Take 2 is from Matsuo Taisha, a higher-ranked shrine in Kyoto. This large ink pot was on a plastic-covered table along with brushes. It was in an unusual spot outside near a covered rest area, far from the shrine buildings. There was little around to help me figure out its purpose: no host, no sign that I can recall and no one using the brushes.
Have you come across something unexpected at a shrine or temple in Japan or elsewhere?