Monday, April 16, 2012


Every April, Narita - the city, not the airport - hosts a spring drum festival that draws crowds to its narrow shopping streets and the beautiful grounds of the Buddhist temple Naritasan Shinsoji. It takes 10 minutes by train to get there from the airport and you can walk into the heart of the place from the station. We spent the afternoon there on Sunday, having just returned from 10 days in Vietnam. The town was thump-thump-thumping with a steady lineup of public taiko performances.

Here's a shot of Terry (in baseball cap) and Conor (to his right) following some other visitors up the temple hall steps. I love the sun visor on the lady leading the pack.

In a side courtyard, jizo statues. I've seen many in my time here but never with this many bibs.

Japanese parents mourning dead children are said to dress these statues and leaving food offerings (packaged snacks mainly) as a way of caring for them, in the hopes that the bodhisattva will protect their offspring's spirits in the underworld.

Rope sandals are another type of offering.


Wouldn't ya know, the Narita city mascot is an airplane. Or is it half-bird, half plane?

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