Back in 2005 I had never woken up early enough to make it to Zenko-Ji temple in time for the morning blessings. This time, I was determined to make it. We asked around to know at what time we had to be there, but couldn’t get an answer. We knew that it was at some time around sunrise, but didn’t know much more than that. We decided to get up at 6 AM and chance it.
By the time we arrived at the temple, we realized that the blessing had already been going on. We ran to make it, and kneeled to be in line. A high priest almost immediately walked by us and hit us on the head with heavy beads made of rocks, and moved on to the next person. It at most lasted a second, and as such was a bit of a letdown. On the upside though, we had started the day with good karma.
We walked around the temple a bit more, listening to the sounds of monks chanting in the morning. As more temples opened their doors as the morning advanced, we visited those too.
By 8 AM, we were on our way to the train station for a day trip. Now that’s what a call a good early start!