My first Tet away from home at Nisshikutsu Temple - Waku Waku

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My first Tet away from home at Nisshikutsu Temple

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My first Tet away from home at Nisshikutsu Temple

As we get older, leaving home to study and work abroad in a foreign country, undoubtedly many of us will not be able to celebrate Tet with our families. On the holidays, some people still have to work, others go to eat and drink with friends, but I often go to the temple. And in the first year away from home, I chose to go to the Nisshikutsu temple to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Hiền Cherry Trần

Hiền Cherry Trần

Published on 18 Jan, 12:00

Before New Year's Eve, I went online and found a temple for Vietnamese people in Tokyo - Nisshikutsu Temple.

Address: 2 Chome-11-1 204号 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011

How to get there: It takes about 4 minutes to walk from Shibakoen station to the temple or 10 minutes walk from Hamamatsucho station.

I went to work that day and didn't return until 9 pm. When I got home, showered, and changed, it was already 11 pm. I quickly arranged everything and caught the train to arrive at the temple on time.

I followed the directions to Hamamatsucho station, but I went in the wrong direction opposite the temple, so it took me a while to find my way and enter the temple. When I reached the temple gate, stepped in the stairs above, there was a Vietnamese man guiding everyone who had just arrived, so I followed him. He led us inside and gave each of us a blue monastic robe and Buddhist scripture.

The blue monastic robe
The blue monastic robe

We sat down and started reading along with the Dharma Teacher, I looked at the scripture neatly placed on the chair but could not follow the speed of him and everyone, so I had to skip some passages.

After the ceremony, we were given Tet fortune by the Dharma Teacher. Each person received a packet of rice, a packet of salt, a pen, a calendar, a card, and a bracelet.

The Tet gifts I received
The Tet gifts I received

We waited until midnight in Vietnam to call our families to wish everyone a happy new year. Many of us cried due to homesickness. Some people sang happily to welcome Tet. After the phone call, when I went into the dining room, there were a lot of sweets that my mother usually buys for Tet holidays placed on the table.

Tet cake box
Tet cake box

We sat down to put rice and salt into packets to give everyone who came the day after; while listening to the temple's Master tell stories, I found that he has a perfect sense of humor and enjoys live streaming. On just one night that I stayed, I heard no less than 5 times he told us to take out our phones to live stream. After finishing all the tasks, everyone was sleepy, so we decided to sleep in our rooms since we had to get up early the following day for the ceremony.

Our bedroom was very spacious and comfortable
Our bedroom was very spacious and comfortable

The following day, we woke up late. People in the temple had already prepared all the food. We brushed our teeth, washed our faces, and ate breakfast just in time for the ceremony.

Our breakfast
Our breakfast

When the ceremony in the throne room was done, the teacher continued to stay outside to give gifts to everyone who had just arrived that day, I received the gift yesterday, so I went inside to wait for him and ask for the first letter of the year. Fortunately, I got in early, because just a little late, I had to wait for a long time. I asked for the word "luck" and hoped to have a lot of luck in the new year.

The teacher wrote the first letters of the year
The teacher wrote the first letters of the year

I've been looking to buy Banh Chung, but every store had sold out, thinking I won't be able to eat it this year. Who would have thought I also enjoyed Banh Tet before returning from the temple? Although the shape was not the same, it tasted the same as the Banh Chung that I used to eat in the North, so I also feel somewhat comforted.

Banh Tet
Banh Tet

That day, I met Mr. Vu Hong Nam - Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to Japan. I was shy, so I didn't dare to take photos with him and many Vietnamese people living and working in the country.

Although I was far from home, I felt pleased to celebrate Tet with so many people and make many new friends.

If you feel homesick and want to pray for peace and luck for yourself and your loved ones, this is the place for you.

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Hiền Cherry Trần

Hiền Cherry Trần

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