It’s not unusual to see Buddhist priests offering prayers and accepting money outside stations or dotted about Tokyo’s streets, but from my experience at least, I have never seen anyone stood talking or receiving ‘treatment’ from them. Well, until a recent saunter around Sugamo that is.
Known as the Harajuku for old ladies, where the average age is about 107 and there’s more pushiness than at a pushing contest for the overly pushy, priests are not only present in noticeably larger numbers than normal, but they also appear to offer (literally) hands-on help with certain ailments — photographs of which I regrettably didn’t manage to get due to the just mentioned amounts of jostling.
I did, however, bag some pictures of a few priests in more communicative action.
The pair of them dealing with what, for want of a better description, looked like a load of old ladies lining up for confession.
Although what they were actually talking about, and whether this kind of thing is common, I really don’t know, but I’d certainly welcome any suggestions from somebody who does.