When I first entered Narita’s temple more than twenty years ago, a New Year’s day ceremony was in full force. I climbed the steep steps to find there was no way I could squeeze into the main hall. Worshippers sat shoulder to shoulder while the sound of a drum beat a hypnotic rhythm.
This visit, the temple grounds were quieter, but I was lucky enough to hear a priest’s chant as I neared the main hall. Again I couldn’t enter because a special ceremony was in progress, but I was content that I’d been able to rediscover the experience I had all those years ago.
Since my previous visit, a new hall, Shotoku-taishi-do hall had been erected in 1992. Inside was Shotokutaishi’s image who was the father of Japanese Buddhism.