The ‘Kazaridaru’ Of Meiji Jingu

Lining either side of the path leading to the Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo, are neatly arranged stacks of wine barrels. These (empty) decorative sake containers known as Kazaridaru, commemorate the sake houses – represented by the National Sake Brewers Association – that supply the shrine (s) with Omiki or sacred ritual wine, an essential component of Shinto purification rituals. The offering…

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The Karakuri Marionettes Of Takayama

We arrived late. And in the race up to the night festival and back, we left with little or no impression of this historic market town, in the heart of the larger Takayama city. On our return the next morning, after a night at an Onsen nearby, its medieval charm and picturesque setting, took us completely by surprise! Presiding over…

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The Takayama Hachiman Matsuri

No temple festival in India is complete without a procession of the temple chariot around town. Like the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri for example…..that incidentally gave the English language the word ‘Juggernaut’! Originating in the early 17th century, as thanksgiving for a good harvest, and to mark the onset of winter, the Takayama Hachiman…

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