At the start of Feb, I was lucky enough to be invited by my good friend Miwako-san to Dondoyaki (fire festival) at Hontaki Temple in Nose, Japan. This beautiful temple is up in the mountains, and only half an hour from Osaka city.
It was my second visit to Hontaki Temple, I previously came in Summer and was lucky enough to join a Buddhist meditation session with the temple monks – heads up, don’t fall asleep or they whack you with a stick! 😝
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.Buddha
No only is this a tranquil temple, isolated up in the mountains, but there is a small cafe (ほんたき 山のカフェ) built adjacent to the temple allowing you to have coffee, dessert (the creme brûlée is phenomenal!) or lunch – making it a favourite place for cafe goers in warmer weather, seeking solitude and serenity. The chap that runs the cafe has a history of being a patissiere and is hilarious! You can check out their Instagram here.
Not only was it epic witnessing the fire festival, but the temple provided a free lunch of rice and miso soup, as well as zenzai (mochi with sweet red bean soup), and we got to join in the priests welcoming in the good luck for the new year! If you visit Japan in February make sure you join in a Dondoyaki festival somewhere – but definitely try your hardest to get to Hontaki Temple – it’s a real hidden gem!
Check out my YouTube video above, and if you like the video feel free to give me a thumbs up or leave a comment, and if you’re a downright champ, you’ll also subscribe!
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