Hatsumoude 2014 in my neighborhood

Never let it be said that my neighborhood is bereft of traditional Japanese culture. The Shofukuji is an ancient Buddhist temple, and is a mere two minute walk from my house. And around the corner from the Shofukuji is a Shinto shrine. We went over today for a low-key, neighborhood hatsumoude.

The Shofukuji is more interesting than the shrine, and dates back hundreds of years. I think the history might go back as far as the year 1300.

Here is the entrance to the temple.


And some photos from inside. The bell is what I heard ringing on New Year’s Eve from my house. The grave markers go back 300+ years.








And here are a few photos from the shrine around the corner from the temple.





Finally, on the way back, just around the corner from my house is what I guess you would call a tiny little branch office of the temple. It’s been sitting there on the corner for over 250 years. I’m not sure who takes care of it.


Last year’s 3/11 earthquake – video that very closely shows what it was like for me

This YouTube video from 3/11/2011 at 2:46 pm is silent, but interesting.
It is taken in a 5th floor office in Koto-ku, which is right next to the ward I live in, less than 2 mi from my house. So the degree of shaking and the amount of things falling over is almost exactly the same as what I experienced here in Shinkoiwa.

Note how it builds up over the 2 minutes of the video.