Jizo-San, All Lined Up

Hase Dera has a little spot reserved for praying for lost babies and children. It's a beautiful area, with a stream, candles, a spot to pray, and hundreds and hundreds of statues of Jizo-san. Jizo-san protects all sorts of people, most notably children, babies and mizuko (water children). Mizuko are babies that never got a chance … Continue reading Jizo-San, All Lined Up

Kosoku-ji Blossoms

Kosoku-ji, a small temple not far from Hasedera, has absolutely fantastic gardens.Even before you get to the gardens, though, there are absolutely fantastic cherry trees - and today, they were pretty much at their peak. I admit to setting this next shot up. Not at first, but I decided that the blossoms that were already … Continue reading Kosoku-ji Blossoms

Early Sakura

We visited Kosoku-ji, a small temple with amazing gardens just down the street from us, the other day, and were surprised to see a few cherry trees had already bloomed. Unfortunately, I only had my iPad mini on me, and the trees were rather far away, so the photos aren't as clear as I wish … Continue reading Early Sakura

Myoryu-ji’s Lucky God

Jurojin, the shichifukujin of Myoryu-ji, is the god of wisdom and longevity.Considering that the man who stamped and signed our books at Myoryu-ji was the oldest we met along our trek, I think it's fair to say that Jurojin is doing his job. This Jurojin isn't the actual Jurojin - the temple's proper Jurojin is … Continue reading Myoryu-ji’s Lucky God

Zuisen-ji Green

One of the things I love best about Japan is its greenery. It may have massive cities and more concrete than you can shake a stick at, but when it's green, it's green--with ferns, bamboo, towering cedars, and soft moss. And you really don't have to go too far off the beaten track to find … Continue reading Zuisen-ji Green

When Discomfort Threatens to Overpower Culture

A few weeks ago, some pretty major news dropped: the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (they make maps) proposed a set of changes to its tourist maps. The goal is clarity–some of the current symbols are a bit confusing for those who have just arrived. For example, "H" stands for "hotel"–not "hospital" or "helipad", while an … Continue reading When Discomfort Threatens to Overpower Culture

Daikoku Sama

This happy-looking fella is the god of wealth, farmers, food and good fortune. He can be found at Hasedera, grinning out from the side of the Daikoku-do (Daikoku Hall), where Hasedera's original Daikoku Sama statue is. The past few days, we've been on the Shichifukujin (Seven Gods of Luck) tour of Kamakura, filling up our … Continue reading Daikoku Sama