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Festivals: Tanabata Shitennoji Temple 2015

Tanabata always makes me happy, its romantic, and I like all the pretty decorations. This year we couldn’t see the Okawa river milky way in Osaka, as it was on a Tuesday but we did manage to visit Shitennoji Temple again, and we did something new…

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Osaka: Shitennoji Urabon-e Manto Kuyo

O-bon week is about remembering your ancestors, many people return to their hometowns and clean their family graves.

Shitennoji temple hosts Urabon-e Manto Kuyo, a prayer candle event, you write the name of your ancestor on the paper which is burnt and sent to the gods.

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It was really hot and the heat of the burning candles just made it even hotter! Monks were chanting prayers over the speaker systems and there was certainly two different vibes to the evening. One was a part celebratory matsuri vibe with the festival stalls with fish and cotton candy but also also another more somber vibe with an older crowd and people praying with prayer beads over the candles.

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According to the website there are about 10,000 candles burnt during the event. I’m really glad we went it was definitely a sight to behold.

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First shrine visit of the year

Technically our first shrine visit was at 3am when we wandered to Namba Shrine after RockRock but we didn’t join the que and pray, just warmed ourselves by the fire and bought cute little NY snakes.

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Our first proper visit was to our local Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine.

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Queuing to get in.

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We said our prayers, drank some sake and walked around.

Hopefully this will bring us all good luck and a fresh start for the New Year!