Japan Nov 2009 Day 3 (part 1)
A beautiful Sunday morning with lots of traditional weddings going on at the Meiji Jingu Shrine 明治神宮. Coincides with a crysanthemum flower show and the 7-5-3 children festival. Lots to shoot!
A bridge co-joining Harajuku Station to the entrance of Meiji Jingu Shrine.
A long and pebbly walkway. Well… its more than a walkway actually. Probably wide enough for several horse carriages to move through at the same time. But this is now strictly used by walking pedestrians only. Vehicles into the Meiji Jingu vicinity take another pathway.
Barrels of sake (nihonshu) as offerings to the Meiji Jingu Shrine, traditional part of “Harai” 祓 , a ritualistic purification ceremony for food
First of the three magnificent toriis, made from Japanese cypress brought in from Taiwan.
Taken from the back of the same first torii.
Chrysanthemum exhibition occurring at Meiji Jingu Shrine displaying many dramatic and exotic looking cultivars.
Thought to be a seasonal flower of September in Japan, many cultivars bloom all the way into the days reaching winter.
A display of irregular incurve chrysanthemums, or 大菊 ogiku in Japanese, meaning “big chrysanthemum”
A chozuya or temizuya (手水舍) , a water abolution pavilion found in Shinto shrines for a ceremonial purification ritual known as temizu, where one first ladles water to cleanse one’s hands, and then use the cleansed hand to hold water from the ladle and partakes it with some swirling around in the mouth before spitting it out into a trough nearby. The water is not to be consumed!
Array of wooden ladles made from bamboo.
The 3rd and last cypress torii as one nears the Shrine grounds
this is a popular place for wedding ceremonies and we were lucky to witness quite a few! This family is having a hard time with the photos as the toddler twins on the left of the third row kept up with their antics throughout the whole photo session!
We timed our visit on the Shichi-Go-San 七五三節, literally meaning “7-5-3 festival” a rite of passage for 3 and 7 year-old girls and 3 and 5 year-old boys. It is held on the 15th November every year but since its not a national holiday in Japan, its usually celebrated on the closest weekend. We were lucky because 15th November 2009 happens to be a Sunday!
Many mothers also adorn traditional kimono like their girls!
What an interesting jutxaposition of events as traditional shinto wedding processions are also carried out on this day. The procession is typical led but a crowd controller, two shinto priests kannushi 神主, two mikos 巫女, the to-be-wedded couple and an umbrella bearer. the couple’s families follow behind.
The bride in traditional white robes symbolising purity, looking demure and coy.
More cute children! 5-in-a-series shots of 3 siblings. Sugoi kawaii ne!
Parents looking proud with their daughter.
A seven year-old girl became the limelight for quite a while as many visitors requested to take pictures of or with her!
Young mother with a crying baby…
Ema 絵馬 wooden plaques at Meiji Jingu Shrine.
A traditional song and dance troupe was at the Meiji Jingu to stage a performance.
The performing troupe 牧澤神樂 being blessed in a simple but solemn “Harai” purification ceremony by the shinto priest before the performance.
Cute caucasian girl in pink kinomo that looks more like a yutaka. :p
Another wedding procession!
A small percussion ensemble led by a Kakko 羯鼓 drummer.
The second installment has a slightly different ensemble, with 3 flute players and 2 drumming percussionists
The second act is a solo performance.
Awwww…. how cute. A 3 year-old boy with his Ototo…
Clear blur skies for a fair weather day.
Entrance of Harajuku JR Station. Look! We arrived here at 12 pm sharp! Wait a min, is the clock spoilt?!