Do you know who Matsuo Basho is?

He is the most famous poet of the Edo period.  He was born in 1644 near Ueno.

(That’s important to remember because it comes into this post.)

While out and about, I saw a sign pointing east for Mochitsuri Kannon.  I didn’t really know what this is, but it sounded touristy, so I decided to head there.  I rode my bike about thirty minutes and found it easily.

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Here we are!

Fortunately, a cheerful woman came out to greet me.

Unfortunately, she greeted me with, “It costs 400 yen to enter the grounds.”

Fortunately, the temple was awesome so it was worth it!

Unfortunately, I dropped a 1,000 yen bill somewhere while handing her the money and only noticed it when I got home!

Fortunately…..oh well never mind.  Let’s get on with the tour.

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The cheerful woman said (I think) that this is the largest temple in Fukushima in terms of land area.

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This is the rock.

This is the rock that Basho visited.

This the rock that Basho visited and wrote a poem about.

It’s a very famous rock.

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I want to jump in!

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Another rock with a poem written about it.  I’m sorry.  The lady told me the poet’s name and it is mega-famous.  I just don’t really quite remember who the poet was.  Evidently, several famous poets came to this temple and wrote poetry.  The information about it is written in Japanese (not English) and I’m just too impatient to decipher all the info.

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The roof of this structure was damage in the 3/11 quake and it is currently being repaired.

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Hmmmm….maybe I should write a poem.

Naaah.

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The grounds were lovely.   It felt like being in the United States…something about the frangrance in the air.  Do you ever get that feeling?  That you are back in the U.S., or where ever you come from?

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Except I don’t often see this sort of thing in the United States!  So I am definitely in Japan.  😉

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I still want to jump in.

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I can’t read the sign.  The cheerful lady was a wealth of information, well worth the money.  She’s the one who told me everything about this place.  If it weren’t for her, I would never have known that Basho had visited.

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Again, the rock that Basho wrote the poem about.  Here is the poem:

sanae toru temoto ya mukashi shinobuzuri

planting seedlings
with the hands—ancient patterns
from the fern of longing

 

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That’s the end of our tour!

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Sayonara, Basho!