Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Japan Trip - Day 3

10/23 in ITAMI/ATAMI

The sun rising over the mountains in OSAKA. I took this picture from our hotel window. It was a beautiful sunny day.

This day was the main event - Dad's Memorial Service at our family temple (MYOSENJI) in ITAMI located in HYOGO KEN/Prefecture. A prefecture is an equivalent to a state in the U.S. It is located next to OSAKA which is where we stayed the night before.

SHIJU KUNICHI (literal translation: 49th Day) service was held first. On the 49th day after the death of a person, it is assumed that the deceased has begun their new life in the land of the dead. It is also believed that the final judgement is passed on the deceased on the 49th day with a good, respectable person going to heaven or a less respectable person going to one of the other realms of hell. Families hold these services so that the sutras and prayers they chant for the deceased can help improve the judgement rendered on the deceased.

We also had a NOKOTSU service (entombment). It was decided to do two ceremonies since the whole family was present. It was so nice to see everyone despite the occasion. My two surviving aunts on my father's side attended and a couple of my cousins.

After having a nice lunch and spending some time together talking about memories of my father, we had to say good-bye with the promise to keep in touch :)

We went back to OSAKA and got our bags from the hotel. Next stop was to ATAMI in SHIZUOKA Pref. (near TOKYO). It's known for its ocean resort and hot springs. It was our stop (and laundry stop - LOL!) before we headed to the TOHOKU (Northeastern) Region of Japan.

Taka enjoying his SUSHI dinner after we settled into ATAMI. Love how the Japanese travel. I would say most of the hotels/inns have YUKATA (cotton KIMONO and in this case, used as PJs and outer wear) with short jackets, and amenities such as toothbrush/toothpaste, hand towels, etc. so all one needs is a change of clothes. Throughout the trip, you will see us in these outfits.

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