On our way to Dotonbori for more good eats, we stumbled upon some monks chanting around a bonfire as residents watched and chanted along. I had set a marker on Hozenji Yokocho Alley, an Edo-era street now populated with small restaurants and bars, before we started our Japan trip, and I knew that there was a temple there somewhere. But I didn’t think the Hozenji Temple will turn out to be the main attraction of that area for us that night.
We discretely took pictures while trying to understand the scene. Narrow wood tablets bearing people’s prayers and wishes were being blessed by one monk before another monk fed them to the fire. We had wondered what happened to those wood slabs once the space for them got too full. Now we had our answer. A pair of monks had a table set up next to the main group of chanters. They had more narrow wood slabs for people who wanted to offer their own prayers. It was very interesting but we didn’t want to be too disruptive (plus, we were ready for more food) so we continued on our way without seeing the famed moss-covered statue of Fudomyo, god of fury.
Here’s a short clip of the chanting that I managed to take with A’s phone.