Reiki Pilgrimage to Japan

Mount Kurama, Kyoto

Upon entering Kurama-dera Mountain Temple I felt honoured and happy to be following in Dr. Mikao Usui’s actual footsteps. The dew from the heavy rainfall the night before charged the cedar-scented air, and I sensed the nature spirits gather around me and the energy like a current of electricity.  The mountain has an ancient esoteric history that dates back a long way before that though.  The temple on the mountain was built in 700 AD but legend tells of a powerful energy of the moon, sun and earth descending to the mountain from Venus to govern the evolution of mankind over 600 million years ago. I was given a map with these words on it:

Beautiful as the Moon (Love)

Warm as the Sun (Light)

Powerful as the Earth (Power)

We trust in Sonten [cosmic energy] for all things.

 In 1921, at the age of 56, Dr. Usui entered this same place with only one wish, to find inner peace. He climbed to the top and meditated and fasted there for 21 days before he received the same Reiki that all his students share in to this day.  Kyoto still retains a lot of its history and culture as it was the only city that wasn’t bombed in the second world war. Mount Kurama lies a short distance north of Kyoto in a lush valley of green cedar trees. According to Japanese history, Sonten (or Sanat Kumara) was the first teacher 
on Earth of Reiki.  Legend states that this energy arrived on Mt. Kurama approximately 6 million 
years ago, and many believe the spirit still dwells within the mountain.  Today, high upon Mt.
Kurama, a shrine dedicated to Sonten is daily revered by Buddhist Priests. The mountain is a whole series of sacred spaces and shrines with different vibrations, connecting to the water, stones and trees. The mythology of the mountain says standing there is a way of connecting to heaven and earth. I felt drawn to sit for a while, reflect and breathe in the pure air next to the tangled network of tree roots near the Mao-son shrine. The branches reached out to the sky but the roots were deep in the earth. I later found out this is suspected to be the area where Usui meditated for the 21 days. I wondered if Dr Usui might have sat in that very spot, which seemed to stand out. At some point during Dr Usui’s quest, he dramatically received a powerful form of energy, now known as Reiki.  It was like an attunement by nature. He soon realised this energy gave him the ability to heal and transfer the ability to others, and that healing the spirit was just as important as healing the body.

I took the time to count my blessings and say a few words at the shrines. My general feeling as I left Kurama Yama was that I had been spiritually rejuvenated in some way, and that my job as a Reiki Master is to promote peace and harmony amongst all cultures from using this healing method.


Usui Memorial in Tokyo

The first visit on my Reiki Research map was the Saiho-ji temple in Tokyo. Dr Usui’s grave and memorial stone stood peacefully amongst the trees and statues.  The only sounds were the occasional crow’s caw and the gentle humming dragonflies. The inscription in Kanji on the stone speaks about Dr.Usui’s life and achievements in the field of Reiki.

  1. The inscription at the top says Reiho Choso Usui Sensei Kudoku No HI. This means Memorial of the Benevolent Usui Sensei, the founder of Reiho.
  2. His common name was Mikao and other name was Gyoho. He was born on 15th August, 1865.
  3. In 1921 he went to Mt. Kurama to meditate and received Reiki.
  4. In 1922 he opened a Training Centre in Tokyo and became very popular.
  5. In 1923 there was a devastating earthquake near/in Kyoto and Dr.Usui offered to help those devastated by this calamity.
  6. A sudden illness struck him and he died on 9th March,1926.


Before visiting Japan I wasn’t sure if teaching reiki was my calling, but experiencing a moment of clarity that spanned across time there, helped me decide that I was being guided to my destiny.  There’s magic working in our favour if we choose to believe it.


I am a Reiki Master Teacher in Aspendale and run regular workshops. If you would like to learn more please contact me here: