I was a little surprised to see a few cherry blossoms beginning to bloom at a place famous for its Bujyo cherry blossoms.
I think it’s not common where the pilgrimage route passes through a shopping street. There were only a few stores open, perhaps because it was Saturday. However, there were some children playing inside the shopping street, which is nice.
At Enmei-ji, there used to be a magnificent 850-year-old pine tree (Izari-matsu) until it died in 1968. Now, there are only the roots to show its size.
Once upon a time, an old man with a limp was taking a rest under this big pine tree when Kobo-Daishi walked by. He told Kobo-Daishi about his physical condition. When Kobo-Daishi learned his situation, he made a thousand sheets of paper talisman, floated them in water, and gave them to the old man to drink while praying for blessings. Then his leg was healed. The word “Izari” is no longer used in recent days, but refers to a person who cannot stand on his feet. With this old story, this big pine tree is called “Izari matsu”.
After worship, I went to Nokyo-jyo. When I handed over my stamp book, he looked at the paper with my name on the back of it and said, “This is written by the man in Nankobo, isn’t it?” Apparently, he knew Hirata-san 🙂 Hirata-san must be a famous person.