Hawaii Big Island
Japan 3 Photographs
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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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
||The Japanese revere nature,
so they have lovingly tended to this tree by installing numerous supports under its
weighty, overextended branches.
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
typically skirt the outside of traditional buildings and allow occupants
to view nature from a comfortable exterior place.
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.
|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.
|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.
|The Byodoin Temple
showing one winged corridor, which protrudes from the left of the main
||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.
|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.
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.
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
|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.
|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.
|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.
traditional style, sitting on a zabuton cushion.
|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.
Temple complex seen from the highest point in Kyoto, the observation
deck at the
Kyoto Tower Hotel.
|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.
Toyotomi first built Osaka Castle from 1583 to 1615, and it was the
military, political, and cultural center of the Kansai region.
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
|The moon dome and
raked rock gravel garden at the Silver Pavilion, also known as Ginkakuji
||Tourists enjoy a
respite near the Lotus Blossom pond behind Byodoin Temple, a National
||At the Silver
Pavilion Temple, a crew of master gardeners care for and prune a variety
of plant specimens.
|Along with the Big
Mac McDonald's offers Teriyaki Burgers and other Japanese cuisine like squid
||It is rare to see
Geishas in public. Here, two of Gion, Kyoto's proud artisans perform
prepared by Zen Buddhist monks that consists of sesame bean curd,
tofu, seaweed, and wheat gluten.
|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.
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.
|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
|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.
|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
|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.
|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.
businesses of Japan pray for prosperity at Fushimi Inari Shrine. Foxes
depicted at the Shinto Shrine are considered messengers of the Gods.
|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
|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
||At Fushimi Inari, one
section of small torii gates crowd so close together it seems like a
dark coal mine shaft.
|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
|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.
|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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