In between devouring chocolate chip melon bread and making our way to the park, we wandered some tiny back streets of Kichijoji we hadn’t yet explored. This just confirmed what we’ve already been discovering – that this is a wonderful area to live in. One of the many fun surprises on these streets was a Hammock cafe – that’s right, a cafe where everyone is seated in hammocks. It was full, so we didn’t go in, but I am eager to try it. I am also, of course, a little nervous about my ability not to drop hot beverages while swinging from a hammock, but perhaps this will be the day my klutziness does not prevail….
Living in Japan is so much fun for a religious studies person – there are shrines and temples tucked everywhere. Japanese religions seem to include so much of the stuff of religion I love: ritual, conceiving of a world populated by the divine in many forms, lots of what some scholars refer to as “religious kitsch” – in fact, in these regards, Shintoism and Buddhism seem to have much in common with Catholicism.
Little bits of religion seem to pop up everywhere: for instance, while on our Kichijoji neighborhood walk, we passed a parking garage that had been converted into a Buddhist temple: