The First Day of Spring-part 1

Risshun marks the beginning of spring on the old Japanese calendar. The day before Risshun is Setsubun – the bean throwing festival.

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.

Walking from the train station to Nogata Shrine takes about 10 minutes.

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….



4 thoughts on “The First Day of Spring-part 1

  1. Oh, such a teaser! I lean towards being frugal, too, and will be interested to see all you did for the rest of your outing.
    The pictures show how different things can be there. For me, seeing them is like being at a museum.

    Liked by 2 people

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