Our little blue car was released from the car elevator this morning for the ride to Nagano via the coast road.
Kanazawa’s morning was wet and windy. By the time we pulled into a roadside lunch spot, the rain had stopped and there were signs of sun. Buying ramen by ticket can tend to be a guessing game, but you can’t go too wrong.
We stopped at a lookout to see the cliffs of Oyashirazu where story boards related the tales of this most dangerous part of the old Hokuriku (aka Koshiji) Road. The name Oyashirazu means “parents don’t know”. Travellers had to navigate their way through the waves to continue on the road.
A 12th century clan leader was defeated in battle and escaped. His wife followed him and penned this poem after their child was lost in the crossing.
The parents not knowing
on the waves of this shore, a child
vanishes in the foam along the Koshiji Road.
The clouds were low today and the rice fields were a mirror for the sky.
We arrived in Nagano and high-tailed it up to Zenkoji before it closed. The structure of the Hondo or Main Hall dates from 1707. Our ticket entry included going through a pitch black tunnel underneath the sanctuary with only our right hand to guide us along the tunnel wall until we reached the Key to the Pure Land, emerging to see ourselves reborn in a mirror. One touch of the key ensures eternal salvation, so we’re good to go.
We’ll head out to dinner soon in this Winter Olympics City (1998). Tomorrow will include a trip to see the Snow Monkeys.