Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Renkoji, an unfulfilled desire.

Renkoji, an unfulfilled desire

My travel agent from India failed to communicate the timing of change of flight to the Cab Operator in Tokyo, therefore it was waiting at T-3, Tokyo Airport to manage communication to the operator through the information desk. The Cab Operator provided us transport but that is with waiting further 30 minutes to pick up passengers from another flight. The waiting at the airport wasted our valuable two hours of the day time. 

It was yesterday morning only, when I have saluted our great hero of freedom fight, by looking at the Taipai (Taiwan) side from the land of Okinawa Island crossing the water of China Sea through the mind. And today afternoon, I was wishing to fulfil my unfulfilled desire of last visit of 2002, to pay homage to the ashes of the great freedom fighter kept at the Renkoji, Tokyo. 

As the hotel check in time in Japan is 3 pm, we have dropped the luggage at the hotel reception counter and moved hurriedly to the nearby metro station on Nishikasai. After buying a day travel pass and collecting the subway map in English from the station, we picked up a train of Tozai line to Otemachi. Thereafter, we moved to the Marunauchi line and picked up a train for Higashi Koenji station. From there, after a 10 minutes walk through the residential area and a park, we reached to our destination, the Renkoji. An old Japanese man passing through the street on a bicycle stopped and with happy face inquired about us that we have come from India to see the ashes of a great man from India that has been kept in the temple. To fetch more information, I tried to ask him some more question about that great man through the help of the interpreter, but he didn't know anything except the information that the ashes of a great man from India has been kept in the temple. 

With full respect in heart, we entered into the temple campus. We saw the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to the left of the temple entrance. There were two stone fixed behind noting the visits to the site by Dr. Rajendra Prasad (14/10/1958), Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (13/10/1957), Madam Indira Gandhi (26/6/1969), and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (9/12/2001). Shri Vajpayee's words were depicted on the stone in Hindi as following:

"मुझे रेंकोजी दुबारा आकर प्रसन्नता हुई, 
जहाँ भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के महान 
सेनानी नेताजी सुभाष चन्द्र बोस की 
स्मृतियाँ सुरक्षित है ।"

Unfortunately for us, the temple was closed. We tried to contact the priest living in the campus but  their all the doors and windows were closed. Our guide tried to contact someone through phone but the request of opening the temple was not accepted. It was conveyed that the pot of ashes put for Darshana only once in a year on 15 August. We tried to see from the glasses of the grilled door, and some how manage to see the temple and the place right to the main temple, a wooden platform on wall where the ashes of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose has been kept in two white pots on the right corner with his 3 photo frames to its left and a frame picture in standing posture on the left frame wall of the rack. It has been decorated like a temple with some golden coloured articles. We could see this much from our eyes and the eyes of the camera. I saluted the ashes from outside and with the feelings of un-fulfilment of desire, we moved to Asakusa, to visit an ancient temple Senso-ji. 

The statue of the Kannon of the Senso-ji was found in Sumida River in 628 by two fishermen brothers. They tried to return the Kannon to the river but when failed after many attempts, the community decided to worship the Goddess. The gate has big lantern at the centre and two big statues of the God of Rain and God of a Thunder to their left and right side of the main gate. The campus was bombed and destroyed in WW-II, it was rebuilt. The 250 metre street(Nakamise) at the approach to the temple have many traditional shops lined both the sides selling handicrafts, souvenirs and food stuffs. The area was crowded with pilgrims and tourists.

We closed our day with a ground visit of the old Tokyo tower and a small walk on the richest street of the world, the Ginza street.

The major objective of the visit was the Renkoji, fulfilled the half. If an opportunity comes again, I shall try once again. We love Subhash Chandra Bose, the great freedom fighter of India's Independence Movement.

Jai Hind.

20 May 2016


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