Big Snowfall 2014

Torii gate to Mishima Shrine (三島神社)  about 20 minutes from home. First time to visit the shrine during daylight since moving to this neighborhood. 

Stone lanterns at Mishima Shrine (三島神社). Love these lanterns when covered with snow or moss.

Mary (Miniature Pinscher) thoroughly hates the snow. Had to bundle her up to prevent hypothermia. She seemed to be in dog heaven!

I wonder why only some Shinto Shrines have the name of the shrine on a sign on the main hall.

I wonder why only some Shinto Shrines have the name of the shrine on a sign on the main hall.

Every Shinto shrine I have visited has these folded pieces of paper hanging from straw rope that stretches across main entrance to the main hall of the shrine that house the Kami (God).

One of the things I like about these small neighborhood shrines is that there is often a smaller shrine or even another Kami behind or close to the main shrine.

A shimenawa   (straw rope) hung to demarcate a sacred space in front of the inner sanctuary of the shrine. They are usually made with a "left-hand" twist and ritual paper streamers called shide draping from the rope.

Katsuogi are the log-like sections that are horizontally along and perpendicular to, the ridge line of the shrine structure. Chigi are the poles that extend from the roof's gableboards.

Wooden tablets with illustrations of horses offered at shrines as tokens of wishes or for offering thanks.  From ancient times horses have been been regarded as sacred mounts employed by the kami. So, horses are often painted on ema tablets.

Bells at the top of the ropes are rung to greet the deity. Bow twice; clap your hands twice to express joy of meeting with the deity and respect towards the deity; with your hands still together, express your feeling of gratitude in your mind without speaking; and finally bow one more time.

The first big snow in a long time. Opened the bedroom window to view the winter wonderland we don't often have a chance to enjoy in our part of Japan. Love the contrast of colors blanketed in fresh snow.

Small blossoms signaling the approach of spring while battling the frigid cold. Shot taken on the grounds of a Buddhist temple in the neighborhood.

A local Japanese farmer had these perfectly trimmed trees at the entranceway of his huge home! Many Japanese homes have smaller versions of this kind of tree-trimming in the neighborhood.

Dale enjoying the first big snowfall in a long time!

She can't resist playing in the frigid water!

Got down in the water to take this and the next two shots.

 Love how the light plays on the water and the fact that I was the first person to come here before anyone else could trample the virgin snow.

The evergreen tree and fruit outside my bedroom window are probably not too happy with our recent heavy snowfall.

It will be warm and sunny again soon enough.

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