Saturday, January 16, 2016

New Year's First Shrine Pilgrimage at Gohyaku Rakan-ji and Meguro Fudoson / 初詣 五百羅漢寺と目黒不動尊

Okay, I may be a little late but Happy New Year!  This year for hatsumode my wife and I went to a temple in Meguro called [Gohyaku Rakan-ji].  It houses 500 rakans (arhats) - Buddhist statues and during the New Year the entrance fee is free.  We decided on this temple because every year the temple issues a limited edition goshuin (temple seal).  The fact that Meguro is located not too far away is a bonus as well.


As always, first we headed to the hand purification basin before making our prayers for the year at the honden (main temple).


 Mizuko Jizo / 水子地蔵
Child-rearing Jizo / 子育て地蔵
Prayer boards / 絵馬
Memorial to Knives used in Cooking (really!) / 庖魂の碑
Monument to the Atomic Bomb Disaster / 原爆殉難碑
Sign explaining the reason for the Atomic Bomb Monument
Monument to Laborers in Manchuria lost in WWII / 興安友愛の碑
Blessings of Heaven Memorial / 天恩供養塔
Koi Kannon / お鯉観音
Roko Hirayama Lyric Memorial / 平山露江歌の碑
Haiku Memorial / 高浜虚子の句碑
Saiki Jizoson / 再起地蔵尊
It was forbidden to take pictures of the arhats in one of the buildings so I borrowed this from the internet to show you what the statues looked like.  They all have their own personalities and meanings and not one are the same.

Hondo (main temple) / 本堂
Stone bench built in 1735 and used by the 8th Shogun, Yoshimune Tokugawa.
I spotted a turtle, well, not a real one.

And the Temple Seal you can only get during the New year. 
Temple Seal / 御朱印
And just a short walk away is where the Meguro Fudoson is located so we went there as well.
Entrance to Meguro Fudoson / 目黒不動尊の入口

Wow, check out the line for hatsumode here!  The main temple is up some stairs where those trees are!

Nearing the steps! / 階段が近づいた!
Still a long line to the main temple.
And how should I start off the New Year?  With a beer of course!  There was still a lot more to see here but my wife has to work early the following day so I told her I was going to come again tomorrow on my own!  But that's for the next post.
今年はどういう風に始まるか? あけましてのビールで乾杯!目黒不動尊の見所はもっといっぱいあるのに妻は次の日が早いので、私たちはここから去った。でもどうしても写真をもっと撮りたい僕は、明日一人で探索すると決めた。 でもそれは次のネタで紹介する。

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