This post will be image heavy. Just warning ya’ll.
I’m home now. It’s a nice feeling. The morning was spent eating hamburgers and napping, and marveling at how much room there is here. If I wanted to, I could go out in the back yard and roll around naked in the field, screaming obscenities and being utterly impolite.
On Sunday we went to Harajuku. After some shopping (socks! lacey padded specially made for high heels SOCKS!) we took a walk down to the Meiji Shrine. It was the first shrine/temple I had visited in Japan, partially because I was eager to avoid the really touristy spots. Rather, I was more excited to see Japan as it is now, to experience modern life as the people live it, to uderstand their customs and interests, rather than indulging in an image of Japan that the rest of the world holds.
But…uh…it turns out that the image the rest of the world has is pretty reasonable. The Japanese folks sure do like their shrines and temples.
I honestly didn’t take much time exploring the Meiji Shrine at large. I was focused on the wishes. It’s tradition for visitors to purchase small wooden plaques for a hundred yen (roughly a dollar) and write their hopes and dreams on them. They hang the plaques and hope that the gods of the shrine answer their prayers.
These prayers were so surprising and touching that I ended up taking forty seven pictures of wishes. They ranged from the sad to the humorous to the inspiring, and had every language I could name. Rather than try to describe them further, here are as many as are intelligible.
There you go. Any favorites? If anyone is able to provide translation, feel free to do so in the comments!