Memorial Service

1 Dec

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 (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 (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).


2 Responses to “Memorial Service”

  1. tokyo5 December 2, 2008 at 12:18 am #

    >I was wondering if your wife’s family went to the memorial service also.

    Yes, of course. Everyone who was at the funeral last year came.

    >do they have any more later on?

    Yes. After the one-year, there are memorial services on the 3rd, 7th, 13th and a few other years. And there are also holidays throughout the year that Japanese people visit their family’s grave.

    >pachinko…I couldn’t see where the guy was who “buys” your cheapo prizes for real money

    It was around the corner.
    (BTW, for people who don’t know about Pachinko…I wrote a post that tells a bit about it. Here: )

    Did you see the red, round things with the flowers next to the pahinko parlor’s doors? That means it was the Pachinko parlor’s Grand Opening.

    >How is everyone?

    We’re all fine. Thanks. How’re you and Mom?


  2. Dad December 1, 2008 at 3:28 am #

    Hi Bob,
    I was wondering if your wife’s family went to the memorial service also. That’s a nice tradition to have a memorial one year later, do they have any more later on?
    I saw the picture of the pachinko building and it reminded me of when we visited, I couldn’t see where the guy was who “buys” your cheapo prizes for real money, I assume he’s there somewhere, that was fun.
    How is everyone? email more photos that was nice to see.


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