Cherry Trees And Giraffes

Today was probably the last chance for us to photograph cherry blossoms in our town, Utsunomiya. So we headed to the Oya district and Utsunomiya zoo (宇都宮動物園). Utsunomiya zoo is one of my favorite places to photograph cherry trees. It's plain gorgeous to see blossoms from the ferris wheel!

After approximately 5 minutes of the ferris wheel trip, I spent quite a long time taking photos of giraffes.


Tohaimon Gate

I realized that I've been posting entries related to Buddhist ceremonies. Now it's time to post something about Shinto.

By Chuzenji lake (中禅寺湖) in Nikko city, there is Futaarasan Chugushi shrine (二荒山中宮祠).

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Futaarasan Chugushi is a beautiful shrine enshrining three deities, Okuninushi (大国主)/Onamuchi (大己貴命), Tagorihime (田心姫命), and Ajisukutakahikone (味耜高彦根命). It also acts as a entrance gate for the trail to climb Mt. Nantai. The entrance is called Tohaimon Gate (登拝門).

We once challenged Mt. Naitai (男体山) and climbed it in summer. At NIGHT. We posted the entry here to share with you the experience we had during the challenge! We are supposed to try this summer once again!


Kaizan e

We went to Nikko city today just to see the nice views that the World heritage site has to offer.

It was snowing!!!

Cherry blossoms are far behind in Nikko... It will take about two more weeks until the Shrines and Temples are decorated with pink petals...

April 1st is the anniversary of Monk Sho-do (勝道上人)'s death. He was the pioneer who initially started developing Nikko into a religious center. The ceremony took place at Kaizando Hall (開山堂). Since he was a Buddhist monk and Kaizando Hall belongs to Rinnoji temple (輪王寺), the ceremony called Kaizan e (開山会) is organized by monks from Rinnoji.

Lotus sudra (法華経) chanted by 80 monks was the prayer to mark this occasion.