Presentation on “Ise and Japan” Experience

Today is the second to last day of the “Ise and Japan” study program at Kogakkan University, and every participant was asked to give a presentation on a topic related to the program. I decided to choose “神仏習合”, or “Shinto-Buddhist syncretism”, because that was the most surprising thing I learned during the program.

Tsukemono Factory

Monday (March 10) after lunch, we took a train to 明野 (Akeno), a more rural part of Ise, and visited 林商店 (Hayashi-shōten), a company that makes 伊勢沢庵 (Ise-takuan, Ise style pickled daikon radish) and other 漬物 (tsukemono, Japanese pickled vegetables). Inside this shed, tsukemono are ripening in big barrels. Well, some in small barrels, butContinue reading “Tsukemono Factory”

Yasaka-jinja (Kyoto, Part 2)

After visiting the Nō theater on Sunday morning, we went on to 八坂神社 (Yasaka-jinja), a large shrine in Kyoto’s famous Gion area. The shrine looks kind of unusual at first glance: Its buildings resemble Buddhist temples, and the entrance we used even has a temple style gate instead of a torii. There are torii insideContinue reading “Yasaka-jinja (Kyoto, Part 2)”

Recommend Reading: Geku

Two of my friends have also written about our visit to the 外宮 (Geku), each with a different focus, and I recommend you read their posts. You can find excerpts below, and both have more interesting things on their blogs. 😉 Puckchan writes about the shrine’s history, customs surrounding it, art and so on. “PilgrimsContinue reading “Recommend Reading: Geku”

Nara Express Tour

Saturday morning (March 8) we took a train from Ise to 奈良 (Nara). Nara is a very old city and was the capital of Japan during the aptly named Nara period in the 8th century, although technically there was a short intermission. Our first destination, just a few minutes walk from the Kintetsu Nara Station,Continue reading “Nara Express Tour”

Kawasaki: An Old Trading Area

Yesterday (March 6) after lunch, we went to 河崎 (Kawasaki), a part of Ise along 勢田川 (Setagawa River) that used to be an important area for trading, especially in fish, rice and sake. For reasons unknown to me, the university had arranged for taxis to take us there, although from the map I’d guess itContinue reading “Kawasaki: An Old Trading Area”

Edo Era Stamp Book

This morning (March 6), Okada-sensei brought an interesting document into class: A stamp book from the Edo era for pilgrims on the way to Ise Jingu. If you’ve been around sightseeing spots in Japan, you’ve probably noticed that many have stamps you can use if you want. The idea is that you can collect stampsContinue reading “Edo Era Stamp Book”