August 06, 2012

Wind Chime Temple

When wind chimes catch summer breezes, they make cool sounds all together. Here is Ofusa Kannon Temple in Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture.

On this day, a blue sky was high, and a mercury in the thermometer got higher and higher exceeding 36 degree Celsius!!

You can see where the winds are passing.

To overcome a notorious summer of Japan, we have exercised our wisdom to the maximum and created many ways to produce that "cooler feeling"  since olden days.  To hang wind chimes is one of them. The wind chimes make winds visible and audible. 

According to a legend, a young lady named Ofusa found Kannon, Buddhist deity of mercy and compassion, riding on a white turtle in a pond in 1650.  She built a small hall to enshrine this Kannon by the pond. This is the origin of this temple and the reason why this temple was named Ofusa Kannon Temple.

I do not know when "Wind Chime Festival" started in the temple. Every summer in July and August, the temple precincts are decorated with  2500 wind chimes.

The bells swing and make crystal sounds in the wind. 
Can you see and hear cool breezes?

Wind chime are derived from wind bells (風鐸 ふうたく) hanging from the eaves of temples in China.  When  Buddhism was introduced to Japan in 552, the wind bells were brought together.
The sounds made by swinging wind bells drive away evil.  In Yakushi-ji Temple.

In ancient days, what were people afraid of the most in summer? It was to get sick of rotten food or water. Nowadays we do not need so much to worry about bad food or water during summer thanks to refrigerators, freezers, tap water and so on. But, still summer is the worst season when  it comes to food poisoning.

Don't you think it is a good idea to decorate the temple with a number of wind chimes during midsummer to drive away diseases and also make people feel cool?

                                           Wind chimes please the eye and ear.  
For me they look dancing.

The neighboring area is lined with traditional Japanese townhouses. 
I love Japanese traditional houses made of wood, paper and earth.
How lovely and charming they are!! They remind me of Naramachi Town. 

Japanese bell-flowers in rain


  1. This was lovely . . . I liked the bells flowers in the rain . . . and imagined sounds of chimes as I scrolled through . . .

  2. I love wind chimes! They're very popular in the shitamachi, too. ^^

    I guess Nara prefecture has a high humidity, too? I don't mind being hot, but I don't like being damp the whole time. Ugh.

  3. ふうたく Fuutaku, I can read it. I'm working hard to learn Japanese (just hiragana now). :)

    Thank you, Keiko-san for the lovely photos. I like the sounds of the wind chimes too. :D

    P.S: Malaysia is almost always hot and humid all the time.

  4. とても風情のある風鈴ですね。最近は、近所で見かけなくなりました。下町のほうではあるのでしょうね。

  5. Wow! This is enchanting! I remember the bells hanging from the roof tops of temples from my visit but the story of the wind chimes is totally new for me! How thoughtful to put up chimes to drive away the heat and welcome some much needed coolness! The arrangement looks so colorful and vivid with prayer flags (?) hanging from their base. The neighboring area takes me back to my memories of our tour. I would have easily mistaken it for Naramachi town if you hadn't informed it as being otherwise.

  6. "The wind chimes make winds visible and audible." I love this line. I did not know about this festival held in Nara. It looks quite charming event and your description conveys it well. I can hear and see the breeze.

  7. What a wonderful sound the chimes must make. Thanks for a lovely post.

  8. 2500個もの風鈴ってすごい数ですね。風が吹くといっせいに涼やかな音色を奏でるんでしょうね。一度聞いてみたいものです。風の存在を目と耳で確証できる物を作るなんてso cool.

  9. ま~~あ!風鈴の大合奏が聞こえてきますよ!

  10. of all the blogs I visit through any week, yours leaves me most pleased - knowing it will be a visual smorgasbord so enticing that I believe I can even smell the fragrance and hear the sweet, melodic chimes. thank you for another delightful experience. happy week to you Keiko.

  11. Hi Keiko!

    So 美しい! ^.^ I love wind chimes. There are six of them in our apartment, and I don't mind getting more. Sounds they make are very beautiful and soothing.

  12. Your header picture is wonderful. The wind chimes ae beautiful and delicate, I love the gentle music they make. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. Oh gosh - I gasped with delight when I saw your photos! So magical and musical!

  14. It has been month since I last came on your blog, and I'm glad to be back : your sharings are still so magnificent... Thank you so much.

  15. 風の中でゆるやかに踊りながら涼やかな音をかなでる風鈴。生ぬるい風のはずなのに写真では涼しそうに感じます。 吹きガラスの素敵な風鈴がほしいと思いつつこわれやすそうなので見送ってきました。今年も暑い夏を乗り切れますように。 ヘッダーの夕日は深くやさしい色合いですね。うっとりします。一日の最後に最高の贅沢です。

  16. Thank goodness for the breezes to cool off a hot day and for the compassion and mercy that is represented by the wind chimes in your world. Their gentle fluttering and tinkling sounds must lighten the hearts of those who walk by. The chimes I have in my yard bring me joy each time I hear them.

  17. 風鈴の音が厄除けというのは知りませんでしたが、確かに暑気払いですよね。最初の写真がなんとも愛らしく涼しげです。wind chime, wind bell,風鈴・・・どれもが心地よい響きです。

  18. Hello Keiko!
    Lovely to see your new post.......the wind chimes are so beautiful,I'd absolutely love to hear them. Do Japanese people have them in their gardens? I'm trying to choose but they all look special! It's interesting the way you connect the old and new chimes and the bell flowers. Beautiful photos!

    Thanks for sharing,

  19. Keiko,thanks for your lovely comment on Sun,Sea Land!


  20. They look beautiful! A good idea to look for signs of cool on hot days! And beautiful pics, too.

  21. Hello, snowwhite.

      Awe inspiring your works...

      Thank you for visiting my blog.
      I am honored to your visit.

      The prayer for all peace.

    Have a good weekend. ruma❃

  22. °º♡
    º° ♫♡彡° ·.
    Os sinos do vento são lindos, envolventes, suaves e espalham tranquilidade.
    Bom fim de semana!

  23. こんばんは。涼しげなブログで暫し暑さを忘れます。

  24. Such a lovely idea to see and hear the wind through the movement of the chimes. I have always loved the delicate melodies created by wind chimes and can only imagine the symphony of so many making music together. My bell flowers are blooming now, too.

  25. That must be extraordinary to hear the wind playing with of those bells... And the visual effect of them floating in the air must be quite a entertainment !

  26. I was at a market square in England once and there was a stall selling chimes like these. The tinkling of them in the breeze was very magical. I can imagine how wonderful it must be in Japan when they are all out. I never thought of how the sound of the wind, knowing it's presence, would make us feel cooler and calmer - but it is true! Thank you for sharing this. Beautiful photos. Minerva xx


Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving warm messages. I will visit your site soon. keiko

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