Up and ready with lots of time to spare before breakfast was served, I joined a few others for an early walk. A small tree in the clearing glowed with its early autumn warmth in the early morning rays. A multi-lingual sign indicated that Kongohoji Buddhist temple was just up a short gravel driveway.
A woman who had been sweeping came to greet us. Although she spoke to us in Japanese, it was clear that she wanted us to follow her. After following her through a few rooms of the contemporary building, she slid a door open and welcomed us to come into the worship room. Each of us was given a candle to light and place before the altar.
Back in the entry room, the woman gestured for us to sit around the table. She then proudly gave each of us a small soft-serve ice cream. My first at a Buddhist temple. Knowing we had to get going in order to be back at the hotel in time for breakfast, we thanked the woman for her hospitality. What a great start to another beautiful day in Japan.