Hawaii Big Island
Japan 5 Photographs
|A stone and raked
gravel garden at Tofukuji, a Zen temple founded in 1236.
shapes are raked into the gravel by monks at Tofukuji Temple.
||At Tofukuji Temple,
moss grows around stones placed in a checker board design.
|The main Zen
courtyard at Tofukuji Temple. A stone garden is at one end, a moss
garden at the other.
||Tea houses that
promote the Geisha arts line the streets of the Gion District of Kyoto.
Geisha tea houses in Gion, Kyoto. Affluent corporate clients are patrons of
the Geisha arts.
|A Geisha tea house in
the Gion District. Geisha live and entertain in the house.
||A serene Buddha
encountered in a Kamakura temple garden.
||On Enoshima Island, Stone
statues are tended by women who memorialize deceased fetuses and babies.
|A stone Jizo memorial
court on a mountain top on Enoshima Island near Tokyo.
stand watch over a temple garden near Kamakura on Japan's east coast.
||The Great Kamakura
Buddha, one of the largest in the world, weighs 275,000 lbs. In the 13th century a tidal
wave washed a building that surrounded it away.
|On the outskirts of
Kyoto, a rural neighborhood deity watches over a pond, which is on the right.
||A closeup of the
Great Buddha of Kamakura, cast in bronze in 1252 and nearly 44 ft. in
||A Jidai Matsuri
festival participant wears makeup and dress in the style of a 12th
|In northern Kyoto, a temple building on the grounds of
the Ninnaji Temple complex.
||A red bell tower on the grounds of Ninnaji Temple, which was founded in
||A five-storied pagoda
rises out of a forest of Omuro cherry trees at Ninnaji Temple.
|The Ninnaji Temple
Shinden Hall overlooks the compound's main garden area.
||An ancient warrior
Kannon guards the main gate at the Ninnaji Temple complex.
||A carved wooden
Kannon, 15 ft. in height, wields a calligrapher's brush inside Nara's
Temple, one of two 10 ft. tall Buddhas that flank the nearly 50 ft. Great Daibutsu Buddha.
||At nearly 50 ft. in
height, the Great Daibutsu Buddha, which dates to 8th century, resides
inside Todaiji Temple in Nara.
Todaiji's front porch, people rub a Buddhist Kannon and pray
for good luck in their lives.
|The famous Zen
15-rock and raked gravel garden at the Ryoanji Temple, founded in 1450.
handout, Koi fish swim to the edge of a temple pond.
||The Gold Pavilion Zen
Temple dates to 1397. Its two upper stories are gilded with 106 lbs. of
|An overview of the
Nigatsudo Hall temple complex in Nara, Japan's first capital.
||In Nara, two
craftsmen build a gate and wall topped with heavy tiles.
||In Nara, a couple
stroll down a lane behind the great Todaiji Temple.
|Byodoin Temple, on
the 10 yen coin, is a National Treasure built in the 10th century.
||Byodoin Temple houses
a 10 ft. seated Amida Buddha, the oldest door paintings in Japan, the
best temple bell in Japan, and a pair of roof phoenixes, all National
||From the rear of the
Gold Pavilion, a closeup view of the first floor that is
constructed in Heian era Noble style and the second floor, in samurai
|The top floor of the
Gold Pavilion, which is constructed in Zen style, shows the 3.7 ft. bronze phoenix, which is also plated
||In Nara, the Kofukuji
pagoda which dates to 1426 is located near Sarusawa Pond, a serene place
for citizens to congregate and relax.
||In Nara, the Kofukuji
Temple five storied pagoda dates to 1426 and is a replica of an 8th
century pagoda. It is the second tallest in Japan at 162 ft.
|Ginkakuji Temple, or
Silver Pavilion, was built in 1473 as the Shogun's residence. It was
never faced with silver, as planned.
||Ingenious way to
solve the parking problem in crowded Japan. Also, in general, vehicles
are half the size of American cars and trucks.
||Peering through Nijo
Castle's main gate at the Ninomaru Palace. Built in 1603 in Kyoto, Nijo
Castle served as the Shogun's imperial stronghold.
Japan, a street of typical mom and pop shops that sell a wide range of
||Massive temple gate
allows access through the wall to Higashi Honganji Temple in central
||The Higashi Honganji
Gate, in the photo on left, from the main courtyard area.
|A Heian Shrine gate.
Built in 1895, the shrine commem- orated 1,100 years since Kyoto was
founded as the ancient capital of Japan.
||At Nara, ancient
lanterns line a stonework lane that traverses a forested park.
||Boeing 747 that I
disembarked from in Tokyo. Although it looked cool and rainy, shockingly
I found the weather like a hot, humid sauna.
|Interior of a
Japanese Buddhist vegetarian restaurant. Western people have difficulty
eating while sitting on zabuton cushions.
||A DyDo soft drink
vending machine with interesting Japenglish sales pitches on the front.
These machines are everywhere.
||The Kyoto Tower Hotel
is the tallest point in the city. I took most of the Kyoto panorama
photos in these galleries from here.
|Toji Temple complex dates to the
8th century. This Kondo building dates to 1603, but the original on this
site dated to 796.
||Toji Kondo Hall and main courtyard
as seen through the main entrance gate. Toji is home to Japan's tallest
||An ancient three-storied pagoda
located at the Kiyomizu Temple complex in the foothills of eastern Kyoto.
|At the Heian Gardens, this tree
exemplifies Japanese pruning techniques that give it a
gnarled, tortured look.
||Another view of Shogun Ieyasu
Tokugawa's Nijo Castle Garden. The pond is a masterpiece of medieval
Japanese garden architecture.
||At the Nijo Castle Garden a waterfall
bubbles forth from the stones on the right, and colorful
Koi fish swim in the pond.
|At Nara, the oldest capital,
two lion-dogs that flank a stone torii gate repel evil on a trail that leads toward a temple complex.
||A stone and sphere on temple
grounds with no indication of when it was created, or who sculpted it.
||Kyoto is surrounded on three sides
by mountains, which are a haven for scores of temple buildings similar to this
one at Manpukuji Temple.
watermelons are round and expensive. These range from $12.50 to $19,
depending on the size.
||The right wing of the Heian
Shrine, which was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100th year since
Kyoto was first designated a capital city.
||Main central building of the Heian
Jingu Shrine. Two wings extend from this building, the right one is
shown on the left.
|On each side of Todaiji Temple's
Great Daibutsu Buddha there are a pair of golden Bodhisattvas. This one is
in the left most position.
||Horyuji Temple's pagoda is one of
the world's oldest wooden structures built without nails in the 7th
century. Its copper spire alone weighs three tons.
||The world's oldest wooden
buildings reside at Horyuji Temple. It was designated a World Heritage
Site and houses nearly 1,800 National Treasures.
|The octagonal Yumedono, or Dream
Hall, at Horyuji Temple dates to the 8th century when Japan's rulers
governed from Nara and inaugurated it as Japan's first capital.
||Completed in 680, the Main Kondo
Hall at Horyuji Temple is the oldest wood structure in the world. All
Horyuji buildings are constructed with Hinoki wood, also known as Japanese
||The Goju-no-to, or five storied
pagoda, at Horyuji Temple is the world's oldest, built
in the late 7th century or possibly a century earlier. A core
sample from the Hinoki heart post that runs through the center indicates
the tree was felled in 594.
|Kinkakuji Temple's Zen-style third floor peeks through the
tree canopy on a gorgeous fall day.
||Two Ninnaji Temple Gates, one
on the left an inner garden gate, on the right a multi-story
main complex gate.
||Life-size Zen Buddhist deities
sculpted around the 10th century on
display at Toji Temple in Kyoto.
|A diorama of Manpukuji Temple
shows the expansive complex, and the central spine with symmetrical
construction on either side.
||The main gate at Manpukuji Temple
exemplifies Buddhist Zen architecture.
||A close-up of life-size Zen
Buddhist deity on display at Toji Temple that is approximately 1,000 years
Buddhist deity on display at Toji Temple that is approximately 1,000 year
old National Treasure.
||A close-up of life-size Zen
Buddhist deity holding a dragon in a bowl on display at Toji Temple.
||A happy, well-fed Buddha greets
worshipers at Toji Temple in Kyoto.
|The main Kondo Hall, built in
1603, amongst the trees on the grounds of Toji Temple in Kyoto, founded in
the 8th century.
||A detail of the first floor of the
famous Toji Temple pagoda, built first in 826, rebuilt in 1644, and the
tallest in Japan at 187 ft.
||Side view and eave structure of
the Kondo Hall at Toji Temple which was built first in 796 and rebuilt in
1603 in the Momoyama Period style.
|Downtown Nara, Japan, with the
Kintetsu Railway Station on the left side of the photograph.
||A close-up of the Kofukuji Temple
pagoda located in Nara, which was constructed in 1426.
||The Kofukuji pagoda and spire rise
above the trees that surround Sarusawa Pond in Nara.
|The Toji Temple Kodo, or Lecture
Hall, dates to 1596 and houses the 21 National Treasure life-size Buddhist
deities, some shown in photos above.
||At Toji Temple, a close-up of the
Kondo Hall. Rebuilt in 1603, it is the largest building at Toji and is
designated a National Treasure.
||At Ryoanji Temple, the Hojo, or
Abbot's Quarters, is the largest building at the complex. Its six tatami
mat rooms open onto a wide veranda, parts of which overlook the famous
rock and raked gravel garden.
|In October, over 2,000 celebrants
of Kyoto's Jidai Matsuri Festival model dress from the 8th to 19th
||A woman dressed in a billowy
kimono from ancient Kyoto times marches in the Jidai Matsuri parade.
||The bygone days of when Kyoto was
the capital of Japan are celebrated during the Jidai Matsuri Festival.
|Two women wear costumes that
represent different eras during the Jidai Matsuri Festival.
||The Jidai Matsuri began in 1895,
the 1,100th anniversary of the transfer of the capital to Kyoto.
||The Jidai Matsuri is also known as
the Festival of the Ages because celebrants dress in the garb of ancient
|During the Gion Matsuri parade
every July 17th, 31 colorful floats traverse downtown Kyoto. The festival dates to
||It takes a lot of men to pull a
five- to 12-ton float through the streets, especially when it is time to
turn a corner.
||A close-up of one of the 31 floats
that are pulled through the streets of Kyoto during the Gion Matsuri
|A wide boulevard in downtown Kyoto
hosts the end of the Gion Matsuri parade.
||At the west
entrance of Kiyomizu Temple, Korean lion dogs (koma-inu) protect the
temple from any evil that may enter.
||At Kiyomizu Temple, a pair of
lion dogs flank the western Niomon Gate, which is also know as the
Benevolent King's Gate.
|A narrow lane of shops and
restaurants that winds its way up the eastern foothills to Kiyomizu
||Four inch platform pokkuri shoes
worn by apprentice Geisha, or maiko, in Kyoto.
||A master craftsman weaves silk
that will be sewn into kimonos.
|Ornamental fans on display at one
of Kyoto's fine museums.
||Ornamental Dolls on display at one
of Kyoto's fine museums.
|The Great Nandaimon Gate, which
was built in 1199, is the main entrance to the Todaiji Temple complex in
|Todaiji Temple's 800-year-old Nandaimon Gate.
Notice the free roaming Nara deer in the opening at the left.
||Near Kyoto Station, the Isetan
Department Store basement food court is a great place to eat.
|Off a narrow street in downtown
Kyoto, the Tenmangu Shinto Shrine.
|The great lantern in the courtyard
of Higashi Honganji Temple in downtown Kyoto.
||The veranda of the main temple
building at Higashi Honganji Temple in Kyoto.
||Looking back the other direction
from the photo on the left at Higashi Honganji Temple courtyard.
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