01.04.2010 - 02.04.2010 15 °C
So our delight in Japan continues. We have visited many Temples and Shrines - the Japanese evidently subscribe to a unique blend of Shintoism and Bhuddism. Most recently we were blessed by a Bhuddist Abbot who said we looked so happy we must be on our honeymoon. This Zen Monastery has lovely raked-gravel gardens, elegant in their simplicity and wonderfully peaceful. Inside the largest wooden structure in the world is this enormous Bhudda. Nearby there is a hole through one of the roof beams. It is said that if you can pass through the hole you will achieve enlightenment. I'm told the hole is the same size as the Bhudda's nostril and some quite large people managed it - now that's one big Bhudda!!
Close by is a classic Japanese garden with tiny stone bridges over streams with huge, slow-moving carp, mossy banks and balletic cherry trees in blossom. All set against the backdrop of distant hills (called 'borrowing a setting')
We had tea in a classic Tea Room, served by Mrs Overall's Japanese cousin :oD
That evening we took the bullet Train again - this time to Hiroshima, where, at 8.15am August 6th 1945, the first Atom Bomb was dropped, causing thousands of people to die in agony and almost totally destrying the city in seconds. Good Friday seemed a fitting day to consider the evils of war and resolve to contribute in whatever way we can to peace and tolerance in the world.