October 5th Thursday
The Pilgrims got up very early for sunrise service. On April 28, 1253, Nichiren Shonin climbed to the top of the mountain and facing the rising sun chanted "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo". This was the beginning of the lineage of Buddhism that would take the name that he gave himself that morning, Nichiren. As followers of Nichiren Shonin the pilgrims also faced to the rising sun and chanted the Odaimoku. That morning the weather did not cooperate but the fortitude of the pilgrims was firm and we chanted even in the rain and wind. The mpeg below is our group chanting to the rising sun. Another group from a Temple in Japan joined us as we chanted. We had not brought umbrellas as it was not raining when we left the Temple. The other group happily shared their umbrellas with us in the driving rain.
After are morning chanting we dried off then joined the morning service at Seichoji. At 9:00 we had a wonderful vegetarian breakfast then were on our way again to follow in the footsteps of Nichiren Shonin.
Our first stop after a short bus ride would be Komatsubara-zan Kyonin-ji. The location of the Komatsubara persecution. Then it would be a long bus ride to the other side of the Chiba peninsula. There we would visit Hokekyo-ji.
Hokekyo Temple founded by Toki Jonin is were the majority of Nichiren Shonin's writings in his original hand are stored. It is also the location of the esoteric practice of Aragyo (100 day practice).
The final stop that day would be the Kamakura Park Hotel in Kamakura. We would stay here for three nights. Nichiren Shonin lived in Kamakura several times in his life, studying, remonstrating with the government and writing important treatises. While in Kamakura we would visit Ryuko-Ji, Shijozan Shugen-Ji, Kosoku-Ji, Komachi-oji, Myohon-Ji, Myoho-zan Ankokuron-Ji as a group and free time would be spent visiting other temples and shrines along with shopping in this historic city. We would also be in the middle of a typoon which we had been seeing the beginnings of that morning in Chiba and the drizzling rain following us to Kamakura.