I`m staying here with Japanese family so they invited me to join them on daily activities .
Looks like i had a busy day , just did not felt that way .
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Visiting graveyard : So Japanese on Obon always visit grave yard . All the remains of family are in one grave together (Bones to be exact ) .They put flowers , candles, pour water on top of the grave stone , put some food on grave , then there is a small chant to " Ask ancestors to come home with us " . Then we move on to next grave ( As there there are many family trees ) .
*Did you know that if a woman ...
*Funeral in Japan is in very special way , so when a person dies ,Its body is brought to the house , cleaned , dressed with kimono and placed in living room , the family stay with it for 3 days (Its for three days in the middle of the room ) . Family talks about it and drinks .All the time there must be scented sticks burned , as body would rot .
Then after three days its brought to crematory . There its cremated . After they bring remains out and family member collect bones themselves with chopsticks . (I think that must be the hardest thing to do )
Chant for ancestors : Belief is that ancestors will come home with us , when chant is done , and after few days there a ceremony to sent them back .
Visit temple : So we all went to Buddhism temple and played some strange music instruments and lighted scented sticks . Temple was huge with red carpets . Children were going crazy with bells in the building , so it sounded like a party !
This family sells different things from time to time in street markets , today was no exception . We prapared all the products and were on out way to next village where everyone gathers .Super small market , just few locals .
In street market family sold potato /flours balls with chicken soup on top and some sides like slice of corn , tomato , aubergines .. Tastes amazing !
Visit shinto (Temple ) :
So market was held at square of shinto . So i went to explore , i met this lady who spoke only few words , she was selling gemstones and helping in temple .She showned me building around and even some photos of event they held ,
The event was flute competition (some German guy got 2nd place , as i understood ) . Then i sneaked in closed Shinto temple and walked around the (Pictures below ). Incredible .
Later i walked around town to what`s there , i seen vending machines everywhere , old ladies walking around and staring at me LOL and a zoo . I call it a " Sad zoo " . When you enter there is amazing map , it shows happy monkeys on it , bears , swans , dears .. WOw , but just behind it there is this massive cage system and every animals its treated the same . Like for example , a dear need wild , grass , trees , forest about t fished (Nemo and other ones ) , i thought its awesome , so i went to look .. Guess what....?!.. Only 5 tiny tanks with fresf-water fish like the ones you get in river nearby . ok , ok ...Still not bad !
The part was birds ... I seen photo that shows there upstairs are birds , but i could not hear any sound .. I walked upstairs and ... i just started laughing .. Those are photos of birds, no actual birds.
But there were some birds outside though.
After we head to family home where we had some raw tuna . (Never tried raw fish before ) .It was amazing , would never guess it was not cooked .And we had some Murayama traditional soup (with mushrooms , potatoes and lots of other stuff i have no idea what is it called )
From there we stopped for 5 min for lanterns , i thought they will be at the end of the Obon , but not .. They were all painted by children with cartoon characters and had some little poems written on other side . At 6.20 they started to light them up .. Ah ..view was really something (Only cars driving pass were annoying with their light ) , but over all is worth to see and it was special , each lantern my individually and is unique . From the only thing to do was relax , so we drove to local Onsen in Murayama and chilled in there . All naked . Water was super hot .
Cool thing is that they give you free watermelon
This was a cool day . I found out so much more about Japan . Best way to understand Japan is to live in Japan with Japanese !
Happy Oben !