At the beginning of each year, wifey and I visit our local temple to pay respects and exchange our amulets which we picked up the previous year.
Today's photos are taken on the Sony RX1 which I use to take all Smart Doll photos.
Our local temple is called Meguro Fudoson Ryusenji and is located in Meguro Tokyo at the following location. The nearest station would be Fudomae on the Tokyu Meguro Line which is two stops away from JR Meguro on the Yamanote Line.
〒153-0064 Tokyo, Meguro, Shimomeguro, 3 Chome 20 26
Before we enter the grounds of the temple however, we should purify ourselves (because we are dirty humans) and we do this at the well placed by the entrance - take a pail of water to wash your hands and rinse your mouth - dont do it over the well though!
New Years Eve is best spent in Japan because its a peaceful event - folks flock to temples and shrines across Japan to pay their respects and make their new years wish - its generally a peaceful event.
We used to do the same for many years until we started to attend Comic Fiesta in Malaysia which is during the latter half of December - wifey and I would stay back to spend time with my dad so for the past 3 years we spent the new year in Malaysia.
One year, we passed through the center of Kuala Lumpur to be greeted with a horrendous atmosphere which resembled some sort of apocalypse - *all* roads were completely covered in streamer fodder, cans and a variety of rubbish while people ran around screaming making as much noise and litter as possible.
How do you normally spend your new years eve?
We need to fill out a form to get new charms (talismans) for 2015 - one for the office, home, and one for wifey and I to carry around.
Choose from one of the following and your charm will bestow upon you its power to protect, prevent or to fulfil your wishes.
-Ward off calamity
-Safety for family
-Prayers are fulfilled
-Prevent my current illness from getting worse
-Save me from these rough seas
-Safety for family+Flourishing business combo pack
-Safety for family+Good health combo pack
I find it interesting how realistic these options are - there is no "Flourishing Business + Good health combo pack" - trying to grow a business myself, I can tell you that it has been challenging to keep good health while spending most of my time for the past few years trying to keep our ship above water.
Do any of you run your own business? What are your biggest challenges?
This is our local temple called Meguro Fudouson Ryusenji temple located in Meguro.
The temple was built in the year 808. In 1615, the temple was burned down in a fire but was restored under the Tokugawa shogunate in 1624.
There is another well at the inner grounds of the temple for double purification for humans who are double dirty.
"Omikuji" are fortunes which one can pick up from this unmanned table - pick a fortune from the box and leave behind 100 yen.
Omikuji can either bring you good fortune like "you shall turn into a prince and be loved by all cute 2D girlies, shota, futanari and traps" or they may bring not so good (bad) fortune like "you shall turn into a futanari, shota or a trap" in which case you need to quickly tie the fortune to the fence provided so that it does not come true.
Incense can be purchased too - again via the good will of folks who will leave behind 100 yen before taking one from the unmanned box.
This dancing dragon can be found at many temples and shrines - many folks don't realize that if you clap in front of it - it will start to dance.
Those cup things on a chain collect rainwater from the roof so that water flows down it instead of all around the edges of the roof.
In winter, many trees inside a temple are wrapped like this in straw to protect it from the severe cold that Japan experiences.
I don't have deep knowledge of religion in Japan but from my observations I notice that many Japanese folks would practice religion when they are passing by a temple or shrine (usually to make a wish) and during times like when they are building a new house - the ground would first be blessed and purified before construction can begin. The term for this process is called Jichinsai 地鎮祭].
Apart from this, most Japanese folks don't practice religion on a regular basis and seems to be when something is needed or wished for.
This deity helps folks with pains in their legs or back like me. What you do is make a prayer and rub the same area on the statue where your pain is. My spinal hernia has been stable over the years so far - thanks to my annual visit to Meguro Fudoson?
One the way back to the entrance of the temple.
Tradition in the middle of the modern.
This is a Shisa - a mythical creature which resembles a cross between a dog and lion. They are usually placed in pairs at entrances - one will have its mouth open like this one which wards off evil spirits - while the other one...
...like this one has its mouth closed which keeps good spirits in. We have a pair at Culture Japan.
Outside the temple - folks line up outside this shop which sells unagi eels - I've tried it many times over the years wondering whether my tastebuds have become accustomed to the taste - but alas no - it still tastes like tablecloth.
I have a bad habit of taking my electric skateboard E-Go everywhere - it saves a lot of time but means I don't walk long distances much. Well at least when I get old I should still be able to board around due to muscle memory ^^;
The ministry of environment highlights a problem in japan where folks dump their pets in the park - I've seen signs by Meguro River specifically asking folks not to throw dead animals in the river...
Time for some lunch at my fave homemade gaff at Musashikoyama - Janie Jones.
And by late evening, this is what Musashikoyama Palm looks like. In Japan you can walk around late at night and not have to look behind all the time. Do you find yourself looking behind where you live? When I used to live back in London Hackney, I practically walked backwards ^^
And this is our charm for the office - I chose "Safety for family+Flourishing business combo pack."
And this is the one I chose to carry around with me in my wallet - "Good health."
I wanted to choose "Flourishing Business" but of late I realize that a flourishing business doesn't mean much when I'm dead as I want to be alive to see Mirai do well ^^
There has been many occasion where I try to squeeze as much work as possible out of a limited time frame - but then I usually fall sick due to lack of rest which slows down my productivity so I just end up back where I was ><