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Us.jpg (91376 bytes) Omiai (JPEG).jpg (191007 bytes) Nice Couple.jpg (244701 bytes)
Yoshiko, energetic as usual. I, on the other hand, . . . have jet lag. Yoshiko attired in one of her finer kimonos. An early picture of us in Japan. It is nice to be young and in love.
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The Nijo Castle Ninomaru Garden in Kyoto was the private 16th century garden enjoyed by the Shogun. For the curious, here is a  unisex restroom. Use your imagination, but I will say exercise your legs before travel to Japan! Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion,  is plated with 106 lbs. of real gold. The original building dated to 1397 but burned in 1950, so the current building is a replica.
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Two rarely seen and talented Geisha perform traditional Japanese arts for tourists occasionally and for the affluent frequently. The Great Buddha of Kamakura is 44 ft. tall. Shortly after it was cast in bronze in 1252 the building that surrounded it was washed away by a massive tidal wave. While strolling through Gion, Kyoto, I chanced upon a Maiko, or Geisha in training, who graciously allowed me to take her picture.
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Yoshiko comfortably at home in Kyoto, an ancient city of 1,500 temples and myriad gardens. The Heian Shrine Garden in central Kyoto is my favorite spot for feeding turtles and fish. Koi, or temple fish, swarm when bread crumbs are tossed into the water.
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Ryoanji is a 15th century Zen rock and gravel garden. What do the 15 stones and raked gravel signify? Typical teenagers out enjoying the hot July evening during the Gion Matsuri Festival. The national dish of Japan, Sushi. It is eaten out, or delivered right to the door like American pizza.
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Our darling nieces, Yukino on the left, and Hinano. At their tender age, they already speak better Japanese than Uncle Dan does! Ninnaji Temple compound inaugurated in 888 A.D. The temple is known for its low, squat Omuro Cherry trees. Horyuji Temple in Nara is home to the world's oldest wooden buildings. The construction of the Golden Kondo Hall shown above was completed in 680.
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The fall splendor of Kyoto's Ninnaji Temple. It was formerly known as Omuro Palace, a complex of 60 buildings that dated to 888.  Ninnaji Temple is renowned for its colorful cherry trees. The five storied pagoda was constructed in 1644.

Ryoanji Temple houses the world renown Zen rock garden, but the great pond and exotic plants that surround it are also impressive.

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The maple trees of the 123 acre Ryoanji compound, ablaze with fall color behind a hand tied bamboo fence. The phoenix crown of the Golden Pavilion Temple peeks out through the canopy of the colorful fall foliage. The Gold Pavilion, built by Shogun Yoshimitsu in 1397 for his retirement villa. The inside and outside of the top two floors are decorated in gold leaf.
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Yoshiko standing beneath the eaves of an eight-sided pagoda at the Tofukuji Temple compound. A tsukubai water basin accents a hillside garden and stone walkway at Tofukuji Temple. Raked gravel courtyard surrounded by a wall and gate at the Tofukuji compound.
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Yoshiko, my darling wife, waits for me on the valley bridge at Tofukuji Temple. Tofukuji courtyard that demonstrates the minimalist approach to garden design. Another Tofukuji courtyard illustrates a similar theme, but using greenery this time.
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Near the top of a mountain on Enoshima Island we came upon a sanctuary of Jizo Statues, which memorialize deceased infants and fetuses. Near Tokyo on the east coast of Japan, we encountered this interesting deity in a Kamakura garden. Montage of the Yokohama skyline and harbor, which is actually a southern bedroom community of Tokyo.
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Appearing to be Geisha, they are young girls who have paid a fee to a salon to make them up as the revered artisans. The ensconced private garden at the Ninnaji Temple compound, which was reserved for the ancient aristocracy. Ground zero for Zen philosophy, the world renown Ryoanji Temple rock and raked gravel garden, which was constructed around 1500.
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One of many incarnations of the famous ultra high speed bullet train, known in Japan as the Shinkansen, which travels nearly 200 miles per hour. A rare dancing exhibition given by two beautiful Geisha of the world renown Gion area in Kyoto. A dancer performs under the moonlight dressed in the many layered kimono of a 12th century woman.
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The Great Daibutsu Buddha of Todaiji Temple in Nara is 49 ft. tall, dates to the 8th century, and weighs 996,000 lbs. This Nijo Castle compound tea house was used by the Shogun and other aristocrats for moon viewing parties. One of many ornately decorated gates that surround the Higashi Honganji Temple compound located in downtown Kyoto.

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The Nijo Castle Garden pond traversed by a stone bridge. A tea house is in the distance. The Ginkakuji Temple or Silver Pavilion, which dates to 1460, sits obscured behind evergreen garden foliage. An inner courtyard at the Nanzenji Temple, founded in 1291, illustrates the Zen influence on garden design.

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Gnarled, twisted evergreen trees and meticulously placed stones populate this Silver Pavilion garden.  A small Silver Pavilion pond that is full of brightly colored Koi fish and green turtles. Ginkakuji's garden architecture showcases the simplicity of the white, checkered courtyard wall juxtaposed against the more traditional gate in the background.

Ginkakuji Temple.jpg (168216 bytes)

Ginkakuji Temple 2.jpg (179973 bytes) Todaiji Nandaimon Gate.jpg (110329 bytes)
The Silver Pavilion was built around 1460 as an aristocrat's retirement villa. The Silver Pavilion sits in the center of a garden that features a pond, evergreens, and raked gravel. The South Central Gate at Todaiji Temple in Nara. The lantern dates to the 8th century.



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Copyright 2003 by Daniel L. Hagerman. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Jan 2009 14:01:50 -0500 .