Friday, July 31, 2009

Temple Tour

I'm going to try very hard in the next 2 weeks to get all caught up in my blog on our travels and trips and sight-seeing around here in Japan. My baby girl is due 2 weeks from today- once she gets here, I know I'll be busy (and have an entirely different subject to blog about!) Anyway, I still have a few trips to blog about, so here goes:
On June 26th, I went with the Airman and Family Readiness Center (and some friends) to visit a temple here in Japan, only about 30 minutes from base. We took the train into the Tachikawa station, got off and took the Tama Monorail 4 stops and a short walk later- there we were. It was HOT outside and we were sweaty, but even at 33wks prego I really wanted to see the temple and learn about it.
Some of the banners and things hanging in the streets of Tachikawa, left over from a festival held earlier that week.
The main temple.
The water station in front of the temple. They believe you have to cleanse yourself before you can fully enter the temple and be blessed. You take a scoopful of the water, pour it over one hand, repeat with the other hand, and then leave the scoop upside down on the bamboo log across the middle.
The prayer plaques near the temple entrance.
The big vat where they were burning incense (yuck- I HATE the way it smells!)
Heather and Courtney cleanse themselves at the water station.
Another view of the temple buildings.
The temple
Some of the hydrangeas located in the garden of the temple. There were TONS of them and they were beautiful. In the garden there are 88 "spots" to pray- something about the number of sins the Buddhists believe each person has and need to cleanse themselves of daily.
The main temple as seen from in the garden.
A cemetary located just outside the temple grounds. Another view of the cemetary right next to the temple. You can see the large stick things at some of the grave sites- we think they stand for prayers for various family members in that section.
Some statues in the gardens.
Inside this building we got to see an actual ceremony being performed. It was really interesting to watch0 involved Buddhist monks, gongs, incense, etc. but they don't allow you to take pictures out of respect for their religion.

This is the restaurant where we ate lunch after the temple tour. It is a Yakiniku Restaurant, where you cook your own meat on the little grill on your table. I LOVE these places- the meat has such a good flavor to it!
Ok, now I'm just 1 month behind- that's not TOO bad :)

1 comment:

  1. I have loved catching up on your travels, etc. you guys are really making the best of your location! I pray you are feeling well and that the delivery of Miss C goes amazing!! I think about you guys often.