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By moiral
Afternoon all. On a trip to Nikko and the Toshogu Shrine, we were lucky enough to catch a very rare glimpse of a procession of mountain priests. The guide said in all the years she had been doing the trip, she had never seen them. Many of Nikko's temples and shrines are a mix of Shinto and Buddhism. The priests are known as Yamabushi and practise on remote mountains.
In V1 and 2, they are entering a temple, presumably to pray. The priest at the front of the line is blowing a large conch shell. In V3 they have finished in the temple and are now leaving the grounds of the shrine. A very priviledged few tourists, including myself had the pleasure of witnessing their short trip to the shrine. There is something quite magical about witnessing an occurrence such as this. I wish you could have heard the sound of the conch - an eerie and mournful sort of sound.
I felt quite intrusive taking these shots, however other tourists' cameras were a-clicking too.
Thanks for C&Cs on yesterday's upload.

Tags: Japan Portraits and people Nikko Landscape and travel Mountain priests

Voters: PhillipMinnis, TrevBatWCC, gazlowe and 18 more

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TrevBatWCC Plus
8 12 10 England
21 Sep 2012 2:37PM
How lucky to be able to get these, Moira, a super set, and think I go for V3 as my fave Wink
Trev Smile

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21 Sep 2012 3:03PM
Very interesting shot!
CarolG Plus
9 196 18 Greece
21 Sep 2012 3:17PM
Very interesting images, Moira, and very well captured. Carol
CaroleS Plus
6 423 3 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2012 3:29PM
Really interesting set Moira.
Tibetan 4 3 England
21 Sep 2012 3:54PM
Nice Shinto Temple I always like these, and as you say it's not often you would see the mountain monks like that lucky indeed. I have a number of Conch shell trumpets ranging from a few cm long up to 36 cm long, some inlaid with silver and or coral and turquoise, three very nice photo's, regards Leon, om shanti om.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
21 Sep 2012 4:03PM
Excellent set of images well caught Moira
WhiteRose1 Plus
6 1.6k 148 England
21 Sep 2012 5:40PM
One of those rare moments of being in the right place at the right time. v1 has a lovely balance to it with te two groups split by the figure in blue.

NeilWigan Plus
6 13 15 England
21 Sep 2012 6:04PM
Interesting and fascinating records Moira,lucky to have caught it on camera.
Lillian Plus
7 22 17 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2012 6:08PM
You always did have the knack of being in the right place
you must have felt honoured to experience this event Moira
and still you came up with superbly captured set
amazing skills
bobsblues 6 10 2 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2012 8:20PM
Great set Moira and excellent write up .Smile
pdcche 6 4 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2012 8:37PM
Lovely set Moira, i think i go for V1, Peter..
RonnieAG Plus
6 153 116 Scotland
21 Sep 2012 8:40PM
A fascinating glimpse into the lives of these priests and their elaborate costumes.
7 10 10 England
22 Sep 2012 9:09AM
Very interestng Moira - like the closer look of the attiree in V3.
What a marvellous experience Moira, one to treasure for sure, not many have seen this with their own eyes it seems, but you've shared it with us. Many Thanks.

The religious regalia is something else, some of it quite sensible too, the furry padding for sitting on hard rocks, very down to earth.


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