Buddhist Cemetary

Perhaps because we live in the “temple district” in Kichijoji (four Buddhist temples and a Shinto shrine are within three blocks of our apartment), there are also several Buddhist cemeteries near us.  For some reason, I like photographing cemeteries and have pictures from many places I’ve traveled, but this cemetery was the first Buddhist one I’d seen (this was maybe our second week – I’ve since seen many, many more!). I was intrigued at how peaceful it was, yet also completely surrounded by one of the major shopping districts in Kichijoji (as is apparent in some of the photos).

Cremation is common in Japan – according to the ever reliable Wikipedia, 99.81% of Japanese are cremated – so within these “plots,” typically entire families are interred. This is in some ways a practical decision, since space/land is so hard to come by here.

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