It starts with the name. Raizan, thunder mountain. I cannot imagine a more awe inspiring name for a mountain, and it is easy to imagine how people who gave the mountain its name felt that this is a mountain to fear and revere, a mountain of deity.
Raizan is located a short drive from our home and on its slope there is an old Buddhist temple called Sennyoji. There is several hundred years old maple tree in the yard and every autumn the road up the mountain becomes a long queue of cars waiting to find a parking space so that the people in them can go and enjoy the autum leaves of this tree.
If I had to choose one place that I love in our area, if not in the whole world, it would be Raizan and the Sennyoji temple. On our free day, one of the last warm days before the autumn winds, my wife asked me what I wanted to do, and I said go to Raizan. But it is raining, she said. Yes exactly, I said. And now I should adjust the above statement to read my favorite place in is Mount Rai in the rain.
There is something special, something magic, sitting under a roof outside on old worn down wooden floors and see and hear a warm rain fill the air, climbing the covered steps up the mountain side, recognizing the smell of incense from the main hall. Being almost alone.
Before being a father I would have sat down and let my self drift away, just taking in the beauty and tranquility on display, but having a two year old son, sitting down was not an option, so we explored instead, all the steps, all the walkways, all the areas open for admission. I was thinking how I long for us to be able to more calmly enjoy this place together when he grows older. But until then, a whiff of magic is better than nothing.
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