Monday, 14 July 2014

Fuurin Matsuri - A Wind Chime Festival

I went to this on Saturday and had a lovely time pottering around. It was boiling hot and very humid so the occasional breeze was very welcome, even though the noise could be quite overwhelming after half a minute or so. I made this 10 second video to give you an idea of it.
The actual wind chimes, while numerous, did not take up much room.
Fuurin Matsuri - Wind Chime Festival - at Nishiarai Daishi temple
Those hanging up were essentially samples, grouped by artist, and you wrote down the number of the one/s you wanted and took that number to another booth to pay and take receipt of yours, suitably boxed. You can buy basic ones with a mass produced print in the 100 Yen shop and in fact I have one with goldfish on and it is very nice, but these were artisan ones. While most were glass there were also quite a few metal ones and others decorated with bamboo. The variety of decoration techniques was fascinating. They varied in price from about 500 yen to more than 5000 (about £30).
Wind Chimes
You see the glass whales in the middle? A blue one came home with me as a present for my little niece. I would have loved to buy more but those I wanted had metal parts which were very heavy and I have to think about getting this stuff back to the UK.

Nishiarai Daishi Temple, where this happened, is about an hour north of central Tokyo and is a 'working' temple with services going on in the background. The prayer chants and bonging of the gong along with the chime of the chimes and the sound of the waterfall in the garden ponds combined to be quite idyllic. I enjoyed all of them in a medley while watching the fish.
Garden Pond of Nishiarai Daishi temple
Fish at Nishiarai Daishi temple
There were actually two gardens - this second one was away from the various noises although probably the most beautiful. It also had more fish and they ranged from minnows to huge beasts the size of a small dog.
Nishiarai Daishi temple
Fish at Nishiarai Daishi temple
The surrounding grounds held many treasures.
Large Bells at Nishiarai Daishi temple
Little Figures at Nishiarai Daishi temple
Small Buddha at Nishiarai Daishi temple
In addition this impressive crow - look at that huge beak - had found a big worm - or maybe a centipede which it was subduing and getting ready to eat. He saw me looking at him and moved to the top of this post before checking to see what I was doing.
Crow with Worm at Nishiarai Daishi temple
They are as common here as pigeons in London and we have one who comes and lands on the railing of our balcony with a resounding clang every now and again. I would love to get to know one a bit better. I wonder if they are as freakishly intelligent as they look?
Hand Washing Area at Nishiarai Daishi temple
Wooden Carving at Nishiarai Daishi temple
Nishiarai Daishi temple
It was all very lovely and I was very glad I went, despite all the travel it entailed on a very hot day.


Heather said...

I love your posts from Japan. They're a window on a world I will probably never see for myself.

Look up 'Corvids' on Wikipedia - crows and their relatives have an intelligence on a par with the great apes!

Blue Moth said...

How interesting and fascinating. You are really making the most of your time in Japan.

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