Day 6: Today was a little bit different as we were starting our morning at 8-am at the local elementary (primary) school as special guests. We spent the first half of the morning attending 4 different English classes and helping the students with self introductions. It was a real privilege to have been given the opportunity to sit in and talk with the students. In-between lessons we would sit down with the principle and enjoy cups of green tea whilst talking about a array of topics.
The principle also took us to see the towns largest growing tree. The locals call this the Sugi no Osugi tree which translates to Giant Cedar. This cedar is believed to be over 3000 years old! It is quite amazing to be in the presence of such an old living life. The trunk diameter is 17 metres wide and is 60 metres tall. But this tree was once a lot taller, due to a typhoon it snapped in half approximately 7 years ago. After visiting the school and seeing the Giant Cedar we made our way to 定福寺 高知県 Jofuku-ji Temple.
This experience was amazing, to have a private tour and ceremony with the monk of Jofuku-ji Temple was an experience I will never forget. It was a real honor to have Ryuko take time out of his day to share all the hidden gems of this temple with us. Picture below is a private room only for the monks of the temple. From the ceiling to the floor there is gold hanging and covering almost everything. We asked what the gold represented. The answer was, gold never changes. Gold represented their beliefs to live a long and happy life and that their happy Buddha will never change.
We also were allowed to hit the drum to be apart of the private ceremony.
After the ceremony, Ryoko showed us the temple gardens which looked like they were plucked straight out of a fairy-tale book. It was magical… Each plant had a meaning and place here, I think this is why I really love this garden so much.
Until tomorrows adventure, happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs