The Fire Ceremony
Here is the following article of the previous : Japan Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas (Day 1). Before you start playing: If the videos take a long time to load, or stop playing, be patient and refresh the page.
Early this morning, around 7:30 am we attend the Fire Ceremony in the small temple of the Sasayuri-Ann property. We are eight people, monks included. Our host and owner of the villas, Mr. Matsubayashi is also a monk of the Shugendo sect, one of the oldest in Japan.
The day before, each of us wrote on a wooden stick a wish with his name, or the one of the person to whom the wish is intended to. These sticks will feed the fire during the ceremony. The rite is really impressive with the fire, drum, song and incantations. You can’t live and feel the same.
During: I observe, I notice the smallest details without understanding. So later, I ask Mr. Matsubayashi about the Fire Ceremony’s purpose that takes place on the 28th of each month. He rxplains : “in the esoteric Buddhism, fire is the symbol of God”.
The Akame 48 Shijyuhachitaki Waterfalls
We go to the Akame 48 falls (Nabari), the region is the cradle of Ninjas who also included women. The story tells that in the feudal period, a secret agent ninja was training there.
What a joy to be in contact with nature in the beautiful Muro Akame Aoyama National Park! We spontaneously made tree hunging! The place is inspiring. I know, I know … But believe it or not, this added to the contemplation and sound of the falls, recharged us.
Some falls are easily accessible and others more difficult (you need hiking shoes and to plan more than one hour). We reached Nunobiki Fall (the eighth fall, left photo above) 30 meters high and describes as one of the most beautiful falls. Chi va piano, va sano, va lontano, okay (lol)!
The Live of Shakuhachi
Back to the Ozunu villa (where we stay), the musician Toshimitsu Ishikawa introduces us to the sound and chords of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute (above right photo: his portrait). A very poetic and exotic music that soothes the soul.
I only put you short excerpts, because the songs are long and I could not download them on this web page. I am thinking of making a film about our trip to Japan, with more complete sequences that I will download on my You Tube channel.
The Gourmet Dinner
Have you ever dreamed of a Michelin starred chef doing a cooking demonstration at home just for you? At the amazing Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas, we had this gorgeous surprise with chef Kouzi Nagata, owner of the Manso restaurant in Nara!
Magic moment with a generous humble chef who masters the art of cutting (10 years of learning to cut the famous fish with thousands of pin bones) and beauty. Each dish is graphic and uncluttered. The flavors are delicate, with a subtle play on textures.
The chef wants to please you while sharing his knowledge. Collector of old blades, he also showed me and let me touch centuries-old swords that belonged to samurai.
Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés
Organiser son voyage avec Exclusif Voyages
Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA
Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and Mr and Mrs Matsubayashi and their sons, the Sugendo monks and Mr. Toshimitsu Ishikawa and Mr. Kouzi Nagata, for this wonderful immersion in a traditional hedonistic Japan. As always, these are my opinions.