HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!!! Wishing lots of happiness,best of health and good tidings all year through for you all my dear friends and family…
Here in Japan(as in India too)most people visit shrines and temples on dawn of the new year.So this time we decided to visit the famous Zojoji temple to greet the New Year with prayers and hope amidst lots of happy wishes,love,excitement and guess what…balloons !!! Yes,at this temple the countdown is marked by 3000 balloons carrying prayers/wishes being flown off at the very first moment of the New Year.It was simply such an amazing sight and feeling !!!
Zojoji temple is a Buddhist Temple built in 1393 and moved to its present location,in Shiba,near Tokyo Tower in 1598.Most of the temple had suffered damage in the World War II and have been reconstructed except the main entrance gate, the Sengedatsumon (San=three , Gedatsu=Moksha).It is believed that passing through this gate one can free oneself of the three passions greed,hatred and foolishness.
We reached the temple by 8pm and were awestruck with the glorious view..
The whole atmosphere was buzzing with festive fervor with rows of beautiful lamps,food stalls and lots of excited people.All were rushing towards the counter for balloons.Only 3000 balloons could be offered on first come first serve basis and the distribution was to start at 8.30pm but even by the time we reached at 8 pm all balloons were already taken.Later we came to know the distribution had started by 6pm itself and already there were much more than 3000 people queued up for those.
Initially this led to lots of confused faces and frowns but later on as the festivities caught up one could feel the happiness in wishing for others…in wishing that the prayers carried by all those 3000 balloons and of all the people gathered there and for that matter of all humanity comes true.. 🙂 🙂
We then ventured into the temple grounds and entered the main hall to offer our prayers to the Lord.The Enormous Glorious Golden Buddha mesmerized us completely.The whole air was so sacred,calm and divine overwhelming our senses.The beautiful golden sheen,the aroma of the incense,the surreal calmness had a healing power to soothe any troubled mind and calm every restless heart.
After a good amount of time inside we came out to have a look around the whole area all donned up for the occasion..here are a few glimpses of the night..
HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!!!!!
Right after a loud cheery welcome to the new year..the whole mass of people surged ahead slowly to pay their homage to the Lord with the first prayers of and for the New Year…
After greeting the Lord at the main hall we followed the crowd into another prayer hall at the side,wherein there were some special prayers going on and only people who had applied earlier were allowed unto the altar..
Thereafter roaming the temple grounds we came across a place with rows of these small statues with colorful windmills..
Later we learned they are the “Jizo” the guardian God of children who were still-born or who left this world earlier.Families offer toys and prayers for their children to be happy in the afterlives.The thought itself is so saddening but somehow there is this faith and hope about it all…and this place itself seems cheery like all children playing there…giggling there with their toys and windmills.May they all keep giggling wherever they are.
Following the adjacent road we reached the dazzling Tokyo Tower studded in diamond-lights wishing everyone a Happy 2012.
We spent quite sometime inside the main observatory of the tower @150mts,enjoying a 360 deg view of the Tokyo nightlife and honing our photography skills…The two snaps below are taken by hubby after much experimenting and we were thrilled with the outcome 🙂 🙂
HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS !!!!!!!!!! Lots of love and best wishes for this year and ever !!!!