Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

February 23, 2012

Temples and Ploughs

Filed under: Japan — Tags: , — steve_happ @ 10:09 am

Japanese Dichotomy.

This morning I got up and went for a ski but got bored real quick as there was not any fresh powder to play in. Pistes get old very quickly for me. So I came in early and decided to go shopping instead. Wow! On the way there I stopped in at the local Furano Shinto temple to take a few photos. On New Year’s Eve many Japanese come to the Furano shrine to welcome in the new year. This is a traditional practice that was passed down through the generations. The bell is rung 108 times to symbolize the worldly desires that will be cleaned away to welcome in the fresh new year.

furano shinto temple
Furano Shinto Temple

There were all these plaques hanging on a board in the temple grounds, so I asked boss-san what they were and he said that they were ema. Ema are small wooden plaques on which Shinto devotees write their prayers or hopes, usually at New Year’s. These ema are then left hanging up at the shrine where the spirits will receive them.


Then I trucked on into town and took a photo of some of the secular aspects of small town Japanese life. This is about as normal as you can get.

furano crossroads

Down one of the main streets they were chomping up the snow and putting it into trucks and carting it away somewhere. I think they cart it off to farmer’s fields so that when it melts, it will water the coming crops. But I am not totally sure about that. It sounds like a good idea to me. No use wasting resources.

snow chomper
Snow Chomper

The snow plough came and cleaned up after the snow chomper. I keep thinking about Homer Simpson whenever I see one of these, I do not know why. doh!

snow plough
Snow Plough

And last but not least, is Cinderella’s magic pumpkin coach, all lit up with fairy lights at the Furano Marche. How cute is that? Kawaiiii, desu ney?

cinderella's magic pumpkin
Cinderella’s magic pumpkin coach

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