Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!! A view from Japan.

Narita, Japan: Narita-san is a Shingon Buddhist temple located in Cental Narita City. Usually a quiet, peaceful place for meditation and reflection. However, during theNew Year period, called O-shogatu, over 2 million visitors come to the temple during the first 5 days of the New Year for a type of spiritual "house cleaning"!

Visitors offer up all the old amulets and charms from the previous year to be burnt as offerings, and then buy replacements for the new year. People from all across the area come to pray at the temple.

Purification water is place outside many temples found throughout the complex to cleanse ones' mouth and hands before entering the temple for prayer.

Niomon Gate, greets the visitors as their entrance to the Temple.

The picturesque Buddhist temple complex and adjoining Japanese garden gives the visitor a glimpse into the Japanese Buddhist culture. Fudomyoo is the Naritasan's Temple's Buddist deity. Found to have Indian Buddhist design, you will definitely experience distinct Japanese impression throughout your visit.

Fire and the burning of incense during the visit to the temple, symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddhist deity.
With the many purification incense urns found throughout the temple, visitors often gather large clouds of inense smoke into their hands and focus the haze to areas of their body where they had aches and pains.

Narita's main street is Ometesando, which is lined with many traditional Japanese shops selling crafts, foods, sweets, bamboo, trinkets and fish.

This city is famous for it's river eel known as unagi.
The preparing of the eel is often done outside the restaurant and is quite the delicacy!

My visit also coincided with the commencement of a school day. Followed by uniformed students surrying home from a full day of studies.

One last scene on the streets of Narita is the presences of face masks. Many Japanese wear these masks especially during the cold and flu season to prevent the spread of germs to people you may encounter throughout your daily travels.

How conciderate is that?

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