I wanted to get my fill of the green grass while it's still here.
It's 11°C outside today. That's about 52°F. It seems we've skipped fall and jumped head first into winter. But I'm hoping this is just temporary and we'll be able to enjoy at least a week or two of warmer fall weather.
This gorgeous building can be found in Jimyoin Temple, which is a part of the Buzan sect of Shingon Buddhism.
I happened to stumble upon this temple the other day, just as the chants inside the main temple started. The voices in perfect rhythm with the sound of drums was beautiful. I stood there for a few minutes just listening to their rich deep voices.
There were flowers placed at the foot of a statue, which I'm pretty sure the monks change everyday. These are various types of chrysanthemums, which is a flower traditionally given as offerings to temples. They are also common flowers seen in cemeteries, too.
It was such a beautiful day outside, I ended up taking tons of photos of this main temple.
These are the lovely roses that are growing in the Akitsu Fure-ai Park I posted about the other day. There were many types of roses growing around the graves and walkways.
I really liked how the place was like a park, very cheerful but yet peaceful. There were a lot of benches placed along the paths and many families were resting there, sometimes with their dogs, chatting and reminiscing about their loved ones.
Akitsu Bridge is a very old concrete bridge that passes over the Seibu Shinjuku Line. As there is only space for cars to pass over the bridge, another footbridge was built alongside this one for pedestrians.
You can see the railway below and many train-lovers use this bridge to take photos of trains!
Click below for photos of wonderful bridges around the world!
Wow, I just realized that I have exactly 100 followers!
So I thought is a good time to take a moment to thank everyone for dropping by, commenting, and showing interesting in this blog. I never thought it would be this big or this much fun when I first started! I've learned so much about my city and made many dear blogger friends through this blog!
While it can be very hard to keep posting sometimes, all the comments and everyone's daily postings of gorgeous photos and interesting stories inspire me to keep at it. So, thank you! To everyone and anyone who has passed through Tokorozawa Daily Photo :-)
Took a walk and stopped by Akitsu Fure-ai Park, a local garden cemetery. I'm not sure but I think it's a pretty new concept here in Japan. The non-religious cemetery is very peaceful, filled with flowers and plants.
I found this particular headstone interesting because of the picture next to the family name "Kobayashi." Maybe the person buried here liked to go sailing.
I forgot to post photos of when I when I went fruit u-picking, this time "Nashi (梨)!"
Nashi is what we call Japanese Pears, although they are more like apples. They are really crunchy and juicy, which is why I love them!
Like the grapes, the Nashi were also wrapped to protect the fruit and we would have to rip the bottom of the bag open to look inside to see which one we wanted to pick (although there's really no need to actually "pick" any because all of them are well-made)!
The lady in the photo above told us that the Nashi this year were small compared to recent years. But they look pretty big to me! Yum!
This is Mutsumi Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the Seibu Line near Tokorozawa Station. It's also quite a famous bridge.
Have you ever heard of the movie series "Ju-on (呪怨)?"
It's a Japanese horror film that was a big hit in Japan. After the first "Ju-on" film, it was so popular, another film, "Ju-on 2," was released. This also lead to a remake in Hollywood called "The Grudge" in 2004. I nearly died of fright just from seeing the trailer for this movie (which they kept on playing on TV...at night!) so I haven't seen it. But I hear it's pretty scary!
Anyways, so you may wonder what all this has to do with this bridge...well, Mutsumi Bridge was used in one of the scenes! More specifically, the very last scene in "Ju-on 2!"
Are you curious enough to watch it?
Click below for photos of (probably) non-horror-related bridges around the world!
Continuing on from yesterday's post...we are climbing up Arahata Fujizuka, a man-made miniature replica of Mt. Fuji in Tokorozawa.
Arahata Fujizuka was created during the Meiji Era by the community of people living in Arahata as a way to come together as one. This 10-meter (approx. 33 feet) fujizuka was completed in 1899 and opened with a festival on July 1st, which is still currently the day that Mt. Fuji opens its climbing season.
On June 27, 1969, Arahata Fujizuka became Tokorozawa city's designated cultural asset. It is still a popular place for people who live near the area or people like me, who are just curious to see this historical place.
We left off at the fifth station yesterday.
If you've ever toured Mt. Fuji, you'll know that you can take a bus or drive your car up to the fifth station. I've done this a couple of times and enjoyed the view from the fifth station. And as I said yesterday, you can start your climb from the first station, but most climbers tend to start their journey to the top of Mt. Fuji from here. I think it takes about 5-7 hours depending on how fast you are. But because this is a fujizuka, it doesn't even take 5-7 minutes to get to the top. Thank goodness!
So on with the journey...the photo above is the sixth station marker "Roku-go-me (六合目)."
The path is really narrow with only space for one person. But this fujizuka has steps that are clear of weeds and still very sturdy. This may be due to the Arahata Fuji Preservation Society, who come to repair or clean and patrol the area often.
Next, the seventh station marker "Nana-go-me (七合目)."
Closing in to the top, the eighth station marker "Hachi-go-me (八合目)."
Almost to the top, the ninth station marker "Kyu-go-me (九合目)."
And here we are at the top. There is a small Asama Shrine and a 360 view of the surrounding area. I couldn't get the whole view, but you can see a panorama view below.
It was a bit cloudy when I took this photo. But when the sky is clear you can actually see Mt. Fuji from here, as most fujizuka's were made in places with a view of what the Asama Fuji religion considered sacred.
Arahata Fujizuka almost lost this view in 1923 when the Great Kanto Earthquake hit, and the section above the eighth station collapsed. But just as it was made, the community got together again to rebuild.
I really like how this Arahata Fujizuka is not only treasured because of its historic importance but also because of the community that surrounds it. I think I'll go again in the winter when the sky is more likely to be clear and maybe get to see Mt. Fuji like the people used to in the old days!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read all this! And an even bigger thank you to all who commented! I had a lot of fun writing about fujizuka's and learned a lot, too!
I hope you'll take a look at more beautiful skies all around the world here.
And also go see the view from the real Mt. Fuji in Toshi's blog here!
(And let me warn you right now that this is a pretty long post...you don't have to read all of it!)
A fujizuka (富士塚) is a smaller replica of our famous Mt. Fuji. As you can see the top of this fujizuka right above the torii, they are not very high. Usually they are man-made hills, sometimes made from rocks actually brought from Mt. Fuji. There is said to be over 500 fujizuka's in the kanto area.
The reason these fujizuka's were made has to do with Japan's religion, Shinto, in particular the Fuji Asama (富士浅間信仰) religion which centers around the worship of Mt. Fuji. One of their main practices would be to climb up Mt. Fuji and worship. But because not very many people were able to climb it in the Edo era, both health wise and money wise, and also because women were not allowed to enter Mt. Fuji, they decided to build a fujizuka where everyone could come and pray.
If you've ever had a chance to climb Mt. Fuji, you'll know that there are 10 stations from the foot of the mountain to the very top. And although a fujizuka is not very high, the path is made exactly like the one at Mt. Fuji and a marker is placed at every station.
The marker in the photo above says "Ichi-go-me (一合目)," which means "First Station."
I know it will make for a very long post...but I've taken a photo of each marker, just in case there's someone out there who's crazy enough to want to see them all :-)
So here we go...onto the next!
The second station marker, "Ni-go-me (二合目)."
You can see from the photo of the stairs that there are only about 10 steps from the first station. Some you can already see from the previous station, which was kind of funny. If you were to climb Mt. Fuji from the first station, it would take about 15 hours, depending on your pace.
This is the third station marker, "San-go-me (三合目)."
Fourth Station Marker, "Yon-go-me (四合目)."
This one was really hiding behind the shrubbery. They are quite small and sometimes you miss them.
This is the view looking down from the fourth station. It's a pretty steep climb.
And here's the last one for today, the fifth station marker, "Go-go-me (五合目)."
Tomorrow I'll take you to the top with a little more information on this particular fujizuka!
If any of you are interesting in Mt. Fuji, you can go see gorgeous (and I mean really really gorgeous!) photos posted by my friend Toshi on his blog here! He actually climbed to the top of Mt. Fuji this summer!
I don't know how many times I sang along with that Ace of Base song with my best friends in grade school, but I heard it again at a tennis tournament the other day and have not been able to get the song out of my head!
Anyways, this is a sign on a corner of a road that leads to Shimo Yamaguchi Station on the left and the community woods to the right. It also leads to Arahata Fuji, a miniature mountain of sorts, which I'll post about tomorrow!
...I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign...