Tokyo / Togakushi / Ninja Village / Iga-Ueno / Koyasan / Passing Through / Noda City / Yoshino / Ninjutsu Memories
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Noda City / Yoshino 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / Ninjutsu Memories

 

 

Our next stop was Yoshino, which is noted for cherry blossoms in the spring and for being a training area for the Yamabushi or Shugenda.

We visited in September and thus were fortunate in being able to stay at Chikurin-in, a villa built by the famous tea-master Sen-no-Rikyu. It is presently a highly regarded ryokan open to the public when not being used by visiting members of the Royal Family.


The photo to the left is the entry gate to the inn. The right photo is a side entrance to the inn within the gated courtyard. Below is the entry into the inn itself.
 
I remember these were the hottest baths I'd encountered. I also remember that this is where I sat and joined my teacher, Stephen K. Hayes, at a coffee bar that served the best cup of coffee I've ever had.

Visiting a Yamabushi Training Temple

Yoshino mountain has been considered sacred for centuries and is a center of Yamabushi religious activities. We received special permission to visit the temple in Yoshino where the yamabushi stay and study. The yamabushi ("those who sleep in the mountains") are Buddhists with strong Shinto and shamanic connections. They are not a sect, but rather a society with special initiations and rites whose members may be lay or priesthood of any Buddhist sect, or of Shinto affiliation.

Noda City / Yoshino 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / Ninjutsu Memories