Obon – Japanese Buddhism custom

So yesterday was he first day of Obon in here Japan ! Obon festival is basically celebrating the dead !All the information in this post comes from people talking to me .
I`m staying here with Japanese family so they invited me to join them on daily activities .

Activities were:
Visiting Graveyards
Chant for taking ancestors home
Visit Buddhism temple
Help to prepare for little street market
Visit Shinto temple an sad zoo

Looks like i had a busy day , just did not felt that way

Visiting graveyard :

So Japanese on Obon always visit grave yard . All the remains of family are in one grave together (Bones to be exact ) .They put flowers , candles, pour water on top of the grave stone , put some food on grave , then there is a small chant to ” Ask ancestors to come home with us ” . Then we move on to next grave ( As there there are many family trees ) .

*Did you know that if a woman …

*Did you know that if a woman gets married , then when she dies her bones will be placed in Husbands family lines grave .

*Funeral in Japan is in very special way ,

so when a person dies ,Its body is brought to the house , cleaned , dressed with kimono and placed in living room , the family stay with it for 3 days (Its for three days in the middle of the room ) . Family talks about it and drinks .All the time there must be scented sticks burned , as body would rot .
Then after three days its brought to crematory . There its cremated . After they bring remains out and family member collect bones themselves with chopsticks . (I think that must be the hardest thing to do )

Chant for ancestors :

Belief is that ancestors will come home with us , when chant is done , and after few days there a ceremony to sent them back .

Visit temple : So we all went to Buddhism temple and played some strange music instruments and lighted scented sticks . Temple was huge with red carpets . Children were going crazy with bells in the building , so it sounded like a party !

Help to prepare for street market :

This family sells different things from time to time in street markets , today was no exception . We prapared all the products and were on out way to next village where everyone gathers .Super small market , just few locals .
In street market family sold potato /flours balls with chicken soup on top and some sides like slice of corn , tomato , aubergines .. Tastes amazing !

Visit shinto (Temple ) :

So market was held at square of shinto . So i went to explore , i met this lady who spoke only few words , she was selling gemstones and helping in temple .She showned me building around and even some photos of event they held ,
The event was flute competition (some German guy got 2nd place , as i understood ) . Then i sneaked in closed Shinto temple and walked around the (Pictures below ). Incredible .

Later i walked around town to what`s there , i seen vending machines everywhere , old ladies walking around and staring at me LOL and a zoo . I call it a ” Sad zoo ” . When you enter there is amazing map , it shows happy monkeys on it , bears , swans , dears .. WOw , but just behind it there is this massive cage system and every animals its treated the same . Like for example , a dear need wild , grass , trees , forest about t fished (Nemo and other ones ) , i thought its awesome , so i went to look .. Guess what….?!.. Only 5 tiny tanks with fresf-water fish like the ones you get in river nearby . ok , ok …Still not bad !
The part was birds … I seen photo that shows there upstairs are birds , but i could not hear any sound .. I walked upstairs and … i just started laughing .. Those are photos of birds, no actual birds.
But there were some birds outside though.



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