Yesterday we went up to 茨城県 (Ibaraki Prefecture), about 150 Km (about 95 miles) north of Tokyo.
It’s very different from urban Tokyo…it’s all mountains and countryside. A very beautiful and traditional Japanese area.
But we weren’t there for sight-seeing. My wife has some relatives who live there and last year, one of her aunts from that area died. So we went up there last year for the funeral.
And yesterday, as per Japanese tradition, was the 一周忌法要 (one-year memorial service).
The service started at 11:00AM, so we left home at 9:00 and took the express train up to 茨城県 (Ibaraki Prefecture) and got there at about 10:40AM.
We walked to the 寺 (temple) where the memorial service was to be held.
It would take alot to clearly explain Japanese funeral and memorial services because they are quite different than the Western versions.
After the service, we went to the 墓 (grave) to leave 御線香 (incense).
Then, we (my wife, kids and I…as well as all of my wife’s relatives who were at the memorial service) went to a very traditional restaurant for lunch.
Lunch was outstanding…and huge! We had 刺身 (Sashimi), 天ぷら (Tenpura), crab, ウナギ (Freshwater eel), salad, soup, beer and 熱燗酒 (hot Saké )!
Here are a few pictures that I took of the small-town area:
BTW, today is the seventh birthday of 敬宮愛子内親王殿下 (Princess Aiko) of the 皇室 (Japanese Imperial Family).