Today I enjoyed the authentic Japanese tradition in Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara, although it rained all day. Every 21rd of the month,the "Shunsai Festival" has been held to pray for the peace and security of the nation for 900 years. It was my first time to participate such a serious Shinto ceremony. (I have no pics about the ceremony because taking pictures was not allowed there.) A solemn atmosphere filled the ground.
The path to the shrine passes through Deer Park (where tame deer roam free). Over a thousand stone lanterns line the way. They are all donations to the shrine. Many stone lanterns are old enough to be covered with moss. In the past, all the lanterns were lit every night for the people who came to pray at night.
Inside the precinct, a lot of bronze lanterns are hung from the eaves. The contrast of the red structure and the hanging lanterns is really gorgeous.
The lanterns below are rather new, real bronze color.
A Shinto wedding ceremony was being held when I visited in the afternoon. The lady with white hood is a bride. They all wear traditional Japanese costume.
Kasuga Grand Shrine and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest near it are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.