Let's Go See The Big Buddha Of Aomori with The O-family!
Every time we head north, we drive past the Big Buddha and think, 'We really ought to stop and see that some time.' Okay, the truth: Barb and I think that, but the boys would rather suck sewer water from a fire hose. We made them go anyway. I think it's part of the Parents' Charter that we can force them to participate in culturally enhancing, character-building family bonding activities, or whatever Parenting magazine calls this kind of thing these days.
See? You can look at these boys and read from the sparkle in their eyes, the electricity in their every pose, that they are charged up about this trip, and they'll recall this adventure for years to come with excitement in their quavering voices.
Lucky for Tim, there were plenty of things to set fire to. I'm stopped before a table covered from one end to the other with lit candles; for just fifty yen, you could buy one and leave it as an offering. Tim just likes to burn things. What the heck, it distracted him for a moment or two.
Tim sets fire to some more stuff, this time incense. There were plenty of these places all along the trail that led to the Big Buddha, where, in exchange for a small offering, say fifty yen, you could buy a candle, or a bundle of incense, and leave it as an offering to the Buddha. Did I say plenty? There were way more than plenty. There were so many things on fire that the Big Buddha has it's only fire department. I'm kidding. But only a bit.
...or, if you had a bunch of yen burning a hole in your pocket, but you didn't want to buy an offerning to leave behind, you could drop it in the box and ring this huge bronze bell. Something like that is way too good to pass up, so here I am, banging away. You see these bells being run by monks in such classics as A Fist Full Of Yen, and think, 'Geeze, that's gotta hurt your ears!' but it's not all that bad.
These are the windmills of your mind. Okay, they're not - they're really pinwheels left behind as an offering. You can leave behind all kinds of things as an offering: pinwheels, incense, candles, dolls, statues of liberty, and if you didn't bring one with you, you can always buy one from the many vendors conveniently located at the site of the shrine. These guys think of everything.
Every so often I luck out and manage to take a photograph like this one.
And That's All From The O-Family At The Big Buddha!
No matter where we go, no matter how culturally significant the locale, we can always act like a bunch of uncaged monkies, and that's what makes us really remarkable when we stop to take pictures like this one.
Ta-Ta For Now!
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