2016 Japan summer trip (day 14)

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August 5
8:25 am – Got up
Spent most of the day at home.

6:01 pm – Off we go
As I was leaving Shimo Daigo yesterday, I saw a flyer about a certain festival that will be held the next day.

I wasn’t going to miss seeing another festival so I went back to Daigoji, on the bicycle, this time.

6:39 pm – At Daigoji temple
I went back for the Manto Kuyo-e festival. It is held to pray for the spirits of ancestors, and respect and appreciate our lives (source: Daigoji Temple website).

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There were lanterns along the path to Shimo Daigo.

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The rows of lanterns continued as I went inside.

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In contrast to the previous day’s visit, there were a lot more people there.

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And I mean a lot more.

I first checked if the area around Bentendo was included. Sadly, only the Kondo and the Gojunoto pagoda area will be illuminated as there was a sort of sign that says ‘no entry’.

It was fine, as I was excited to see what the two would look like under all the night lights.

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The sky was starting to get dark.

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There were food stalls on both sides of the area near the pagoda.

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I wasn’t stalking the girl with the pink backpack.

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A few people were lining up to ring the bell near Kondo.

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There was a sort of ‘spread’ (probably offerings or something) in front Kondo.

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There were more lanterns on the pebbled area to the right. These had drawings on them, probably made by children from the nearby school (there’s a school near the temple grounds).

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Remember from the previous post I held off on elaborating on the lanterns? Well, now I don’t think I’ll have to.

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Kondo hall seen from the left side (near the bell).

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At around 7:00 pm, men in orange clothing (priests?) assembled on both sides of the ‘spread’ and started to chant something.

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To not be an ‘overzealous tourist’, I turned of the flash and relied on zoom to see what was happening up close.

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There was an open spot towards my left so I moved there.


The program has begun.

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Something was happening with the bowls near the ‘spread’. At this point I had no idea what they were doing or what were in the bowls. I was a bit afraid to go take a closer look.

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As the sun set, the lanterns were shining brighter.

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I went back to the lanterns on the right side and noticed they had been lit.

I was going back and forth between Kondo, the pagoda and the bell.

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Children were ringing the bell too.

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I went back to the pagoda to see what’s happening on the other side.

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It looked like the pagoda was glowing.

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The bigger lanterns made by the children were on display in this area.

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After checking out the food stalls near the pagoda, I went back to Kondo, but this time I went up the stairs.

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There were also artworks made by children on the right side of the building.

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It covered almost the whole right side.

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I wasn’t sure if it was allowed to take pictures of the inside of the hall.

Of all the temples/shrines I’ve been to, there was always a no-taking-pictures rule when inside. Technically, I wasn’t inside when I took this picture, but still.

I finally decided to snap one when I saw a few Japanese people taking pictures. How did I know they were Japanese? One of them was using a flip phone.

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It was already almost 8:00 and the priests were still chanting. I don’t know what time they finished as I was on my way home at around 8:30.

Each time I passed by the bowls, I was getting more curious. So I finally moved closer to get a better look.

There were three pairs of larger than average bowls with, I could only guess, what looked like cooked rice. It was dark so I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t going to ask what it was because I was afraid it might sound a bit disrespectful or something. It looked grainy though, so I guessed it was cooked rice.

People were transferring the contents from one bowl to the other three spoonfuls at a time then bringing their hands together as if to pray.

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With my curiosity satisfied, I again took a look at the bell area.

A few minutes before 8:30 pm, I decided to go home.

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The path back to Niomon looked eerie.

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The lanterns going to Somon were lit.

8:31 pm – On the way home

9:20 pm – Home sweet home
The way back took a longer as I was moving a bit slower.

12:32 am – Sleep

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