Posts Tagged ‘ Okazaki Shrine ’

(Last Hurrah for) Rabbits.

I’m re-posting this, putting it back atop the Front Page, with just a little more than two weeks left to go in 2011, the Year of the Rabbit.  In a couple of weeks I’ll be posting a new “Year of the…” piece for 2012.  That would be an homage to the Dragon.  But here’s one last tip of the hat to the Rabbit.  My year, in fact.  It’ll roll back round in a dozen years, in 2023.

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In East Asia 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit (“Rabbit” is usagi ・兎 in Japanese).  I posted a pretty fulsome piece, here, on this back in January.  Rabbits are everywhere in Japan these days, as the following several photos, taken last week and the week before, show:

Okazaki Shrine... The Rabbit Shrine. Kyoto. August 13.

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Sale. Along Kawaramachi Street. Kyoto. August 14.

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At "Chibitto." Small bar just off Marutamachi. Kyoto. August 9.

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More bunnies at Okazaki Shrine. Kyoto. August 13.

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3-panel noren (curtain). Pontocho restaurant. Kyoto. August 11.

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"Manjuwari." Sweet shop window display. Kurama. August 13.

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In Kurama Onsen's (hot springs) vestibule. Kurama. August 13.

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Ema (絵馬) wish/prayer plaque, Okazaki Shrine. Kyoto. August 13.

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Reads: "This year's my year, y'know." Book fair. Kyoto. August 14.

And let’s not forget the Rabbit in the Moon.

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The history of Okazaki Jinja・Shrine 岡崎神社 (click on photo to make larger):

Placard at the entrance of Okazaki Jinja. Kyoto. August 13.

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Detail of explainer placard above. Okazaki Shrine entrance.

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"Honden," Main Worship Hall. Okazaki Shrine. August 13.

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Maneki Usagi (招き兎) in front of Okazaki Jinja Honden. August 13.

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Parting shots . . .

This really is great salad dressing.  I brought several bottles back with me.

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“Luna Luna” (“Moon Moon” — Rabbit in the Moon, get it?).

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“Saturday Morning in Okazaki”

Hanafusa Siphon Coffee. Marutamachi-Shirakawa. August 13.

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I place this photo essay back atop letsjapan.wordpress.com on August 1, 2014, almost three (3) years after first posting it on August 2011. In the mean time I’ve published Dancing Over Kyoto (in 2013), but it was August 2012 that an occurrence in Kyoto hit me and rocked others’ worlds. But I won’t speak of that here. I’d rather celebrate a Saturday Morning in Okazaki. . .

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I woke up at Three Sisters Inn this morning with sunlight barreling in from the crest of Higashiyama through my east-facing window.  I answered some emails, made a remark and post or two on Facebook and Twitter, then went out for a stroll.  I lit out, not from Three Sisters Inn Annex, but from the main building, just a block away.  When I stay at Three Sisters I’ve always, to date, stayed at the Annex.  But unfortunately a pipe burst yesterday morning at the Annex so I’m over here at the main building, which is comparable (but the curfew, alas, is 11:00 p.m., not 11:30 p.m. like at the Annex).  Yes, curfew.  The sisters must get their sleep, bless them.

At any rate, my walking route was simple and familiar to me:  up the street from the inn (turning left as I walk out the front door) about two or so minutes to the entrance to Kurodani Dera, stroll around Kurodani, leave out the narrow, back side alleyway and walk to Marutamachi Street.  Take a left and continue east towards Okazaki Shrine.  After stopping by Okazaki Shrine, continue on to Hanfusa for a cup of (siphon) coffee.  Then wind my way back to Three Sisters.

It’s Obon season across Japan, which means in part that families return to their ancestors’ grave sites and give them a cleaning, both real and symbolic (of the respect and veneration still paid to the departed), and place some flowers and other whatnots around the headstone.  This is what was going on this morning at Kurodani Dera’s cemetery.  At Okazaki Shrine some new rabbit figures have been installed.  Part of ancient Okazaki Shrine’s lore and lineage is steeped in being a (Shinto) shrine bringing blessings of easy and happy childbirth to those who come and ask for the blessings of the resident spirits.  Thus the rabbits.  2011 also happens to be the Year of the Rabbit, which makes Okazaki an even more auspicious place to visit.  As I’m a Year-of-the-Rabbit person myself, I took some particular delight in stopping by Okazaki Shrine.

Photos:

Between Three Sisters Inn and the Kurodani entrance. August 13.

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Facing west on the edge of Kurodani. August 13.

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26 Seconds of Cicadas (Semi・セミ) while looking up at Kurodani’s Main Gate (Daimon・大門).

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A long-time friend. August 13.

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Washing an ancestor’s grave site. Kurodani Dera. August 13.

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Okazaki Shrine Digs Rabbits. August 13.

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Have I mentioned that Okazaki Shrine Digs Rabbits? August 13.

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Hanafusa Coffee on Marutamachi Street. August 13.

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Man at bus stop. Woman and child. Marutamachi Street. August 13.

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toMAre. Okazaki. August 13.

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That’s all for now.  It’s about 10:35 and I’ve got a couple places to go.

Dear, Beautiful Kyoto . . .

Amid various emails and Memos to clients and necessary phone calls to make and receive I find myself thinking  about Kyoto this morning, and looking ever-so-forward to soon being there again, to just Be there…  I write this (as an update to this post) in mid-November 2009.  I returned from a business trip to Japan (which took me to Kyoto for a few days) less than a week ago.  I’m still jet-lagging somewhat.  In a way it was like going home and now I’m homesick for it.

Closing Time at Chion-in Temple. Kyoto.  2003.

Closing Time at Chion-in Temple. Kyoto. 2003..

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Heian.Noh_June_2003_2.7

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Wall at Shinyodo Temple. Nov 2009.

The photo of Noh actor above, mid-performance at Heian Shrine, is from June 2003.   There is only one evening a year, in June, that Noh is performed at Heian Jingu, and I happened to be in Kyoto on that evening.  Only time I’ve seen this.

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Next to Kurodani-dera. Okazaki. 2008.

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Lanterns at Okazaki Shrine.  Kyoto.  2007.

Lanterns at Okazaki Shrine. Kyoto. 2007.

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A side street off of Shirakawa-dori. . . in a mirror. Kyoto. 2007.

A side street off of Shirakawa-dori. . . in a mirror. Kyoto. 2007.

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Kawabata Street. Looking North. November 2009.

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Nanzen-ji Temple. From my hotel balcony. July 2011.

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Sunset near Shoren-in, Jingumachi. November 2009.

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Neighbor Wars, or... it's not all Zen & Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto.  Rough translation:  ”Dog poo left behind! Poo MUST be picked up and taken with you.  If you can't do this, then don't bother walking (your dog) in the first place!

Neighbor Wars.  Rough translation:  ”Dog poo left behind! Poo MUST be picked up and taken with you. If you can’t do this, then don’t bother walking (your dog) in the first place!”   then… Angry face.

A few links to other (but not all) Kyoto-related posts here at LetsJapan.Wordpress.Com:

+ Kiyomizu-dera – (one of the “must see and experience” temples for first time visitors).

+ Okariba (a great, and atypical-for-Kyoto, restaurant on Marutamachi Street).

+ To-ji Temple (東寺 )Flea Market (Japan’s largest.  The 21st of every month).

+ Rain (A Photo Gallery.  Many images from Kyoto).

Where the Rivers Meet:  the Kamo & Takano.  (Post from August 2011).

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Gallery. San-jo Street. November 2009.

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