February 24 : Welcome Amy to Oita!
by Mie
The 1999 Hyper Network Society Research Conference will be held from tomorrow in Beppu. Amy Borgstrom, a guest speaker, flew in from Athens Ohio, USA via Tokyo this morning. We welcomed her at Oita air port. I could easily identify her because I have already met her on her home page. She is a very charming lady. After the greeting, we took an early lunch at a Sushi bar in the terminal.
We have enough time this afternoon until she will check- in at Suginoi Hotel in Beppu City by the evening. So, we left the airport for driving around Kunisaki peninsula to visit a couple of old temples and shrines in the area. This is one of point-of-interest called "Tashibu" that boast of it strange shaped rocky peaks along a stream.
Maki Grand Temple in which nine old solemn Buddhist image statues were displayed in a protective storage housing.
She looked like to feel impressive.
Annexed garden of the temple features its arrangement of many old stone monuments including Kunisaki-tower on the background of beautiful rural hills and rice fields. Plum flowers are in full blossoms.
An aged woman of a souvenir shop next to the parking lot kindly called at us and served citrus tea, a special product of the area. We were delighted and enjoyed the taste of the tea.

We came up to another point called Tashibu to visit Buddha images engraved in a tuff precipice. In front of the monument is a loquor shop Tashibuso run by one of my web friends. Mrs. Thud, the wife of the owner received us with courtesy. Ms. Amy was glad to have a new friend.

Fuki Temple was the most-favored point for Ms. Amy. The 700-year-old beautiful symmetric building holds an heart-easing Buddha image surrounded with wall paintings of Buddhism-related figures that still show faint colors of red and green. Yellow mustard flowers and pink plus welcomed us at the stone-paved path outside of the temple

Then we visited USA (a name of the place, not the United States of America) Shrine. We walked a long way up to the main building. The vermilion-lacquered Torii.
The last visit was Oita Prefectural History Museum. A full-sized replica of Fuki Temple was displayed in the hall (No pictures; photographing is banned.) The inner part of the replica is beautifully decorated with a golden-shining Buddha image and paintings in full color, suggesting then brand-new Paradise illustration of Fuki Temple of the days. We took an we-were-there picture at the hall viewing many ancient tomb mounds through the window.
After check-in the hotel in the evening, Mr. Izumi Aizu joined us who flew-in from Malaysia to attend the conference. The conversation grew lively as Ms. Amy and Mr. Aizu met before in a conference in Spain held last year. The night goes on and we said them good-night. I am expecting the conference after tomorrow.

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