Okay, so I'm a little late with this image but it can't be helped. Life has been a bit all over the place and better late than never, right? (^.~)
This is the bridge at Sumiyoshi Taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine) in Osaka on January 2nd, 2020. Sumiyoshi Taisha is the head shrine of all the Sumiyoshi Shrines in Japan (there are over 2,000 of them) and was founded in the 3rd century. This makes it one of the oldest shrines in Japan. If you get a chance to visit, make sure pick up an English pamphlet - it will explain the unique layout (the 4 shrines are set up in an unusual configuration) and architecture which is thought to be free of influence from other Asian countries.
Personally, my favorite part of this shrine is the bridge. The official name is "Sorihashi" but it is more commonly known as the "Taiko (Drum) Bridge". During the first 3 days of the new year, close to 2.5 million people cross this bridge as they head to pray at one of the 4 shrines on the grounds. While the bridge may not look that steep from here, you need to watch your step as you walk across it - especially if there are thousands of people coming up from behind!
And don't be fooled into thinking this is peaceful, quiet scene! The grounds of the shrine are crammed full of food and games stalls during the first few days of the year and there is hardly enough room to move through the crowds. Ah, for me, Sumiyoshi Taisha is what spending the New Year in Osaka is all about - the noise, the people, the bridge, and taking this photo from the same vantage point every year...
Happy 2020! \(^.^)/
Wishing you many blessings.
Year of the Rat has just arrived so it's goodbye to year of the boar. I'm a little sad to see it go (I'm a boar) but looking forward to seeing what the new year brings.
In Japan, a new year means new Chinese zodiac figurines for your house. The old ones get thrown out or returned to the local shrine where they may have come from in the first place. And that's where I saw these 2 boar figurines. They were tucked under the side of the main shrine joining other discarded figurines from the past. (If you look carefully you can see a monkey and a dog from recent years.) To be honest, we keep ours. In 12 years I'll bring them out again and they'll be as good as new! (^.~)
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! May 2019 be filled with love, laughter and joy!
We woke up the first day of 2019 to gorgeous weather - not a cloud in the sky and highs of +10C. As usual we spent the morning with family and then went to visit a local shrine - one I have visited almost every year since I came to Japan over 30 years ago. I always feel nostalgic when we visit as the sights and smells bring back memories of my very early years in Japan. There is also a welcoming familiarity as we make our way through the grounds and festivities in a route we have perfected over the years. First the back entrance, then the open area to check the children doing the lion dance, then the bridge, then the shop selling "baby castella" (similar to doughnut holes), and then... Ah, the list goes on. It was a beautiful day to be out and about and a great day to begin a new year!
I took a few photos while we were there only to discover that my camera battery was on its very last legs and I, of course, had left everything back at the house. Ah well, isn't that the way! I did manage to eek about a few more photos from that dying battery and here are the results.
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.