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Posts tagged jizo

Six jizo

six jizo realms of existence oji tokyo ooji

Frequently when you encounter jizo (地蔵) you see them in groups of six, representing Buddhism’s six realms of existence. Today’s photo was taken in Tokyo’s Oji (王子). I’m not sure the exact location, but this photo has GPS information attached to it so it shouldn’t be difficult to find out.

Jizo candy

nishiwaseda shotengai

The association of businesses in the Nishiwaseda area put on a festival of sorts back in early July. As we were walking down Waseda Street on a weekday we were invited to join them under a tent for some crackers and tea. We heard some interesting stories from some of the locals and were invited back for the weekend festivities. They gave us some vouchers for lottery chances. On the following weekend we went back and the kids tried their luck with the spinning, bingo-like lottery wheel. The result? A box of tissues, a can of CC Lemon, 1,000 yen in Nishi-Waseda bucks good at many of the stores and ramen shops in the area, and three jizo candies (one pictured above).

Jizo

jizo nakai station saishoji

I recently rode my bike west down Waseda Dori–all the way down Waseda Dori to the end, about 15 km each way. Along the way I visited several shrines and temples. The one with the above jizo is called Saishoji (最勝寺) and is near the Nakai Station. These jizo sported orange bibs and caps instead of the normal red.

mini jizo red bibs hats

A little farther down (and off) Waseda Dori is Arai Yakushi (新井薬師) were I spotted these little jizo.

Benzaiten fountain in Inokashira Park

benzaiten shrine

This little, moss-covered, hand-washing station, complete with jizo, can be found on the back, water side of the Benzaiten Shrine in Inokashira Park. I wonder if it was hidden behind the main shrine almost 200 years before when Hiroshige drew the same spot from a bit more distant vantage point?

歌川広重 名所雪月花 井の頭の池 弁財天の社雪の景

Yakuoin’s Tree Peony Flowers

botan hana shinjuku tokyo japan

Last week we took a very short bike ride to Yakuoin (薬王院) to see the blooming tree peonies (ボタン). We were not alone as it was a holiday–Showa no Hi (昭和の日). Even with the crowds, the scene was very nice. Not only were many of the peonies at their peak, but a late blooming sakura was snowing its petals on us.

botan flower tokyo japan

Yakuoin is between Takadanobaba and Shimo Ochiai Stations on the north side of Shin Mejiro Doori. For more details see A Flower Lover’s Guide to Tokyo.

薬王院 地蔵 新宿区 tree peony

The jizo had a nice view from the top of the stairs.

yakuoin red bib

See if you can spot the “living statue” in the above photo.

I’ll give you a hint; it’s in the upper left and says ニャンニャン in Japanese.

More pets than children in Japan

A recent article in the Japan Times says that there are now about six million more pets in Japan than there are kids under 16 years of age. This is very different than my experience in Japan during the late 1980s. I’m guessing there were probably 10 million more children in Japan than pets back then. That’s quite a change is just over 20 years.

Jizo (the six statues) are associated with children so I’m trying to show you a bit of irony in the above photo. I took this picture at Gokokuji.