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From Totsuka to (almost) Chigasaki
(Mon., Sep. 10, 2001)

 Monday, September 10, 2001 (click to see all posts from this day)
 The Old Tokaido

Typhoons and Suchlike

Because of the rain, you won't see a lot of photos today. Keeping the camera dry is a priority.

When I woke up this morning, the typhoon was still in full force. It had come up during the night, and continued unabated. Tom and I had planned to leave his house around 9, but changed our plan when we saw the storm.

Around 10:30 there was a break, and we decided to run for it. Of course, by the time we were ready, it was back again! We got soaked going to the station (umbrellas--or big straw hats--do little in weather like this).

My plan was simple: Put my bag in a locker at Totsuka and start walking. But I had had some problems with this website in the morning, so I sat down on the platform at Totsuka, pulled out the computer, and fixed it. By the time I was finished, the rain had stopped, so I stashed my bag and I was finally on my way.

Now for the details.

Totsuka (again)

In Totsuka, I stopped at the monument to the honjin, or official inn. This is in front of the shrine where I said last night's prayers. Check out yesterday's Logbook for Hiroshige's print of Totsuka.

Then I headed down the road. As I said above, I didn't shoot many pictures because of the rain. And to be honest, there wasn't that much to see. Lovely little temples and shrines, but nothing I haven't already shown you.

Yet another ichi-ri-zuka

I did like the looks of this ichi-ri-zuka west of Totsuka. Like the one past Kawasaki, it has a shrine planted on top.

By the way, a word about terminology. On the maps, places are often indicated as ato. This could roughly be translated "the site of." So if the map says "ichi-ri-zuka" there may be something to see, but if it says "ichi-ri-zuka ato" there probably won't. This one said "ato"--only the site. But the little shrine was cute.

Lunch and a nap at Denny's, then the highlight of the day.


For some reason, the name of Yugyoji at Fujisawa rang a bell, but I couldn't quite place it. There's a sketch--with no explanation--in one of my guidebooks.

So I wandered around, took some pictures--including this one as my representation of Fujisawa--then headed back to have my place-of-prayer register signed before I said my prayers. [2019: Pretty sure that was PhotoShopped, but I can't remember; what do you think?]

And that's where I realized where I was. A priest came out while a deshi (disciple) was signing my book, and gave me a pamphlet (in Japanese) indicating that this temple belonged to Jishu, the Ji sect. At first I couldn't place it; then, when he said "Ippen," I got it. You can read much more about Yugyoji (also called Shojokuji), but here's the basic idea.

Ippen was a lay monk given to ecstatic dance in worshipping the Amida Buddha (object of "Pure Land" or Jodo Buddhism). His "trance dance happenings" in Kamakura attracted so many people that he was banned from the city. So he moved up here to Fujisawa--not far from Kamakura--and this temple was ultimately built.

Ippen's priests are a happy lot. They received me warmly, and a funny thing happened. They gave me four large cookies (Kamakura's famous dove cookies--that look like a chicken to me). They gave me an amulet. They gave me a pamphlet. I've received all of these from temples before.

But they also gave me cash, and asked me to pray for them. This is a major role reversal. Usually the priest takes the cash and says the prayers. I was stunned--and delighted. Not so much by the cash value, of course, but by the idea.

Take a look at the temple and my new friends in today's only Words-and-Pictures page.

Fujisawa, Station #6 on the Old Tokaido

When I left Yugyoji, I strolled down the pretty little shuku (station) area. By the way, the JR Tokaido site [2019: now defunct] says that Fujisawa "grew and flourished as a town at the temple gates of Yugyoji" and not vice versa. It also serves as a jumping off point to Enoshima (see Hiroshige's image below).

I had set a modest goal for today: stop here at Fujisawa, around 8 kilometers. But I felt great, and it was before 5:00, so I pushed on, and came within an hour's walk of Chigasaki. I took a bus, checked in to my ryokan (Japanese-style inn), had dinner, went back to Totsuka for my bag, had a bath (ahhhh...) and slept. It's early Tuesday morning as I write this--and it's been raining all night.

Hiroshige's Tokaido: Fujisawa, Station #6 on the Old Tokaido

Hiroshige has illustrated the road leading from Fujisawa to Enoshima. I don't have enough time to go there on this trip, but have been entranced there many a time. You can learn more about Enoshima--the "Mont St. Michel of Japan"--here.

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Posted September 24, 2019

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