Escaping the urban environment of Osaka, I headed to the interior, where I found glorious temples scattered on the slopes of the mountains, although sadly fossilized and converted into tourist attractions for weekends. Bordering the sierra and going back again towards the coast, I ended up at Wakayama, the city that would become the finish point of this journey. I said goodbye to my trusty bike, and left it parked in an arcade, thinking that one day I might come back for her.

The last night sleeping in the street would be in Wakayama, and it will be hard to forget the way that on that occasion I found “accommodation.” With the last light of the day I caught sight of a temple with a different entrance than is usual, which reminded me, by the slight rise and its mighty walls, the Templar castle of Ponferrada (León, Spain). I stepped inside the gate and, as usual, I proceeded to my petition to the Bodhisattvas and spiritual beings to show me a place where to spend the night. The amazing thing was that, suddenly, a gust of wind blew open a door located on my left, overlooking a garden. Although my nights of wandering had already received spectacular answers to my prayers, this was one of the most striking, by the unexpected “coincidence” and by how great was the place.

The Bodhisattva Kannon was my host, despite being kidnapped in a concrete bunker. About these kind of bunkers it comes in handy the saying “the cure is worse than the disease.” In order to protect the oldest and most sacred sculptures from fires or earthquakes, in the grounds of some temples is built a concrete bunker where the images are stored at constant temperature and humidity. But the practical result is that the altar of the temple loses its charm and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are forced to ‘live’ within four aseptic walls, captive, hidden from the eyes of visitors, without daily incense, flowers, offerings… just form without life.

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