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Chuzenji Temple
2020.11.05

The short flight of stairs from the roadway opened up into a typical looking temple area. There were lion guardians protecting the well-preserved buildings and tourists darted here and there admiring the architecture and engaging with the shrine members. We walked past the entrance into the main enclosure. Featured there were goods for sale, the coin box for praying, making wishes and giving donations, games that would lead to a fortune telling of some kind and a rack which held writings from visitors on rectangular blocks of wood. We stayed there only for a few minutes as the view beyond this foremost entrance hall looked more promising.

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Some more stairs and then we were at the foot of an old but daunting gate that had an ethereal presence. It seemed as if one stepped through it they could be transported to some other magical world full of strange creatures and unique experiences. The forest lay ahead through the gate, calling us to pass through and get lost in time. The sparkling, golden dragon that stood just outside the gate, baring its menacing teeth was there to protect not devour. Gingerly, we walked through not knowing how far the path would lead or where it would take us.

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Through another red, well-roofed entrance way and so the hike began. I am not a conditioned hiker as you all may know by now. How long before the muscles in my legs would give up? How long before altitude sickness would get the better of me and have me panting, sweating, faint and gasping for air? The image that my paranoid mind created was too dramatic...and incorrect. Sure the flights of stairs that we met further on were steep and long but they were manageable.

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It was not a fantastical world that we met as we walked along the well-developed paths. It did make you feel as if you were in the past to some extent. The woods were old. The air was cool and fresh in some places but stale in others. The age of the trees was clearly visible. Their barks were shredded and discoloured by years of the growth of mould and fungus. Maybe that had something to do with the dank smell.

Other hikers, dressed to the nines swarmed around. They appeared eager for a proper adventure and photo taking opportunities out there in the wilderness. Our hike did not last long. It was probably around twenty minutes. The queerest sight we met before turning back to head to the car was a group of monks sitting around, chatting and laughing at a rest stop in the woods. Strange to me and somewhat magical.

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Date posted :
2020.11.05
Poster :
Hair Monster

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I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.

Care less,
Live more,
Breathe free...