Japanese Cemeteries


You weren’t expecting a post like this, huh?

Japanese cemeteries are beautiful. They’re quite different to the western cemeteries that I’m definitely used to seeing, and I never really wondered about their significance when I was a child visiting Japan. The scenery of a cemetery here, well, makes death not seem so bad.

It’s not only the scenery, but the amount of thought and respect that is put into each visit – cleansing an ancestor’s grave, lighting an incense stick, leaving cordial gifts; all in remembrance and gratitude of them.

Of course, all graveyards are different, but 勝光院 (shoukouinn), is the name of the beautiful cemetery which has been partly captured below.





If you are to ever come across a cemetery in Japan and wonder why people are cleaning a relative’s grave, lighting an incense stick (御線香 osenko), or are just interested in Japanese culture surrounding cemeteries, this blogpost may be interesting to you.

お墓 (おはか) ohaka  – a cemetery

お墓参り (おはかまえり) ohakamairi – the act of visiting a cemetery