Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Weekend: Local Japanese Temples and Shrines

On Sunday, my great-aunt and great-uncle took me out to a couple of shrines and temples to see hydrangeas which are in season at the moment. The first place we went to was a temple called Jyokeiji, and this was where all the hydrangeas were. There weren't that many because it's still slightly early, but there were still hydrangeas of many shades of purple. Besides from getting bitten by mosquitoes, (note: wear long pants next time), it was a lovely day. The weather lately in Tokyo this week has been getting hotter, the nights are cool, but the days are getting hotter especially when there aren't any clouds. The temple that I went to had many statues of monks doing several things, like drinking sake, eating noodles, playing a board game and using a laptop or phone. Which was really amusing and interesting. These statues were scattered around along a path way that led to a temple. This place also acts as a garden. There's a pathway that leads up a hill, where at the top you can see the rooftops of neighboring suburbs. The path way, is shaded with different type of trees and bushes, which creates a slightly cooler and relaxed atmosphere.

One thing I love about Japan is the trees. Being a humid country, the leaves of trees and bushes tend to be shades of deep green.  Which is a big contrast to the dull, pale green leaves found in Perth. There are also red leaves found in Japan, it resembles a maple leaf, but smaller. I have seen this tree in Perth, but I'm not sure if it's the same. I wish I could just bring this tree and plant in my backyard.


The next place we went to was a shrine called Konpira. It was a special day that day, because this ring structure was put up. You had to walk through it twice, for good luck or something. This place also had a 'tori', a shrine gate, which is culturally iconic in Japan. This shrine also had a small pool, used for washing money, which is supposed to increase your prosperity. I washed a 100 Yen coin and traditionally you're not supposed to use the money that you wash. There was also another shrine structure that was separated from this area. It was on top of a hill, across the road but under the same name and same priest. We had to climb super steep steps. Ever since I came to Japan, I swear I'm always climbing stairs. The shrine, was burnt in a fire a while ago and was rebuilt, so it's nice and new.
After this, we went to have lunch. Here's a obligatory picture of a parfait that I had for dessert, to end this post. It's was so pretty, and yummy.