The temple grounds were almost empty when I arrived—and right up until the ceremony was about to start. I was confused because not only did I expect more people to come out to the mantoukai (Buddhist lantern ceremony) in remembrance of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but also because entrance that evening to the Daibutsu—one of the most popular tourist spots in the city—was free.
“Where is everyone?” I wondered.
I soon found out.
The Buddhist monks participating in the mantoukai walked from Hasedera, another famous temple, to Kotoku-in (the Daibutsu) in a small (and extremely slow-moving) parade. Following them were easily over a hundred spectators, probably more, who came flooding into the grounds once the monks made their way in.
I soon found myself lost in the umbrella-wielding crowd, unable to get any closer to the action, and barely able to snap any photos (though I realize that “photo-op” wasn’t really the purpose of the event).
Luckily for me, however, the vast majority of umbrella users had cheap clear plastic umbrellas, so at least those of us caught behind them could still see something.
And you know, the Daibutsu doesn’t look half-bad seen through dripping-wet plastic.
I was invited by Terri over at Perspectives On…Life, Work and Leisure to participate in the Five Days Challenge, which asks us to post five photos, one per day for five days, and to write a story to go with each photo. For each day that we post we are supposed to invite one person to participate.
Today I’m inviting Ri from Ichigoichielove. Ri writes about all sorts of things, but mostly about life in Japan, in all its quirky, wonderful glory. Ri, if you would like to participate, post a photo every day for five days and write a story to go along with each photo. Your story can be fiction or non-fiction. It can be a short paragraph, a page, or a poem. Each day, please select one person to carry on the challenge. The challenge is not mandatory and can be refused. I hope you accept and have fun!