I went to Monju mountain in my home town with my good friends and my children to celebrate the end of 2017. I did not know what to expect.
As soon as we stepped onto the mountain, the temperature dropped immediately. The snow was knee deep and we were surrounded by mountain forest. It took us to a completely different space and it was beautiful, but also mysterious.
Tengu golblin has been living in this mountain. He is a long nosed Goblin or bird like monster and has been living in this mountain as a protector for a 1000s of years. He is also considered to be a mountain god who can change his form.
When we are walking through the mountain, so many things went through my mind. Firstly, I wondered if Tengu was watching us, and then i thought about all the things I did this year and all the things I couldn’t do... about my family and friends, Australia and Japan.
It took almost 1.5 hours to reach the top, by the time we arrived my mind was completely calm. On the way down however, than calmness did not last long, whenever I trekked at the back of the line, it felt like we were being watched.
Perhaps Tengu was just making sure to grant us safe passage through his forest.
Communal Bamboo Walking sticks
Prayers offered to Tengu
Sream and Moss
Sacred Tree - believed to be 1000's of years old and protected by Mountain Gods
Stone Monument with Jodo-Shinshyu chant engraved