Christmas Vacation, Japanese Edition: Kyoto
Kenkun-jinja Shrine and the Daitokuji Temple complex.
Stones covered with bibs. Jizō is one of the most loved of all Japanese divinities. He is seen as the guardian of children, particularly children who died before their parents. The statues can sometimes be seen wearing tiny children's clothing or bibs, or with toys, put there by grieving parents to help their lost ones and hoping that Jizō would specially protect them.
In Japanese mythology, it is said that the souls of children who die before their parents are unable to cross the mythical Sanzu River on their way to the afterlife because they have not had the chance to accumulate enough good deeds and because they have made the parents suffer. It is believed that Jizō saves these souls from having to pile stones eternally on the bank of the river as penance, by hiding them from demons in his robe, and letting them hear mantras.