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Japan 3 Photographs

Ancient Lanterns.jpg (61602 bytes) Byodoin Temple.jpg (65597 bytes) Colored Carp.jpg (62613 bytes)
Ancient stone lanterns line the roadway. A stone Torii gate spans the lane and signals the the Shinto Gods are near. The Byodoin Temple is a National Treasure and World Heritage site, which dates to the 10th century. I love these colorful, frisky carp, or Koi as the Japanese call them. They enjoy being hand fed bread sticks.
Nijo Gatehouse.jpg (56023 bytes) Byodoin Scape.jpg (65208 bytes) Inside Todaiji.jpg (61689 bytes)
At Nijo Castle, a bridge spans the moat to meet a gatehouse. Between the pond and Byodoin Temple is this simple yet elegant landscape. Inside Todaiji Temple in Nara, this man photographs an ancient wooden statue.
Byodoin Temple 2.jpg (58330 bytes) Shrine Gate.jpg (55923 bytes) Gas Station.jpg (62956 bytes)
The Byodoin Temple is known as the Phoenix Hall and consists of two winged corridors and a tail corridor which protrude from the central hall. This is a gate to a Shinto Shrine, which is different from Buddhist temples. The Shinto religion celebrates natural elements as being spiritual. The truck, parked at a gas station, is typical of vehicle size in Japan. Notice the oil and gas pumping lines which descend from the ceiling. 
Lantern Walk.jpg (62034 bytes) Higashi Dragon.jpg (61461 bytes) Higashi Gate.jpg (45818 bytes)
Ancient stone lamps and a large stone torii gate make this an impressive pedestrian walkway. A Dragon fountain for washing and drinking at Higashi Honganji Temple in downtown Kyoto. Peering through the massive main gate into the main courtyard at Higashi Honganji Temple, founded in 1602. 
Unused Gate.jpg (76944 bytes) Toji Pagoda.jpg (61913 bytes) Tree and Lantern.jpg (72430 bytes)
A Higashi Honganji Temple gate in central Kyoto that has been blocked off to public use. The Toji Temple five-storied Pagoda has roots to the 9th century and is 187 ft. high, the tallest in Japan. The Japanese revere nature, so they have lovingly tended to this tree by installing numerous supports under its weighty, overextended branches.
Nanzenji approach.jpg (78397 bytes) House garden.jpg (65860 bytes) Veranda garden.jpg (69508 bytes)
Nanzenji Temple, which is located in northeastern Kyoto, was dedicated as a Zen Temple in 1291. A Japanese garden must look appealing from the inside of buildings as well as from the outside. Wood verandas typically skirt the outside of traditional buildings and allow occupants to view nature from a comfortable exterior place.
Nanzenji Courtyard.jpg (78332 bytes) Nanzenji Temple complex.jpg (80722 bytes) Store Kimono.jpg (58782 bytes)
This Nanzenji courtyard is hidden from public view. Notice the raked gravel and simple yet pleasing design. From atop a three-storied gate, we viewed the entire Nanzenji Temple complex. At Daimaru Department Store in Kyoto, kimonos are on sale. This one is $4,000.
Beef.jpg (84670 bytes) Todaiji.jpg (71540 bytes) Heian Sprawling Pine.jpg (82520 bytes)
A Kyoto butcher has beef on sale. Hamburger is $2.20 for 100 gm, which is about 1/4 lb. The steak is about $40 per lb. Todaiji Temple in Nara, one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. A 49 ft. tall Buddha sits on a Lotus leaf pedestal inside. Under the boughs of a pine in the Heian Shrine garden, a tranquil stream flows into the large pond which is full of Koi, turtles, and other wildlife.
Heian Walk.jpg (99264 bytes) Heian Gardeners.jpg (102399 bytes) Ancient Garb.jpg (64578 bytes)
Pleasant walkways meander through Heian Garden. Notice the bamboo trellises, which hold up blossoming cherries and other foliage. At the Heian Garden, gardeners prune and primp. I never saw anyone work harder, and their gardens demonstrate  that their work pays off. During the Gion Matsuri Festival, parade participants dress in ancient clothing that displays their proud heritage.
Byodoin View.jpg (74885 bytes) Toilet Directions.jpg (23047 bytes) Todaiji Statue.jpg (54538 bytes)
The Byodoin Temple showing one winged corridor, which protrudes from the left of the main Phoenix Hall. Only in Japan! Very meticulous directions on how their citizens should use the western toilets they encounter. At Todaiji Temple in Nara, there are two of these 15 ft. tall ancient, wood carved statues.
Shinto Lantern Shrine.jpg (69387 bytes) Kiyomizu Pagoda.jpg (50116 bytes) Wood Bodhisattva.jpg (57180 bytes)
The Kasuga Shinto Shrine of the Lanterns in Nara. I don't think I was supposed to take pictures, but here it is anyway. At the Kiyomizu Temple complex in eastern Kyoto, I came upon this three tiered pagoda. The complex sits on a hillside overlooking Kyoto. This ancient wooden Bodhisattva sits on the front porch of Todaiji Temple. You can see it to the right of the doors in the photo of Todaiji Temple, shown above.
Toji 5-Story Pagoda.jpg (106185 bytes) Supermarket.jpg (138628 bytes) Pachinko Parlor Players.jpg (128280 bytes)
Kofukuji Temple's five storied pagoda in Nara was built in 1426 and is second in height at 162 ft. only to the Toji Temple pagoda in Kyoto, which is the tallest in Japan. A supermarket near Yoshiko's childhood home, a small town between Nara and Kyoto where her parents still reside. People playing Pachinko, a game like vertical pinball where the balls fall by chance. It is gambling and parlors are everywhere, lit up like Las Vegas casinos.
Pachinko Machine.jpg (128934 bytes) JapEnglish.jpg (139206 bytes) Service Station.jpg (121929 bytes)
Pull the knob on a Pachinko machine and shoot a 1/4-inch steel ball into it where it plops around by chance and falls into a hole. The more balls you accumulate, the more money and goods you win. Here is an example of Japenglish. English language posters and graphics abound, but most of it makes little sense to natives of  English. Gas and oil pumps hang from the ceiling of a Kyoto service station. Japanese gas is sold by the liter, which is approximately one U.S. quart and costs about $4 a gallon.
Ohara.jpg (187255 bytes) Summer Kimono.jpg (91072 bytes) Jakkoin Garden.jpg (185101 bytes)
Mountain villa in the secluded northern Kyoto foothills area called Ohara. Yoshiko dressed in a colorful, lightweight summer kimono. Another small garden and pond outside of a quaint mountain villa in northern Kyoto.
A-Bomb Dome.jpg (107727 bytes) Liquor.jpg (114407 bytes) Seated Yoshiko.jpg (99026 bytes)
The A-Bomb Dome memorial site in Hiroshima. The atomic bomb exploded 2,000 feet directly above it in an air burst.  A street side vending machine dispensing liquor by the drink. Notice the whiskey bottle in the top left window, along with beer. Yoshiko posing traditional style, sitting on a zabuton cushion.
Seated Yoshiko 2.jpg (76608 bytes) Nijo Scaped Gate.jpg (145085 bytes) Higashi Honganji.jpg (130391 bytes)
A good shot of the obi, or decorative belt which is worn with the kimono. Nijo Castle gate abutted by medieval stonework and a stunning garden of simplicity. Higashi Honganji Temple complex seen from the highest point in Kyoto, the observation deck at the Kyoto Tower Hotel.
Osaka.jpg (107039 bytes) Osaka Train Station.jpg (137430 bytes) Katsura Villa Garden.jpg (139387 bytes)
Osaka, the quintessential megatropolis, is populated by 9 million people. Even from the vantage point of an airplane, Osaka struck me as a vast, expansive city.  One of Osaka's main stations where high-speed bullet trains, local trains, express trains, and subways pass through. Japan is a train society. The Katsura Imperial Villa garden located in southwestern Kyoto. The palace and garden were constructed in the 17th century.
Osaka Castle 2.jpg (207400 bytes) Cenotaph.jpg (120110 bytes) Ryoanji Lantern and Water Feature.jpg (295663 bytes)
Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi first built Osaka Castle from 1583 to 1615, and it was the military, political, and cultural center of the Kansai region. In Hiroshima,  the A Bomb Cenotaph, which memorializes over 100,000 dead. Inscription on stone coffin inside reads: Let all the souls here rest in peace; For we shall not repeat the evil. At Ryoanji Temple, a stone and bamboo water feature makes a trickling noise beside a stone forest lantern.
Byodoin Lotus Pond.jpg (145523 bytes) Ginkakuji Master Gardeners.jpg (217874 bytes)
The moon dome and raked rock gravel garden at the Silver Pavilion, also known as Ginkakuji Temple. Tourists enjoy a respite near the Lotus Blossom pond behind Byodoin Temple, a National Treasure. At the Silver Pavilion Temple, a crew of master gardeners care for and prune a variety of plant specimens.
Kyoto McDonald's.jpg (152955 bytes) Gion Geisha Dancers.jpg (142292 bytes) Buddhist Vegetarian Food.jpg (105008 bytes)
Along with the Big Mac McDonald's offers Teriyaki Burgers and other Japanese cuisine like squid and sushi. It is rare to see Geishas in public. Here, two of Gion, Kyoto's proud artisans perform traditional dance. Vegetarian food prepared by Zen Buddhist monks that consists of sesame bean curd, tofu, seaweed, and wheat gluten.
Nijo Castle Map.jpg (182289 bytes) Nijo Castle Guard House.jpg (127236 bytes) Nijo Ninomaru Palace.jpg (109327 bytes)
On display at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, a diorama shows the main palace buildings, the gardens, and the inner and outer moats. A corner guard house watches over the moat at Nijo Castle. During the 17th century, samurai warriors staffed the house in defense of the Shogun. Nijo Castle's Ninomaru Palace, which consists of five inner buildings that led visitors ever deeper into the Shogun's domain, the final building being his private residence.
Silver Pavilion Schoolgirls.jpg (178001 bytes) Ginkakuji Garden.jpg (188940 bytes) Buddha Temple.jpg (206420 bytes)
A group of schoolgirls gather for a photograph in front of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa's 15th century retirement villa, the Silver Pavilion. At the Silver Pavilion, half the garden is traditional evergreen plants that surround a pond, shown here. The other half is a Zen raked gravel garden. A temple room of worship includes candles, incense, scripture cards, and a golden seated Buddha.
Nanzenji Gate Structure.jpg (157493 bytes) Nanzenji Gate.jpg (134516 bytes) Todaiji Porch.jpg (157232 bytes)
This is the upper terrace of the Sanmon, or Mountain Gate, at Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto. It was rebuilt in 1626 and is one of the three largest in Japan. Another look at the fine polished wood veranda that is part of the Sanmon Nanzenji gate structure. The front porch of the great Dabutsuden building at Todaiji Temple. It was rebuilt in 1692 and is the largest wooden building in the world.
Todaiji Incense Caldron.jpg (140959 bytes) Todaiji Statue 3.jpg (215076 bytes) Todaiji Heads.jpg (137100 bytes)
Closeup of incense caldron located on the front porch of Nara's Todaiji Temple. Closeup of one of two 15 ft. tall wood carved statues located inside the great Daibutsuden building at Todaiji Temple. Two large 13th century wooden carved heads on display inside the Daibutsuden at Todaiji Temple.
Gion Maiko.jpg (149343 bytes) Gion Maiko 2.jpg (137233 bytes) Little Princess.jpg (160814 bytes)
A maiko, or Geisha in training, strolls down a lane of Geisha tea houses in Gion, Kyoto. The Maiko, in photo at left, graciously posed for me while I took her photograph. A pretty young girl dressed in her special occasion kimono waits for her parents.
Wedding Party.jpg (149029 bytes) Fushimi Inari Tunnel.jpg (156626 bytes) Fushimi Inari Fox.jpg (147417 bytes)
A groom and bride, dressed in traditional costume, surrounded by family members. Fushimi Inari Shrine, founded in Kyoto in 711, was dedicated to the Goddess of Rice. Two stone foxes flank a tunnel lined with 10,000 torii gates that wind to the top of a mountain. Merchants and businesses of Japan pray for prosperity at Fushimi Inari Shrine. Foxes depicted at the Shinto Shrine are considered messengers of the Gods.
Fushimi Inari Torii Gates.jpg (107775 bytes) Fushimi Inari Path.jpg (149202 bytes) Fushimi Inari Forest.jpg (113530 bytes)
At Fushimi Inari Shrine, each torii gate is sponsored by a business or family. If you looked hard, I'm sure you would find Mr. Sony's name.  At Fushimi Inari Shrine, two paths converge high on a mountainside overlooking Kyoto. At Fushimi Inari Shrine, a break in the torii tunnel reveals the lush, surrounding forest.
Fushimi Torii Gates.jpg (115253 bytes) Fushimi Stone Foxes.jpg (151618 bytes) Fushimi Tunnel.jpg (109697 bytes)
Some of the Fushimi Inari Shrine torii gates are quite massive, which must have taken a considerable sum to sponsor. Two stone Fushimi Inari foxes stand watch over the solitary path that traverses up the mountain. At Fushimi Inari, one section of small torii gates crowd so close together it seems like a dark coal mine shaft.
Fushimi Twin Paths.jpg (138860 bytes) Fushimi Inari Main Torii.jpg (143892 bytes) Fushimi Stone Torii Gates.jpg (134816 bytes)
High on the mountain at Fushimi Inari Shrine, one path diverges into two, which causes one to ponder which do I take? Low on the mountain, I came across a torii gate that may be the largest one at the Fushimi Inari Shrine. At Fushimi Inari Shrine, these torii gates early on the trail are made of stone, not wood.
Gion House.jpg (119145 bytes) House Excavation.jpg (146136 bytes) Backhoe Excavator.jpg (121493 bytes)
A residential home in amongst the Geisha tea houses in the famous Gion District in Kyoto. A small lot in suburban Kyoto is excavated to prepare for house foundation footings. A closeup of a miniature Japanese backhoe used for residential excavation.
House Construction.jpg (133701 bytes) Streetcorner Shop.jpg (123463 bytes) Asahi Beer Machine.jpg (133275 bytes)
Post and beam skeleton typical of Japanese house construction. A street corner shop fronted by an array of vending machines. Closeup of Asahi Beer vending machine, shown in the photo on the left.


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Copyright 2003 by Daniel L. Hagerman. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Jan 2009 14:02:00 -0500 .