. Actually, although I had read about the art on-line, I totally forgot about it when I arrived at the temple. It started at ten sharp, but there were not many people watching it. To be honest, the performing art was terribly boring. Even in New Year's holidays, it seemed that people didn't have time to watch the boring art. I eagerly sought for something enjoyable. Then I found someone reading her fortune paper beside me, which interested me and led me to take a chance on a fortune paper. Because I don't believe in God and Buddha, I bought it just for fun. Anyway, my fortune was "hankichi (moderate good)". It may sound funny, but its marriage and relationship section said, "It is quite difficult for you to marry, unless you don't make a very serious effort." My first smile of the year was a bitter smile.... I felt like tearing it up on the spot, but I followed the tradition to tie it to a twig of a tree in the precinct and prayed that it would get better. (Does this mean I believe in God?) Come to think of it, it is possible for me to marry, only if I make an extreme effort....(LOL)
At the foot of Mt. Horaiji, there was a small hot spring resort Yuya Onsen and I tried one of the spas Yuyu Arina, but it was just a common bathhouse without use of original hot water from its source and not worth trying at all. However, they gave me free amazake
(non-alcoholic sweet sake) and it made me feel better. On my way back home, I found a signboard showing the direction to Atera Seven Falls, which is designated as a national natural treasure. I drove close to the waterfalls, but as soon as I found the parking fee was 300 yen, I was discouraged from seeing them. After all, I decided to pass it up, because I was afraid of wasting more money in Horaiji.
On my way back from Toei, I stopped by at Horaiji. The main tourist attraction of Horaiji was the Horaiji Temple and Horaisan Toshogu Shrine complex. I paid 500 yen for parking and walked down to Horaisan Toshogu. I heard that the Toshogu shrine was one of the top three Toshogu shrines of Japan and designated as a national important cultural property, but the Toshogu shrine was extremely disappointing, compared with Nikko and Kunosan Toshogu Shrines. The shrine was just like a small shrine which you can find everywhere in Japan and I spent only two minutes staying there. Mt.Horaiji is designated as a national natural treasure and if you like hiking, it is an idea to go up to the top of Mt. Horaiji, but I was not so energetic after attending Hanamatsuri. (Incidentally, the mountain is most popular in the autumn leaf season.) Horaiji Temple was also boring, but fortunately or unfortunately, the Horaiji Dengaku traditional art was scheduled to be performed on the stage in front of the temple main hall on the day