Oct 18, 2018
When I talked about going to nagatoro I mentioned meeting a very interesting woman along the way. On the way out of the first temple I visited, there was a woman standing and looking at a koi pond. She had a very content smile on her face. As I took a picture of the koi pond she began talking to me. It started with the usual chit-chat that most Japanese have with any foreigners that they meet. Where am I from? how long have I been in Japan? Then it started getting into more questions like If I was christian or what my beliefs were? I was nervous for a second I was going to have to refuse a pamphlet from her trying to convert me. But that isnt the direction the conversation turned. She was very courteous and very polite. When I told her that I was there at that shrine for the first time because of the hiking rally she started talking about herself and how she comes once a month for the past 7 years since her husband passed. She would always stop at this pond and feel at complete peace with herself under the cool shade of the trees, even during winter when it's harshly cold. She would also always bring with her deep-fried tofu. It's called inari the same name as the shrine founder, so she explained. She would come and get it blessed and then afterward go home and enjoy a nice warm dinner. While still at the shine usually looking over the koi pond she would put all of her thoughts and worries and intentions into the fried tofu. She told me about how one of her favorite things to do was talk to any of the foreigners who came. They would always share with her about their own religions and how they worship, just like she was doing with me just then. I wish I could have stayed and chatted with her the entire day. Maybe one day I'll get to go back to the shrine and I might chance to meet her again.
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too