Travel tips: the boobs shrine
It’s been quite a long time since my last travel tip. I’d never want you to grow lazy and fat, so get off your chairs and visit the Aichi prefecture of Japan, where you will find the sacred Ryūon-ji, a temple dedicated to Kannon, the Buddha of mercy. It is a beautiful structure built in 1492 on the site of a miraculous deer hunt during which… Oi, mate! Would you please stop staring at those breasts up there and focus on this bit of culture? No? Oh well, so I’ll cut to the chase.
The temple is better known as Mama Kannon, or ‘the breasts shrine’. As the story goes, in 1665 a woman who couldn’t breastfeed her newborn baby for lack of milk came here to pray, and she was immediately cured. Women have been visiting the temple ever since to ask for breast-related miracles: what you see in the picture are in fact ema, votive tablets on which pilgrims write their requests for the gods.
The pleas are exactly what you’d expect in a place like this: prayers for larger, firmer or bouncier tits; requests for “more attractive” pink nipples; demands for painless nursing and so on. More interestingly, everything in this shrine is boob-shaped, as the following pictures show. This may be shocking to oh-so-sensitive western ears, but it’s perfectly normal in a country that proudly celebrates an Iron penis festival and holds a generally more realistic consideration of common body parts.
Ryūon-ji is a sort of oddity even by Japanese standards anyway. Only one similar shrine exists in the Yamaguchi prefecture, but it isn’t nearly as famous or elaborate, and it is considered somewhat like a rip-off of the original. While you are there, however, don’t forget to check out the local sex toys. Those are mighty weird…