As you will know if you have been reading my blog for a while I love visiting religious sites, and we were lucky enough to see many temples and shrines while we were in Japan.
I will post separately about our rural trips, as there were smaller shrines there, but these were the ones within the cities of Tokyo and Kamakura.
Shrines are everywhere in Japan and one of the first that we visited was this one within Ueno Park when we went to see the blossom. Many of the shrines are not old, as they have been damaged by earthquakes, but some parts have been preserved, like the face of this Buddha, which is from one that got destroyed several times.
The Buddhist and Shinto religions are very different from others I have visited previously, such as Catholic and Muslim. The focus is on personal devotion, of visiting shrines, lighting incense, and buying good luck charms, rather than on collective worship.
These plaques that you could buy to write your prayer on were everywhere, with some lovely messages written on them.
The next shrine we went to was a small city one, visible from the train line and just above the street market.
It was again full of prayers and scores of lanterns.
We also went to the most visited temple in Tokyo, the stunning Senso-ji, which is very popular with people who rent kimonos and dress in them for their visits.
As well as the temple complex there are beautiful gardens and lots of people posing for photos, in kimonos as well as these beautiful Korean Hanbok outfits.
These women were kind enough to let me take their picture, there were so many beautiful kimonos there that day.
One of our rural trips ended in Kamakura, which was the ancient capital of Japan until 800 years ago. There we visited the largest seated Buddha in Japan.
This Buddha dates from the mid 1200s. It has survived three major traumas of earthquakes and tidal waves, and has been repaired and restored many times.
I love the temples and shrines, as they are so different from other types of churches. Although they are crowded and noisy, rather than peaceful like other churches I have visited, it is fascinating to see the different types of beautiful architecture, especially my favourite, lovely doors!
It has been a quiet first week back in Spain, deliberately as I am off on my travels again tomorrow, away with Mum for her birthday, so I will be busy updating the blog with all the rest of the Japan adventures and that trip when I return.
It is lovely to be back home. I have been unpacking all of the haberdashery goodies from New York and working on some Barbie outfits, as I have a fundraiser coming up in a few weeks.
I hope that you have all had a good week and are enjoying spring (or autumn, depending on where you are). This is my favourite time of year in Spain, it is sunny, but not yet too hot, so I have been enjoying evenings sitting on the terrace reading and watching the glorious sunsets.
Hope you enjoy whatever you have planned for your time, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.
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