thought was my goal, the main Kurama Temple, but little did I know this was just a beginning of the tour. (Yes, this blog is just beginning as well.) I am very thankful for the healing salon “Earth” for guiding this tour and sharing their knowledge with myself and the rest of the group. Most of the people who come to Mt. Kurama pay their respects here at this temple and head down the mountain.

This place has a few buildings including rest areas, the main temple, a couple of side temples, the main office, the flying stone, a mandala, and great view Mt. Kurama and Mt. Hiei.

The first thing you see on your right after climbing up the stairs is the rest area building. (picture above) People are allowed to sit and rest while they eat, drink, or smoke. At this point, we really needed to rest and eat our lunch! We were so exhausted and hungry from climbing up so many stairs. Just as a side note, there is no restaurant or snack store over here. You need to bring your own lunch. Inside and outside of this rest area are the drawings, posters, and information about Kurama mountain and the village. There were some drawings done by elementary school kids from Kurama village that were very cute. The only thing that bothered me was that people were allowed to smoke inside of this little building and I would have to breathe in the smoke. Coming from NY, I got so used to not having people smoke in a public space. If you have a same problem as I do, there is another rest area right across from this one or there are benches outside.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tenporin temple

This is Tenporin temple. Inside of this temple is a huge Amida Budda about 16ft tall. You can only see the upper body of the statue and it is guarded by the fence, so that you cannot touch it. There is a rope hanging from the hand of the statue and by holding that rope is equivalent of touching the Amida’s hand. There also is a device called Tenporin it is said that spinning it once will have same effect as chanting 10,000 times. This is a very nice place to meditate. I also enjoyed watching other people meditating.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Café and Dragon

Senshintei (Washing your mind) Café is the only café in Mt.Kurama after the main gate. It is nice to stop by after climbing up so many stairs and refresh my body as well as my mind. They have a very traditional Japanese café menu, like Amazake (sweet sake) and Ameyu (hot sweet ginger water). What is also unique about this café is that it is located below the Tenporin temple. So, you could be sitting right below the Amida statue while you are enjoying some tea and not know about it. There also is a vending machine for tea right next the café, but I highly recommend experiencing this very traditional Japanese café.

Located in front of Tenporin Temple, this dragon looks as if he is guarding the water and the temple. This is another place you would want to cleanse your mouth and your hands. For detailed instruction, please check my previous blog. This dragon, and many other water spots throughout Kurama mountain, has a sign that says “Thank you, water” For me this trip brought up more appreciation for the nature.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Middle gate & Temple of Art Godess

Chuumon (middle gate) is one of the energy spots where many people feel an energy shift when they cross the gate. I felt like there was a cool breeze coming toward me every time I stepped inside of the gate. I would hear the sound of the wind when there was no physical wind blowing in the air. I went in and out of the gate to experiment little. Also another important thing to remember is not to step on the big wooden piece that is on a ground at the gate. The piece of wood that runs across the gate at ground level is placed here intentionally, so one must take care not to step on it, but step over it as you enter the gate.

Here is a Temple of Benzaiten. Benzaiten is another one of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune. She is the Goddess of music, poetry, learning, art, the sea, and the protector of children. Her temples and shrines are generally in the neighborhood of water - the sea, a river, or a pond. I stopped over there and paid my respects to the temple, wishing for good photographs from this trip from the art goddess. I felt like I had a tap on my shoulder from her.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Speical Edition: Reiki Prayer at Mt. Kurama

Thank you so much for those of you who requested the Reiki Prayer and ordered a pdf photo at Mt. Kurama.

I was able to send prayers on 3/29, 30 and 4/11 at various locations at Mt. Kurama. I was happy to hear when some of you reported that you did feel a shift in your life after the prayers. I hope you all enjoyed the energy from the Mt. Kurama.

Here are the choices of the photo designs for those of you who ordered a pdf photo.
Please follow the directions below.

1. Please select a design from above that you like and email me the title.
2. Please send your payment to through Paypal, $10 for English or Japanese only, $17 for one in English and one in Japanese.
3. You will receive an email with the pdf attached of a photo with your personalized prayer requested by you.
4. Print it out, frame it or do whatever you desire!

For those of you who did not have chance to order a pdf photo before, stay tuned for the Reiki Photography Store! More photographs in print, posters, postcard, Christmas cards and calendars to come!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Land of 8000000 Dieties

After Yuki temple, the path gets very curvy. This part of the trail is referred as a Tsuzuraori Sandou (ninety and nine turns path). There are many hairpin curves and I started to get out of breath.

As you walk up the path, hidden from the view because of all the trees, is the statue titled “Life: Love, Light and Power” (picture above). Suddenly it appears before you as you come around the bend, it looks very modern and very different compared to what I have seen so far. This statue symbolizes the teaching of Kurama temple and the 3 deities that Kurama temple worships. Each ring represents one of the concepts of Love, Light and Power and the deities that go along with them.

Kwan Yin symbolizes Love and represents The Spirit of the Moon.
Bishamonten symbolizes Light and represents The Spirit of the Sun.
Mao symbolizes Power and represents The Spirit of the Earth.

Right across from the Statue of Love, Light and Power is the SouFuku (Double bliss) area. The Bridge connecting two temples is called SouFuku Bridge. One of the temples is Tamasugi Daikokuten and the other is Tamasugi Ebisuson.

Tamasugi is a cedar wood that has leaves curled up like a ball.

Ebisuson and Daijokuten are two of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune.
DaikokuTen is God of the Earth, Wealth, Prosperity, Farmers, Flood Control, Agriculture, Rice & the Kitchen.
Ebisu is God of Fishermen, Good Fortune, and Honest Labor.

I am started to notice how much Mt. Kurama is filled with different deities and spirits. I have gotten used to visiting Catholic or Christian churches who worship one God. I am starting to remember what it was like to be in a country where there are 8000000 gods (deities). There is god for everything. There is a prosperity god, a laughing god, and even a poor god and bad luck god that you want to avoid. Visiting all these small temples with different deities and spirits brought up my desire to study them when I go back to the U.S.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Yuki temple & 800 Years Old Japanese Ceder

This is the gate of Yuki Jinjya (Yuki temple). This temple is famous for their fire festival. It is also known as a temple for protecting you from fire disasters, helping have an easy childbirth, relationships, calming of disease, and getting rid of bad luck and bringing good luck in. It is also appointed as one of the national treasures.

As you can see in this picture and inside of the gate in the picture on a left is a tall Japanese cedar. This tree is worshiped as a sacred tree and also a tree that makes your wishes come true. It’s about 800 years old and 53 meters high. I really felt the energy of the tree and felt calm just standing in front of it.

This is the main temple building of the Yuki Jinjya. As we walked by, there were people inside the temple being blessed as you can see in this photo. You need to make a special arrangement to be blessed by the temple. It is 6000 yen (about $60) for once or 30,000 yen (about $300) for a whole year of blessings every morning.

They actually do have a live web cam set at four different spots at this temple. This is so neat! I feel like I am almost there without actually being there. It’s also a lot of fun to watch people pay their respects at the temple. I like to leave the site open at the corner of my computer screen while I am working and watch the people who come to visit and reminisce about my visit to the temple.
Just remember, if you live in the East Coast of the U.S, we have 13-14hrs of time difference. You get to see more people if you visit the site after our dinner time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Waterfall & Temple for the Warriors

Along the path a few minutes walk from Kushikura Inari sha Temple you see a little waterfall, “Mao No Taki” (Water fall of Mao). In a little temple on a cliff (see picture on left) is a statue of Mao. Mao is one of the 3 deities that is worshiped at Kurama temple. I will talk more about it when I get to the main temple where they keep all 3 statues.
It is a customary for people who are seeking enlightenment to sit under a waterfall for extended periods of time to meditate. Master Usui could have been there meditating almost a 100 years ago! However, the sign by the waterfall asks people not to go near the waterfall because a falling rock may hit you.

By the waterfall is the Kiichi Hougen Sha (Temple for Kiichi Hougen). Kiichi Hougen is a teacher of a famous historical warrior Yoshitune. Yoshitune grew up in Mt. Kurama and there are many spots that are dedicated to him throughout the Mountain. A year long television drama series about Yoshitune was aired from April 05-Mar 06, so there were many visitors coming to Mt. Kurama to see where Yoshitune was raised, probably a lot more than people who came to visit the place for Reiki. You would pay your respects to the temple in a same manner as before. Being that this temple is dedicated to someone who was a talented swordsmen and martial artist, many people who would like to improve their athletic/martial art skills comes to visit here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Etiquette for paying respect at temples

This is Kushikura Inari sha (Temple for Kushikura the Fox Spirit). People come to worship at this temple to bring a good harvest.

The following is what I learned as the proper etiquette for paying respect at temples. You want to make sure you cleanse your hands before going to each temple. They normally have a water station dedicated for that right before the temple. (More detailed instruction at the bottom of Part 2)

Then, you can make an offering of money to an offertory box. I grew up being told that giving 5 yen is good luck because it is synonymous with a word that can be translated to fate, karma, relation, connection or ties. So, if you went to the temple to pray/wish for good health, you want to have that as a fate, karma etc. Some people say more the better and give 10000 yen or more, but I normally only give 5 yen, 50 yen or 500 yen (they are all in coins).

Now you want to bow twice. First one is for asking your spirit guide to be connected to God and the second one is for the God. (By the way, I used word God, but it can be anything or anybody that particular temple is worshipping. In this case the fox spirit. I am using and will be using word God loosely.)

Clap your hand twice. It’s kind of like ringing a doorbell at God’s home to let them know that you are here. It also helps cleanse the area.

Then you can have a conversation with God or most of the people make a wish here.

When you are done, bow once to show your gratitude.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mt. Kurama: March 29: Part 4

Keep going up the stairs and you will see a Dougyou Rokutai Jizo Son(6 guardian deity of children in childrean form) by the Kurama Kindergarten. These are 6 figures of Jizo (guardian deity of children) in a child form and even have bib on them as you can see. This is to represent that kids are children of the Budda (God) and a gift from heaven and reflections of the parents. I fantasized about having a child one day and sending them here and visiting this kindergarten everyday.

Next comes the Hou Jyou Ike , which according to the sign, this is the pond where people used to do good deeds like letting a fish or turtle go free here to save their lives (upper picture). Also they would go under the waterfall and meditate (bottom picture). I saw some red coy in a pond. Some of them seem to have the same color red/orange as the lanterns throughout the temples, very scenic and calming spot.

As I was going up the stairs, I noticed that each of the stones that are used as the fence were engraved with a person’s name who has donated money to Mt. Kurama a long time ago, and the donation amount of a 100 Yen (which is about a dollar now, but could be worth a few thousand or few hundred thousand dollars depending on when it was donated). Each lantern has a name of a person who donated money as well. This made me think of all the people who have come here before me and cherished this place and made Mt. Kurama the way it is today.

Close up of the stone with engraving.

Close up of the lantern with name of the donor.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mt. Kurama: March 29: Part 3

You pay 200 yen at the gate for the entrance fee and they will give you a cute pamphlet of Mt. Kurama. (right picture) If you pay extra 300 yen, you get a little booklet of Mt. Kurama. (left picture) They do have pamphlet in English as well. This will come very handy because most of the signage in Mt. Kurama is in Japanese and if you don’t read Japanese, you need to refer to this little English pamphlet. (Pictures above are in Japanese.)

Those money you spend here at the gate or at the temple’s gift shop, it is used for the upkeep and the improvement of the Mt. Kurama. Temples and the road of Mt. Kurama is actually very well kept compare to other temples I went to in Kyoto. As you can see on a picture above, the lanterns have a very vivid orange color. It requires a lot of maintenance to keep it this way. My guide has been coming to Mt. Kurama for past 7-8 years and has seen a major improvement of this place. He thinks it’s because they are getting more and more Reiki visitors each year spending money here.

Another impressive thing about the Mt. Kurama is that there is no trash anywhere visible. They have a signage throughout asking people to respect the nature and not pick flowers or plants and to take any garbage home. I don’t recall seeing that signage in English, so I am letting you know now. If you do go visit Mt. Kurama please follow the rule I mentioned above. More rules and etiquette is on a pamphlet. I went to Mt. Kurama 3 times and did not see a single trash on a road.

For those of you who smoke, cigarettes ashes and butts also need to be taken home. They do sell a portable personal ashtray at many stores in Japan. If you know you have to smoke there, please bring your ashtray with you. (picture above is the portable personal ashtray in case you did not figure that out yourself)

One of the sad things I heard from my tour guide is that the some of the local people who goes to the Kurama temples for religious reason are not necessary too happy with the Reiki visitors. From what he said, sometimes when there is an event at the Mt. Kurama, people split up into two groups, religious and Reiki people. One of the reason they are not too happy with Reiki group is because some of the Reiki people does not respect some of the rules they have at Mt. Kurama. Some people don’t know the rules and not doing them on purpose, but I can see how it could be annoying for people who is following the rules and paying respect. I think it’s kind of like as a New Yorker sometimes we get annoyed by some tourists who are walking slow and blocking the whole sidewalk. (Even if you are not New Yorker, I am sure your town has some unknown rules that tourist does not know and annoy you.) So, I have decided to include a little tips here and there on my blog so you will be better prepared when you go there one day and make friends with local people.

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.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mt. Kurama: March 29

Today I am going to Mt. Kurama with group of people I have never met. This field trip was organized by a Reiki salon called “Earth”. I was a bit nervous if I would fit in terms of the language and culture since I have been away from Japan so long. I also woke up with pain in my ankle since I walked so much the day before. Not a good start, but that was not going to stop me. I woke up bright and early. I don’t seem to be affected by jet lag at all. I have been going to bed 1-2am and getting up 7am past couple days without any naps. Since I am staying at Kurama Onsen (Inn) tonight, I needed to pack my sleep over stuff as well as my camera gear and some hiking stuff.

I arrive at the meeting spot (Demachiyanagi station) at 10:20am with 10 minutes to spare. I was told the organizer of this event is a middle age guy with shaved head. I don’t see anyone by that description, but I found a couple people who are dressed for hiking. I asked if they are going to Mt. Kurama for the Reiki field trip and they were. We introduced ourselves and started to chat. It seems like everyone in this field trip is a student of the organizer who is a Reiki Teacher. Some of the students knew each other, but not all of them did. So, I was not the only stranger. It was about 10 of us including a couple of kids. They were all about in their 30s to 40s and very nice people. I was stupid enough to buy many things at the Kurama temple, so I was carrying my camera bag, purse, and the paper bag from the Kurama temple. The people on a field trip, without my asking, kept holding my bags for me so that I can take photographs. Towards the end of the hike, it was a very slippery downward hike. I did lose balance couple times and was very thankful that I was not carrying the heavy paper bag with me.

To be continued...

I am back in the U.S.

I am finally back in the U.S. where I know how to use my cell phone and access the internet! I spent most of the last week and a half in a fog with a jet lag. Now my head is working, I am getting back into sharing my Japan trip. I wish I could have done this in real time, but my plan now is to backtrack through my trip and update this blog every 3-7 days. If you sign up for the mailing list, I will email you every time I update the blog. I did so much in those 18 days and cannot wait to share what I saw and learned!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Dear Reiki Photography Blog readers,
I just wanted to let you know that I am still here in Kyoto following my original itinary and more. I have so much to tell you, but I am on a computer at my hotel lobby with a time limit. So, I will keep this short. I will probably end up posting most of my trip when I go back to the states. I do not have internet access for rest of my trip.

Being at Mt. Kurama was amazing. I was able to send a short message from my cell phone to post here to let you know I was finally there. If you have requested a prayer, your request is completed. Has anything changed, did you fell anything? If you have requested post card, stay tuned. I have lots of great photographs to choose from.

I have experienced so many mini miracles in this trip, I really feel that I meant to be here at this moment. I cannot wait till I share these stories with you!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I am at Mt.Kurama right now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Take Off

Finally, I am leaving to Japan. I still cannot believe that I am going there. I have been so busy past couple month, time really flied.
I am at the Detroit airport waiting for my flight to Osaka. It was very funny that I heard “Usui” on the announcement as one of the person who needed to report to the counter at the terminal. I wonder is she is the ancestor of Master Usui.

I have added few things to my itinerary since I posted.

Kurama Onsen3/29
Kurama Onsen:
This is a sort of B&B with hot spring near Mt. Kurama. They will serve you a delicious dinner and breakfast. According to the website, they even have an outdoor hot spring. I will be staying there after a Mt. Kurama field trip. So far, I have a pretty good experience with them. The receptionist was kind enough to answer all my questions. You may think it's easy for me to get by in Japan because I am Japanese and speak Japanese. Well, it’s not true all the time. Since I speak the language and look Japanese, they expect me to know “Japanese common sense.” Things that they know to explain to the foreigner, they expect me to know them. Since I was only 17 when I left the country, I don’t know too many grown up agreements. I have been studying Japanese manners and etiquette past couple months.

Mt. Hizen 3/30
According to the Reiki Source Book, Mt. Hizen may be the place where Master Usui has done some studying with Tendai temple. Mt. Hizen also is a place where people visit as one of the holy mountain in Japan. Since it is not too far away from Mt. Kurama, if the weather is nice, I would live to go visit Mt. Hizen and experience it.

Usui Memorial Stone 4/1
I have been doing a lot of research on Kyoto and Mt. Kurama and waited till the last minutes to check out about Tokyo and Master Usui’s Memorial stone. I knew I wanted to go visit and take pictures there, but did not think much more when I decided to go there. As I started the research I was amazed how many people wrote about visiting this place in their blog. There were about 3 pages worth of google result when you enter Usui memorial stone in Japanese. It was very interesting to read about people’s experience of visiting the place and the ritual it took place. Some of them go there to pay respect to Master Usui, some goes over there to connect or talk to Master Usui, some of them goes there to read Master Usui’s accomplishment on the engravement. I found out there also is a whole ritual of visiting graves at the temples in Japan. Apparently, you clean the gravesite and the stone before lighting incense and leaving a flower. Some people even go around pulling out the weed and swipe the dirt with bloom around the gravesite. I am going to need to find out exact ritual from my Grandma before I go visit Master Usui’s Memorial stone. Now I read the entire posting from others, I feeling much more sincere about going to this place. I would like to pay respect and show gratitude for what Master Usui has brought to us. I feel really blessed that I have an opportunity to go there.

Harajyuku, Nakano, Shibuya, Shinanocho, 4/2
These are the location of Usui Reiki Ryouhou Clinics and Gakkai in the early days, Dr. Hayashi’s Reiki Clinic. According to the Tokyo subway map these cities are not too far away from each other and only few stations away from Usui Memorial Stone. I may not be able to go to each of them, but it will be nice to see what these places are like today. I am sure it is completely different from when master Usui and Dr. Hayashi were around.

I have not mentioned in itinerary, but I got hold of quite few of my friends that I have not seen in 9-16 years. Since I lost in touch with everyone in Japan for past 7-8 years, I thought I would be lucky if I see couple of them. Well, they all really want to see me and talk all night! I am very happy, but little concerned about my more than full schedule and jet lag. Please send me some Reiki energy (or whatever you do in other modality) to my health and time management for my trip! Thanks!

P.S.Here I am finally in Japan! I am still struggling to figure out the way to post my updates. Verizon promised me an internet acccess in Japan and failed, so I am looking for an alternative way to get internet access. Right now, I am at this very funcy internet cafe that is 30min walking distance. I don’t think I will be coming here too often. I also cannot send email to my reader who has signed up for my mailing list since I am not using my own computer. I am sorry for the inconvinience, but please check this site every few day for the update.

Monday, March 5, 2007


Welcome to the Reiki Photography blog. The purpose of this site is to share my experience of exploring Reiki in Japan. I have a unique perspective of being Japanese, born and raised in Japan for 17 years, but living in America for almost half of my life without much exposure to Japan or Japanese culture. 15 years ago when I left Japan, I had never heard of Reiki. When I first came across Reiki, I thought it's another one of those things that people claim is Japanese, but really isn’t. Later on, I found out that Reiki actually is from Japan. I still did not believe it when I took Reiki 1 and my Reiki teacher told me about Master Mikao Usui who is the Japanese person who started Reiki. Now, Reiki is becoming more and more popular in Japan that has already become a popular healing modality in the West. I have studied Western Reiki with Japanese Reiki techniques in great depth. Now I am very curious to learn Japanese Reiki and see how Japanese Reiki is being taught. Currently, I am only trained in teaching Reiki in English and would eventually love to teach in Japanese.

Below is some of the itinerary of what I am planning on doing in Japan to give you some idea. I am not going to list them all in today’s blog. I will continue to list more as I update my blog. If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment. I did as much research as I could on the internet to find the events that sound interesting, but I am sure there are more out there. If you are in Japan, you may want to join me at some of the events. I have included web links to the respective events and classes, unfortunately, many of websites and events are only in Japanese. If you sign up for the mailing list, I will email you every time I update the blog.

3/29/07: Mt. Kurama field trip hosted by “Earth”
I subscribe to the newsletter by “Earth”. The owner of “Earth” is a chiropractor and a Reiki master/teacher who studied Komyo Reiki. His newsletter is always full of insightful comments and useful information. He takes people to Mt. Kurama twice a year and I always wanted to go. I was very happy when I got the newsletter and found out that he actually planned the next field trip on my 4th day in Japan!

4/5-7/07: Jikiden Reiki
Jikiden was founded by Chiyoko Yamaguchi and her son Tadao. From what I read in a Jikiden book, she grew up surrounded by relatives practicing Reiki and learned Reiki from Chujiro Hayashi. They teach Shoden and Okuden (loosely equivalent to Reiki 1 and Reiki 2) in 5 lectures in 2 and half days. This is different from most other Reiki schools where they suggest 21 days between Reiki 1 and Reiki 2. I had mixed feelings about this until I found out that this is how Chujiro Hayashi taught Chiyoko and many other people who lived a long distance away.

4/8/07: Gendai Reiki Network Event
It sounds like this event will be a big Reiki circle. I really wanted to take Gendai Reiki by Hiroshi Doi, but since the timing did not work out this time, I wanted to at least check out what the Gendai Reiki is about.
Event includes:
•Understanding Reiki
•Day to Day use of Reiki
•Technique for clearing body and mind
•Hatsurei Hou
•Reiki Mawashi etc

3/25/07: NPO Japan Reiki Association Event
I really wish I could attend this event! NPO Japan Reiki Association is putting together very exciting event.
• Introduction by Yoko Tsuji (chair person for NPO Japan Reiki Association)
• Lecture by Inamoto Hyakuten. (founder of Komyo Reiki)
• Lecture by Hiroshi Doi (founder of Gendai Reiki)
• Lecture by Canadian, Spansh and Iranian Reiki Masters
• Bingo
• Reiju by Inamoto Hyakuten, Hiroshi Doi, Yoko Tsuji and other NPO Japan Reiki Association Reiki teacher
If you are in Japan, you don’t want to miss this!

Reiki Prayer at Mt. Kurama
I had this done by another Reiki Master and really loved it. It made a such a nice gift for people that I love. So, I have decided to offer it to all of you.

Mt. Kurama is where Master Mikao Usui meditated and discovered Reiki. The mountain and the temple is also worshiped as one of the holy place in Japan. While I am on Mt. Kurama I will use Reiki to create a sacred space and, for everyone who requests it, I will say a prayer. If you are interested in having a prayer read for you or your loved one, please read the instructions below carefully. I will offer this to the first 200 requests.

Sending a prayer will be free.
If you would like a pdf photograph with your personalized prayer email to you, it will be $10 each or $17 for set of Japanese and English.

I will be creating a pdf, 4x6 photograph of Mt. Kurama personalized with your requested name and prayer. I am offering a choice of English Only, Japanese Only (I will translate your prayer from English to Japanese or vice versa.) or you can order two photographs, one in English and one in Japanese. See samples below. Please make your orders and submit your text by 3/21 before I leave for Japan.

Englsih & Japanese Sample

These samples are just there so you have some idea of what you may be receiving. The background will be replaced by photograph of Mt. Kurama and the layout and text will change as well.

When I return with the photograph, I am planning on offering 3-5 designs to choose from, which will be available in the beginning of May. I will post them here and you can email me with your choice.


Prayer only request (Maximum of 3 prayer requests per person)
1. Person’s name (You or your loved one)
2. 3-5 word prayer (like Love, Peace, Happiness & Joy)
3. Check out the blog to see when it's happening
4. Enjoy
Click here for the Request form

Prayer request with photo (Order as many as you like)
1. Person’s name (You or your loved one)
2. 3-5 word prayer (like Love, Peace, Happiness & Joy)
3. Specify English only, Japanese only or one in English and one in Japanese
4. Please send your payment to through paypal
$10 for English or Japanese Only, $17 for one in English and one in Japanese
5. You will receive an email in the beginning of May to select the design of your photo.
6. Email me back with your choice.
7. You will receive an email with the pdf attached.
8. Forward this email to your loved one or print it out, frame it and give it to them!
Click here for the Request form

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at