Saturday, July 25, 2009

Finding a Buddhist Shrine

A neighbor of mine is moving, one of these days. To distract the poor thing from her MIA orders we went on a photo trip. We wanted to get some cool pictures from around here and I wanted an hour or so without kids fighting with each other.
We had a sweaty blast.
We only ventured outside one of our gates here and found fabulous things.
While driving around looking for something cool, we saw the red roof of a building and decided to check it out.
BONUS It was a Shrine
THE "OMIKUJI" FORTUNE. Most shrines sell fortunes called Omikuji おみくじ. Just look for a small rounded container filled with bamboo sticks at the shrine kiosk. Pay the attendant (typically 100 yen), pick up the container, give it a shake, and a long stick will pop out of a small hole at the top. The stick will have a number, which corresponds to a fortune. Based on your number, the attendant gives you a tiny slip/roll of paper on which is written your fortune. If you draw a good fortune, keep it, take it home with you. But if it's bad, leave it at the shrine, don't take it home. Just look around, and you'll find a small stand with many strips of white paper tied on. These are bad fortunes and you should tie yours here too. The concept is "leave the bad luck at the shrine, where the divine spirit can exorcise it.
I had to do a little homework on that one.

There are explanations for all the goodies the visitor here tie on the fence and trees. I just cannot remember what it is. Loving the mini backpacks.

You have to wash your hands get cleansed before entering the temple. Cleanliness is next to buddaness. I personally did not want to use this one with the many many children. Out of the picture there are a few more kid statues standing around her.

I opted for scary looking dude. As did Diane.

Back up the stairs. When we first arrived we accidentally came around the back way. When I saw we were about to go in we rushed down the stairs to wash our hands and mouth. We decided NOT to wash our mouths.
Once inside we were taking it all in. Not taking pictures but just checking it out. I find out later the lady working there said no pictures. Good thing I didn't know.
I never put the camera to my eye but I held it at my waist and clicked away. No flash.
The reason for this was while we stood there the men outside came in and three Monks came in and started a ceremony. It was amazing, the chanting, the drums, it was very cool.
As I have my back turned Diane kneels down on the floor. I felt like I was intruding just standing there. Kneeling just worked.

We left after he flung the rag mop looking deal around their heads. Our knees were hurting.
Down the hill was this fierce looking Shisa.

I don't care how holy you are. Sometimes you just have to hit the vending machine. Now my girl Aviva would get the shot of the monks going to the vending machine. But she has some ninja skills we cannot discuss here.

This is a replica of the mop deal. This was set up down the hill. Like a mini shrine.

Please remember while reading this post I have no idea what I am talking about and do not mean to offend any of my Buddhist readers.
arigato gozaimasu

next up, castle ruins and haunted hotels OH MY


Annastasia said...

That is so awesome you braved a shrine. I am so afraid of doing something wrong, that I just havn't gone. I really don't need any more bad ju ju bees!!
Looks like you had fun.

Annastasia said...

That is so awesome you braved a shrine. I am a little scared to go myself. I do not need any more bad Ju Ju Bees!!
Looks like you had fun though!!

Joelle said...

So is this Futenma Shrine?? Love your pix -- and you're so right about the Ninja skills! :)

Isla Familia said...

That was an awesome day...thx for the info on the fortunes. I learned something new today (YES)! We need to another one of those days soon. :o)

aviva5271 said...

I just laughed so hard... Craig's all, "WHAT?!" we'll see if he ever reads it. I have to go starch my ninja outfit. Talk to you later...

aviva5271 said...

...and my ninja outfit kinda looks like Lara Croft and stuff. Bad ass.