#2 Emma


Temple: Gokurakuji – people come here for long life and easy child birth, there’s a magnificent old cedar tree above the washing station.

Dedication: I met Emma in New Zealand when she worked in the Hutt with Ed (as Ed’s boss) but quickly stole her. We’ve done lots of things together since including a big trip to Hawaii two years ago. She’s been through a lot in the past few years so I’m thinking of you Emma.

Picture: the hand washing station where you start the process of each temple visit (with a bow before you step through the main gate as a prologue), you let water from a ladle fall over your left hand, right hand, cup some in your left hand to rinse your mouth, left hand again then let the remaining water drain down the ladle handle.

On the train this morning I could feel all sorts of fear and anticipation but now I’m going everything seems to be easy, even communicating with my awful Japanese. I’m getting by. The fact the first three temples are all close together helps.