Some shrines in Japan are famous for the benefit of safe baby delivery. Since ancient time many pregnant women have been visiting such a shrine at the dog day (in the twelve signs of Chinese zodiac) within their 5th month of pregnancy for safe delivery.
In Tokyo Suitengu shrine is a shrine famous for such a benefit. Unlike other shrines the shrine is covered with concrete walls. So it perfectly fits with surrounding urban environment.
Even though we visited the shrine just after a big typhoon had passed Tokyo with strong wind and rain, there are so many people inside since it was the rare dog day on Sunday.
In order to handle so many people in the shrine the procedure to pray is very systematic. After we paid prayer fees, we could wait in the waiting room air-conditioned well. And we could find our turn in the TV screen on the wall. It helped us who came to the shrine in extreme hot summer.
The prayer at the dog day is not an only famous stuff in the shrine. There is also a popular pair of statues of a mother dog and a child dog surrounded by 12 small hemispheres representing the twelves signs of Chinese zodiac. It is said that women may be able to get pregnant when they touch the hemisphere representing their own sign.
In Japan worldly benefits prayed in shrines still take deep root among ordinary people.
Fireworks are one of symbols of summer in Japan. Japanese have been enjoying fireworks since the 17th century.
However, you need to be careful when you visit big fireworks events. The spots close to the places where fireworks are launched are so crowded, so sometimes you end up with seeing people only instead of fireworks.
So we try to find little-known hot spots where you can enjoy fireworks with less people around, even though there is more distance from fireworks. Let’s see how it works.
Adachi Fireworks is a popular fireworks event in northern Tokyo for which fireworks are launched from sandbank of Arakawa river. And spots around Kita Senju station, which is the closest station to the event, are so crowded every year. So this time we went to Adachi Odai station of Nippori Toneri Liner along Arakawa river with a little distance from the event.
It was true that there were less people than the spots in Kita Senju. Moreover you can enjoy viewing fireworks sitting on the bank of Arakawa river.
You are maybe concerned that fireworks are visible but too small. Don’t worry. Japanese fireworks are big enough to be viewed well from a distance.
By the way the beauty of fireworks is not only a fun on such an event. You might want to enjoy viewing fireworks while eating food and drinking bought at festival stall stands. Unfortunately there were no stall stands around Adachi Odai station.
In such a case you can visit a supermarket or a convenience store around the station. The supermarket we visited sold alcohol beverages at room temperature only. However many people including us bought cans of alcohol beverages and ice so that we could enjoy making beverages “on the rock” while viewing fireworks.
When you plan to visit a firework event, why don’t you search a little-known spot with a distance?
The season to climb up summer mountains has come in Japan! And Mt. Fuji, highest mountain in Japan (3,776 meters) is filled with so many people this summer as usual. Among 5 trails to the summit of Mt. Fuji, Fuji-Yoshida trail and Fujinomiya trail are two famous trails to both climb up and down. And even though two trails have a lot of mountain huts as well, we need to sleep in very tiny space at night like a photo below.
Nevertheless it’s necessary to stay at such a hut and to climb up in midnight and early morning so that you can see beautiful sunrise from the summit.
But after the sunrise you may feel it’s not exiting to climb down the same trail pushing many people who are climbing up. In such a case I recommend you to climb down Gotenba trail.
Gtenba trail is the longest trail among 5 trails, so it’s not recommendable for first visitors to climb up. But it’s a big fun to climb down the trail. On the latter half part of the trail you can enjoy literally “run” down the trail. The latter part is called as Osunabashiri meaning in Japanese “run in big sands”. As per the name the trail is filled with deep sands and your legs automatically move down even if you don’t put power on legs.
The trail looks as another planet. The trail is covered with volcanic ash created on the latest eruption of Mt. Fuji about 300 years ago. The eruption created another smaller mountain called Mt. Hoeizan.
More surprisingly Mt. Fuji is the active volcano even today. When I saw a crater yesterday, it looked very stable.
But we cannot be too optimistic. It has already taken more than 300 years since the last eruption. When you run down Gotenba trail, please think about the dynamism of nature.