Fukuroi and Wind bells festival / by Saki

Hello ! Welcome to our blog 🙂

Here’s Saki, from Local Travel Partners

Today we will go in a westsouthern city of Shizuoka prefecture : Fukuroi 袋井市. It is near Hamamatsu.

While looking up on places to visit in Shizuoka. I’ve been drawn to Fukuroi for it holding a Fuurin Matsuri, or wind bell festival. Wind bell are one attribute of Japan’s summer to me. My grand-mother has always held out wind bells at the time of the year you start opening windows and welcome summer. You often hear the fuurinTirin› sound while scrolling in town during this period.

This festival is held this year from middle of May till the end of August. It is called the Enshû Sanzan Fuurin Matsuri 遠州三山 風鈴まつり ; Enshû Sanzan is how the 3 temples of Fukuroi are called all together. It is formed by the Hottasan temple 法多山, the Yusanji temple 油山寺 and the Kasuisai temple 可睡齋.

We first went to the Kasuisai temple 可睡齋.

The temple has a deep connection with Ieyasu TOKUGAWA. In various place of Shizuoka you will find the trace of this particular shogun. As a child, Ieyasu came there with his father, while escaping the army of Shingen TAKEDA. He went there to thank them for concealing them and it is said that he could rest soundly, reassured by the zen monk.

Kasuisai is a buddhist temple renowned in the Tokaido for its Zen discipline. You can experience Zazen, Shakyô, Zen cuisine, sleep at the temple. Zazen is a zen meditation to achieve self-realization, usually done in the lotus position. Shakyô is about copying the sutra which Buddha taught, to find peace of mind.

 

The wind bell festival was being held and look at all the colorful fuurin ! It takes you aback, in a good way !

You hear the sound from afar. And you can find yourself following the ring of those glass bells, as drawn by it. Isn’t it beautiful ?

You can also visit inside the temple, which is grand. 

There are wind bell in the inner garden as well. It represent the Akafuji : the Mount Fuji when it appears in red while the sun rises. We sat on the engawa, the corridor that follow the garden.

 

We were received with a cold zenzai, it is a sweet soup of Azuki beans with rice cakes, and a cup of fresh tea ! You feel so welcome.

 

After the zenzai collation, we continued our visit inside the temple. There is a room with beautiful peony painted on the sliding door.  Every year in this special room, Hinamatsuri is celebrated. It is one of the five seasonal festivals that are held on auspicious days. Hinamatsuri is held on March 3rd : the third day of the third month, it is the Doll’s day or Girls’ day.

Those dolls are the hina-ningyō雛人形, that are usually displayed for that occasion. Those are ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period.
Here, there is 1200 dolls displayed ! The Hinamatsuri in Kasuisai is known in Japan for its grandness. We can easily see why !

 

There is also several expositions inside the temple, with artists exposing theirs paintings or sculptures. There was also a special about wind bells made in origami : the ones on the left picture are made with paper in braille !

I didn’t think I could see so many fuurin at first, when going to Kasuisai ! For sure, it is a pleasant surprise and made you want to stay longer. Also,each rooms you visit brings you surprises. We initially planned to stay for less than an hour, and finally stayed for three !  

 

Our next stop was the Yusanji temple.

We thought of going there by foot, and as you may see it was raining quite hard that day… We went through mountain and fields of rice and green tea then lastly arrived to Yusanji !

The Yusanji temple 油山寺 is in the mountain. Its name comes from the fact that in the old days you could take oil from it and the mountain  was called Aburayama あぶらやま. The temple is known for having good effects for the eyes : there is a waterfall the Ruri no Taki るりの滝, with water that healed the eyes.

You have to go up the mountain to arrived to the Yakushi hondô 薬師本堂 at the top. It is where one can pray for good health. You can borrow a bamboo cane to help you on the road.
While going up, we came across the Ruri waterfall :

The waterfall is at the foot of the tree. There is this impressive dragon painted at the top. 

We arrived when the temple was closing unfortunately, but we could go up the mountain and feel once again the splendor of the place, in a different way than the Kasuisai temple. Here we were surrounded by nature : trees, river, waterfall… It calms you.

Lastly, a wink to the wind bells festival held in Yusanji as well.

Maybe if you listen closely, you will hear the sound of a fuurin on your next trip to Japan 🙂
You will be seduced !

 

♦〈Access to Kasuisai 可睡齋〉♦

  • By train with the Tokaido Line, get of at Fukuroi station and take north exit. You will find the bus stop. You have 2 bus going to «Kasuisai Iriguchi» , station for Kasuisai. The tourism center of Fukuroi is at the north exit as well.
  • By shinkansen , you can get off either at Kakegawa station, from which it is a 20 minutes ride by taxi. Or get off at Hamamatsu station, from which it is a 40 minutes ride by taxi.
  • By car from Tomei express way, exit at Fukuroi IC and it is a 5 minutes ride to Kasuisai.
  • By car from Shin-Tomei express way, exit at Mori Kakegawa IC and it is a 15 minutes ride to Kasuisai.

♦〈Access to Yusanji 油山寺〉♦

  • By car from Tomei express way, exit at Fukuroi IC and it is a 15 minutes ride to Yusanji.
  • By car from Shin-Tomei express way, exit at Mori Kakegawa IC and it is a 20 minutes ride to Yusanji.
  • By taxi, from Fukuroi station on the Tokaido line, it will take 10 minutes.
  • By shinkansen , you can get off at Kakegawa station, from which it is also a 20 minutes ride by taxi.

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  2. Lake Tanuki
  3. cruise ship passengers and an English speaking driver
  4. Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

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