Built in 1573 and designated as a national important cultural property, the main hall of Kamiyamada's Chishiki-ji Temple hosts an annual spring ceremony every year on April 17th. With its Muromachi-era style construction and massive thatched roof, Chishiki-ji simply oozes history. The ceremony is a reflection of that history, and is a unique opportunity to see a slice of Japan's ancient past.
As with every year, the Kamiyamada Kagura lion dance troupe (of which I am a member) was invited to perform. It is quite an honor to be invited, and I felt very humble to have the privelege of playing my flute there.
This year, the Kamiyamada Preschool kids took a field trip and visited the temple for the festival. Our lion dance group also performed for the children in the temple's park.
It was the same lion dance, but the two settings -- in front of the venerable temple for the serious ceremony, and for the bubbly, giggly preschool kids -- couldn't have been more different!