It was past noon when I went out for my planned walk-run. At the last minute I decided to just walk around my neighborhood with my camera. Like many neighborhoods in Japan, my area is full of short winding roads that usually lead to a dead end, or somewhere you would never expect to appear. Hence, walking and driving here are usually an adventure. I just make sure I don’t give in to the temptation to wander at night, since I am never sure where I am going to arrive.
This afternoon I discovered a small cemetery that I have not noticed before. It was tucked behind a small shrine. My neighborhood has a number of shrines and cemeteries. I’ve walked past this shrine several times, when I take the longer route to the train station. It’s lodged among apartments and houses and is easy to miss. I decide to go in. The ground was really, really small. It’s like someone’s garden. If I wasn’t looking around for a photo subject, I would have missed the narrow pathway which lead to the tiny cemetery.
The cemetery was probably no more than one and a half the size of our apartment. There was no one else there. That gave me the chance to look more closely at the graves and take some photos.
Some graves have offerings. Most of the graves have cups, some turned up, some turned down. I wonder if this reflects a practice of offering sake to the dead. I realize I don’t know much about this aspect of Japanese culture (note to self to find out more).
Speaking of sake, I spotted a grave with a full bottle of sake in a plastic bag. I was tempted to take it home with me, but I will not dare rob a grave. And who knows? Someone could be watching me.
At another grave, I spotted an empty can of beer.
I know it’s silly, but it’s tempting to ask – who drank the beer?