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Ha Long Bay: Locals from the nearby villages will come up to our bamboo boats and motor boats to sell their goods.

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Zojoji Temple, Tokyo ; "Joya no Kane"-In Japan, we ring the bell in the temple in the evening of New Year's Eve. We call it "Joya no Kane". According to Buddhist beliefs, 108 is the number of passions and desires entrapping us in the cycle of suffering and reincarnation. So, the 108 bell chimes symbolize the purification from the 108 delusions and sufferings accumulated in the past year.

Two Maiko girls and a Geisha standing underneath the Great Bell at the Chion-in Temple in Kyoto 1930s

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Torii gate of Itsukushima shrine, Hiroshima, Japan

Fuji Shibazakura (pink moss phlox) Festival at Hitsujiyama Park in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan • photo: huitze

Jizo statues in Kamakura, Japan. Jizo take care of the souls of unborn children and those who died at a young age. Children in limbo in Japan are said to go to a place called sai no kawara, where they must create piles of stones into small towers. But every night the stone towers are destroyed by demons, so the next day the children must make new piles of stones. The making of these towers is to help their parents accrue merit for their own afterlife.