Stone and Wood

I arrived early on my first day of teaching in Nippori in Tokyo, so I had time to explore the surrounding area. I wandered up a hill near a train station and found all this:

A torii, or gate, welcomes visitors to a Shinto shrine near Nippori in Tokyo.

A visitor to the shrine prepares to bow and clap after throwing a small donation into a box as part of a Shinto ritual.

Clothed statues watch over another shrine down the street.

Nearly every person in Japan is cremated when they die according to Buddhist tradition, and their remains are interred in cemeteries like this.

The names of those buried in graves are written on the gravestones as well as on pieces of wood called sotoba