Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yanaka's Cemeteries

Yanaka is an area of Tokyo known for it quiet streets and peaceful temples. Also it's home to Yanaka Cemetery, one of the city's largest. I went there on a cloudy day and ended up taking pictures with my digital camera. There wasn't enough light for Holga photos.

Graves and prayer sticks in Yanaka Cemetery.

If you look behind and to the right of the tall thin cement block you'll see a man walking along the street that runs thru the cemetery. Nippori Train Station is just a five minute walk away and I saw many people walking along this street the day I visited.

Half way along the street that goes through the cemetery is a fenced in foundation. A plaque tells the story of lovers who in 1957 burnt down Tennoji Temple's 5 story pagoda then killed themselves. Behind the fenced off area is a children's playground. There's also a police box (station) to the right of the foundation. Much different than the cemetery in my Vermont town.

Fresh flowers in vases adorn a grave site in Yanaka Cemetery.

Several temples in Yanaka have their own cemeteries. These offertory figures were at one of the temples: Kannon, Buddhist Goddess of Mercy; Jizo, protector of children; and Sakyamuni Buddha are among the figures sitting in the grass.

Graves, vases waiting for flower offerings and prayer sticks at a temple's cemetery. The building behind the prayer sticks is a private residence.

A car draped with a cloth parked in the middle of another temple's cemetery. I wondered if one of the monks had donated an old robe to cover the car.

Below: Even Yanaka isn't immune to tall buildings being constructed.

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