Rokujizoji and a small German surprise

Freshly invigorated by my recent journeys to Himeji and Osaka, I went out to explore the Mito inaka a little more. This time I went to a far away place in eastern Mito. 

It’s been a while since I saw the advertisement on the side of a bus for a Buddhist temple called Rokujizoji (六地蔵寺). It actually was not my first try to go there, but the last time I somehow failed to find the right bus. Since I had some other business to attend to at Mito station, and it was still early afternoon, I decided to give it another try. Looking up the bus schedules online has somewhat become a little hobby of mine and this time I was sure to find the correct bus. And so it was.

After about a fifteen minute bus ride, I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, again surrounded by trees and rice fields. The temple itself was anther ten minutes by foot, but not at all hard to find. It’s located in a small first with some incredibly old trees on its grounds. There are a few sub shrines, too. What’s really impressive is the nature here. According to the signs there is an 800 years old, 32 metres tall tree with a circumference of about 6.4 metres.

Another tree is even older, about 1100 years, and 33 metres tall. The circumference is almost seven metres. It’s really impressive standing below there’s majestic beauties.

Apart from this the temple itself is decorated with colourful cloths and it smells everywhere like incense.

There are many Buddha statues lining the way to the snakes shrines.

There is also a statue of what to me appears to be a farmer.

In the back there is a small cave, with another place to post inside, the entrance of which is also protected by Buddha statues. The smell of incense is very strong in here.

Of course there is also a small fountain where you can cleanse yourself before paying.

Surprisingly I was not alone here. A middle aged couple was also visiting and praying. Maybe they visited one of the graves here; maybe they were here only for prayer. 

Before I left I collected another goshuin. The monk seemed genuine happy, maybe a bit surprised to see a different face around there I guess. I wouldn’t expect many foreigners to come here.

I decided to walk back instead of waiting for the bus. When the sun sets it already gets a bit chilly outside and staying in motion keeps me warm.

On the bus ride to the temple I noticed a little bakery. It’s got a German name: essen. 

I decided to step in on my way back and buy some goodies. I’m glad to report that the bread tastes like home and this place will be among my more regular destinations from now on in. Unfortunately it takes me about an hour to get there, so it probably is still going to be a rare treat. 

For those in the Mito area who want to check it out, there are a couple of buses going to it. From the top of my head it’s at least numbers 2, 28, and 50, heading to 本町 (ほんちょう, honchō). The closest bus stop is 柳町中央 (やなぎまちちゅうおう, Yanagimachi chūō). You can easily find it on Google maps, too.

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