To celebrate the beginning of spring I always do a little something. Mostly that “something” is get in the garden and start to get things ready. But I had not been out for a long walk for a while-since I came down with- strepinfluenzaasthmaarthritis. (yes all of those at once). I decided that on Setsubun my camera and I would go and explore the local shrine.
I am very fond of spending as little money as possible. We live a very minimalist lifestyle. I rarely ever carry a lot of money and I don’t allow myself a very big personal spending budget.
On this day I had 1,220 yen or around $12.00. All in coins. I love making a game out of seeing how far I can stretch my little budget.The reason why I’m including this in the post is because people always seem to think Japan is so expensive and you need a wheelbarrow full of money to enjoy a day in Japan. Not so-come on along I’ll show you.
A ten-minute walk to the bus-stop I caught the number 3 bus down to the train station–cost 170 yen. With my leg still hurting a bit I thought it better to take the bus most of the way down. Walking to the train station takes me about 30-45 minutes. I wanted to save my leg a bit.
Signs of spring were evident. This is nanohana. Soon the fields will be a filled with yellow and my nose will run. The flowers are edible and make very tasty tempura.
It looks like a big city in the background but It isn’t really.
There were a few people walking up the steps to the shrine with me. Since it was Setsubun I guessed they were on their way to pray.
First stop was the hand washing station or the purification well. The water was cold as I washed first my left hand then my right and poured a little into my right hand to rinse out my mouth. Drying my hands on a clean white towel I sat for a moment to enjoy the daffodils and take a bite out of the chocolate bar I tucked into my bag.
I always love the big old heavy doors of the shrines. They remind me of castle fort doors.
I expected there to be people here but besides the old woman tending the small festival tent, I was the only one here.
I threw a 5 yen coin into the offertory box and prayed for my family and then wandered around a bit enjoying the beauty and stillness of the shrine grounds.
The ume trees were blossoming and soon the branches would be laden with pink.
A few others trickled in and out to pray.
I stayed for a few moments and chatted with the woman who was tending the festival tent. She gave me a wonderfully delicious cup of ginger/citrus tea.
I stood by the wall over looking the city and thought about where to wander next. I wasn’t far from the old historical home so I started off in that direction.
So far I’d only spent 175 yen.
To be continued….