The other day, I drove to a country side “Yamoto-cho” where it took an hour and a half to get from Kumamoto city. There are several sightseeing spots in Yamato-cho. One of them is the Heitate shrine. Most people living in Kumamoto don’t know it. However it is famous among some Japanese because it is known as a spiritual place, where a mystic force provides energy, good luck and healing to a person who stands there. It seems that many people outside Kumamoto visit there.
You have to go up a long stone stars to reach the shrine.
This is the main shrine.
The history of the shrine is written on the board. It has a long history as nobody knows when it was founded. It worships several Shinto gods.
There are many huge trees around the shrine. Somehow I felt refreshed.
The Shinto priest was performing a purification ceremony. Some Japanese go to shrine to pray or purify something such as wishing their happiness, good health, or exorcising a person or place of evil spirits. I’m not a religious person, but I have also gone to a shrine for a purification ceremony a few times before.
I wrote about the dormitory on the last posting. Also I visited several places in Tokyo. One of them was Shinjuku Suehirotei. Entertainment shows, mainly Rakugo, are performed in this theater everyday. Rakugo started over 300 years ago. It is funny stories recited by professional story tellers, mainly in the form of one-person. Rakugo performers play the characters, so the audience can visualize the people in the scene dialogs. A Rakugo master, the central performer, is called a shin’uchi and is the last to perform This day’s shin’uchi was Sanyutei Enjo 三遊亭圓丈 The Japanese characters on the wall are the day’s performers’ names.
The next picture is Yasukuni Shrine. It was my first visit. Yasukuni is the special shrine. 2.1 million war dead from the Pacific War are enshrined there. Asian countries oppose visits to the shrine by Japanese leaders because Class-A Japanese war criminals are also enshrined there. I sometimes see it on the news.
On the way home, I boarded the Boeing 787. This aircraft is also called the Dreamliner. It uses Toray Industries’carbon fiber composite materials in its body and wings to reduce weight. It is said that it uses 20 percent less fuel per passenger than a conventional commercial airplane of the same size. It was fantastic that the lighting inside cabin was rainbow colors by LED.