Monday, December 22, 2014

Season's greetings from Nara

Nara is a laid-back city where glamorous winter illuminations are rarely seen but one place I like to stop by at this time of the year is 日本聖公会奈良基督教会, the Nara Episcopal Church, standing along the Higashimuki shopping mall close to the Kintetsu Nara Station. It might be better known for the Shin-ai (faith-love) Kindergarten attached to the church.  My last post this year is Christmas Light Pageant of the church.

Blues have been added to the typical reds and greens these years.
Right inside the gate, awaiting for the singers and organ player in the blue LED light.

Twinkle, twinkle,......

The long stairs leading to the chapel is adorned with not only usual winter camellias but also twinkling lights.

In front of the entrance to the chapel
The chapel (1930) is a National Cultural Property as a purely Japanese style of Christian church building. It is well fitted to the neighbouring Kofukuji Temple and the surroundings of Nara Park.

The chapel  would be mistaken for Buddhism Temple if there were no cross on the roof or the statue of Mother Maria in front.

In the chapel, there is a magnificent Pipe Organ which was built by the German organ builder Werner Bosch in 1987. The organ contains parallel pedal 18 stops and 1200 pipes.  Since a service was being held, I refrained from entering for photography.  The two photos below are from the website.

In the mild light through the paper sliding doors of the windows, people could pray and contemplate composedly.

Image via here

Openair Christmas concert
Christmas is not a holiday in Japan and the number of Christian is very small.  Some people celebrate the Christmas while many people enjoy secular Christmas as one of the important seasonal events.  Lots of commercialism, but good will toward each other, the warmth of family and friends together, these can be good for everyone regardless of religion and culture. By exchanging gifts, even a greedy child learns the joy of not only receiving but also sharing and giving.  I look forward to the reaction of my 4-year-old granddaughter  when she finds a present from Santa in the morning.

Feeling the excitement in the air with sparkling colors, twinkling lights, and ribons, various memories of the year conjured up in my mind .... and I thought "It's been a fast year."  As for blogging, I’ve enjoyed interaction with you all.  Thank you for your constant kindness, inspiration, and encouragement throughout the year.  See you in the year 2015!

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