Visiting Chiba Sensei’s Resting Place in Japan – by Vincent Chan

The Osho-san (Temple Master) is a very nice man with a very nice Mother who will offer you tea. My Interpreter Friend called the temple to schedule my arrival two days beforehand and they said you can visit the grave anytime without donation. The donation was for formal Shinto chanting done for Chiba Sensei.
I did offer candles and incense at the gravesite and cleaned a little around the headstone. Chiba Sensei’s final resting place is to the right of the temple, up the railed hill walkway, take a left on the second railed access area and his haka will be second from the last on that row.
After paying my respects I was offered tea and was given stories of Chiba Sensei and Osho-san’s Father meditating in the mornings and Chiba Sensei briskly walking the mountainside afterwards to practice suburi or body arts. I only stayed for one cup and excused myself.
I also opted to walk to and from the train station as the countryside is beautiful, lined with bamboo thickets, a gurgling stream and quiet neighborhoods. It is a hilly 30- minute walk from the station but is easy enough to navigate. I also came as early as I could so as to not get into rush hour in Tokyo and to enjoy the day walking to Chiba Sensei.
There is no place to buy alcohol in Kannami station or near the temple so any offerings of beer or sake to the grave should be bought in Tokyo. I figured Chiba Sensei would be happy with my visit regardless.