September 14, 2009

Oharano Shrine

We went to Oharano Shrine, which is about 10 minites ride from our place.

Japanese shrines usuallyl have 2 or 3 gates (or "Torii" in Jpanese). This is the first Torii.

This one is the second Torii. You can see "Shimenawa" (or lengths of braided rice straw rope) on the Torii, indicating that inside of this gate is sacred area where gods (or goddes) are.

This is a pond. Japanese temples usually have a pond to enjoy the view.

This is the third Torii.

In front of the third Torii, there is a place you wash your hands and mouth. All visiters are to rinse their hands and mouth to purify our body before we pray to a god.

This is guardian deer. Japanese shrines or temples usually have a pair of guardian dogs placed at each side of a shrine or temple entrance; believed to ward off evil spirits. This shrine is unique that the guardian figures are deer, instead of dogs. This is because this shrine is derived from the Kasuga Shrine, which is located in the city of Nara and one of the most famouse shrines in Japan, and it is believed that deer are the messanger of gods of the Kasuga Shrine. (Kasuga shrine is famouse for tame deer roaming free aroud the Nara park.)

This is a hall of worship, the place you pray for gods. Inside of the building, the gods are enshrined.

This is the place you tie a fortune telling paper. In Japan, it is a custom that if the prediction is bad, you fold up the fortune telling paper and attach it to a tree in the temple or shrine, and if the prediction is good, you keep it in your purse for the good luck.

Have you enjoyed my guiding the temple??

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