Detail of the Haiden, hall for worship, directly to the east of the Mirokudo and south of the Golden Hall.
Directly in front of the Golden Hall, on the south side, is an open area, which is used for ceremonies. The Mirokudo is on the western side of the open area, facing to the east. The small building in this image is on the eastern side of the open area. It is a building for worship, used to honor the dragon of Ryuketsu Shrine, which is directly to the east of Muroji. One of two straw dragons constructed as part of the Autumn Ryuketsu Shrine Festival is hung from a tree in the open area here at Muroji, while the other is hung by the river in front of the shrine, part of an interesting intermingling of rituals between the temple and the shrine.
View looking up at the memorial silhouetted against the sky. The doves are bronze statues.
Frozen shrimp (ebi).
More fish for sale.
There are many different kinds of jello (purin) in Japan, from apple to coffee-flavored.
Various roots, mushrooms, and vegetables.
These girls aren't too busy cleaning to cheese it up for the camera.
A number of middle-schoolers have trouble staying awake in class.
A closer look at a post-card/stamp machine.
A post-card and stamp machine in Hokkaido.
PO Boxes wait for mail in Hokkaido.
A mail-drop box at the Hokkaido Post Office
An exit sign warns cars not to enter.
A close-up of some cheeses in a Japanese grocery store.
Ingredients 2 cups prepared sushi rice 3 Tbs. Mirin 3 Tbs. Sugar 4 Tbs. Soy sauce 1-1/4 cup Dashi (fish stock) 1/4 cup Shredded par-boiled carrot Salt 4 Deep-fried tofu cakes (aburage)* or 8 Canned tofu pouches *Aburage can be bought canned or frozen at many Asian food markets. The canned variety are already seasoned and sliced; if using these, plan on three or four pouches per person. Method Bring the prepared sushi rice to room temperature. (If using canned aburage, skip this next step) Pour boiling water over the deep-fried tofu cakes to remove oil. Cool, then slice each tofu cake in half lengthwise to make eight tofu pouches. In a small saucepan, combine the mirin, sugar, soy sauce and dashi together. Simmer over low heat until hot. Drain gourd strips, then add the gourd strips and tofu pouches into the stock. Heat to boil. Cover, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Squeeze the tofu pouches and gourd strips dry. Set aside.
Although the percentage of Christians in Japan is miniscule, most Japanese still get into the spirit. These cakes are just one way to celebrate.
Text: Go-jiyuu ni otori kudasai
A fruit stand is set up on the sidewalk for people to browse as they shop.
Different kinds of fresh fish ready to be prepared.
Traditional instrument of the Ainu people of Hokkaido. Sound is made by pulling on strings attached to a thin bamboo board. The mouth is used to add resonance.
A close up on Inu Yasha and Ranma 1/2 manga at a bookstore.
A clear waterfall at a shrine in Nagasaki.
A store in the subway system in Tokyo selling "creme puffs".
A building at a shrine in Nagasaki. Note the traditional rice-rope decoration hanging above the doorway.