Hawaii Big Island
Japan 6 Photographs
|Ako City school
children out on a field trip dressed in their color coordinated school
||A three meter Buddhist
Statue glows atop a building in Joyo City that sells Buddhist iconography.
||I was tempted, but I
decided to forgo this gigantic $35 crazy big parfait.
|The Daigoiji Temple
five story pagoda was built in 951 and is the oldest structure in Kyoto.
||Daigoji Temple is a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pagoda is a National Treasure.
||A diorama of the
Daigoji Temple complex. The pagoda is mid way up at the right of center.
|A reclining golden
Bodhisattva in repose at Daigoji Temple is the centerpiece of a Buddhist
||A Daigoji Temple gate
guardian. One of a pair that have been guarding the temple for almost a
||This Daigoji Temple
gate guardian was sculpted from wood in 1135.
Buddhist altar. It is located in Kyoto and one of the largest Zen Temples in
Japan. Founded in 1319.
||Daitokuji Temple gate.
Founded in the 14th century, Daitokuji hosts 24 sub temples, which makes it
quite large and resembles a village.
||A stone walk within the
grounds of Daitokuji Temple complex.
|A Daitokuji Temple
stone walk lined with Maple Trees, moss, and temple walls.
||A tortured pine tree
which appears to have been lovingly tended to by expert arborists on the
Daitokuji Temple grounds.
||A deadly Fugu Blowfish.
Chefs must be licensed by the state to prepare this fish for consumption. If
an error is made, the diner dies.
|Japan is an electric
train society. This photo depicts the train line between Kobe and Kyoto.
||The east Kongo Rikishi
gate guardian at Horyuji Temple in Nara was sculpted in 711 and is one of a
pair and the oldest in Japan.
||The west Horyuji Temple
Kongo Rikishi gate guardian was sculpted from wood in 711.
|Kokoen's Garden of the
Lord's House is a reproduction of a 16th century Edo period garden in Himeji
||Kokoen's Garden of the
Lord's House pond is full of expensive pond fish that the Japanese call Koi.
||Himeji City's Kokoen
Tea House Ceremony Garden.
|The Garden of the
Lord's House at the Kokoen Garden complex in Himeji City.
||The Pine Garden at the
Kokoen Garden complex in Himeji City.
||The Flat Garden at the
Kokoen Garden complex in Himeji City.
|The large Orb Weaving
Spider, which is common throughout the forested Kyoto area. They spin
huge symmetrical webs.
iconography above the entrance to a building in Joyo City, Japan.
||Myoshinji Temple was
founded in 1337 in north Kyoto and is home to over 40 sub temples.
|A small Zen rock and
raked gravel garden at Taizoin Temple in the Myoshinji Temple complex.
||A Myoshinji Temple Lion
Dog guardian serves to ward away any evil.
||Another view of the Zen
rock and raked gravel garden at Taizoin Temple in the Myoshinji Temple
|The Taizoin Tea Garden
was constructed in 1402 and is part of the Myoshinji Temple complex.
||A mother deity tends to
her offspring in a Jizo statue alcove in the Myoshinji Temple complex.
||Phoenix Bird Buddhist
iconography atop a building in Joyo City.
|Ryogenin Temple in
Kyoto is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple. This rock and gravel Zen garden
dates to 1504.
||A poster showing three
iterations of Shinkansen Bullet trains hangs in Himeji Train Station.
||A western toilet with
sink, heated seat, deoderizer, and bidet.
|Closeup of toilet
control console. Most toilet appliances are manufactured by the hi tech Toto
||The eight sided hall at
Yakushiji Temple in Nara, which was founded in the late 7th century.
||The Main Hall and two
pagodas of Yakushiji Temple. The pagoda on the left is original and dates to
the 7th century.
|Detail of roof tiles
and gargoyle face at Yakushiji Temple complex, one of the oldest in Japan.
||Himeji Castle dates to
1346 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Japan National Treasure.
||The Nanzenji Temple
Gate is the largest in Japan and dates to 1626.
|The Yakushiji Temple
Main Hall was rebuilt in 1976, but has roots that go back to the 7th
||The train yard and
boarding platforms behind Kyoto's main train station.
||A plastic food display
of a Lunch special in the Porta underground shopping center near Kyoto
|On display in Kyoto is
a $700 box of Matsutake Mushrooms. And it's not a very large box either!
||At the Daitokuji Zen
Temple complex, this Ryogenin rock garden dates to the early 16th century.
||Ginkakuji Temple in
eastern Kyoto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates to 1460.
|The gravel berm and background
gardens at Ginkakuji Temple in eastern Kyoto. The berm is 2 feet high and
covers one and three quarter acres.
||Another view of the Ginshaden, or
Sea of Silver Sand, at Ginkakuji Temple.
||The two meter tall Kogetsudai, or
moonlight reflection dome, at Ginkakuji Temple. It is said to illuminate the
garden during moonlit nights.
|Himeji Castle, also known as the
White Heron Castle, was relatively untouched during the middle ages when
most Japanese Castles were destroyed.
||You have to traverse a veritable
labyrinth to get to the main tower of Himeji Castle. It was heavily
fortified and defended.
||View overlooking Himeji City from
the top sixth floor of Himeji Castle's main tower.
|The pagoda and main hall at
Horyuji Temple are the oldest wooden structures in the world and date to the
||This Kondo Main Hall at Horyuji
Temple dates to 680 and is the undisputed oldest wood structure in the
||Approach to Nara's Horyuji Temple
complex, the oldest temple in Japan.
|Closeup of Horyuji Temple's Main
Gate. If you look closely, you can see the Rikishi Kongo gate guardians that
flank each side, which were sculpted in the early 8th century.
||Gargoyles and lion dogs designed
to ward off evil adorn gates and temple roofs at Horyuji Temple in Nara.
||A closeup of the bottom floors of
Horyuji Temple's five story pagoda, the oldest wooden pagoda in the world.
|An expressway interchange south of
Kyoto. Japanese infrastructure is impressive and likely to delight any
||Japanese family cemetery plots
near Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto. Most graves are repositories for the
||Near the Daitokuji Temple
cemetery, a tsukubai water basin and mother deity statue.
|A Japanese taxi cab is expensive,
but it is a first class way to see the sights. Notice the white gloves he is
wearing and what looks like your grandmother's doilies over the headrests
||The Kokoen Tea Ceremony Garden
exhibits the meticulous pruning that master gardeners undertake to best show
the plant and tree specimens.
||The moss and Maple Tree viewing
garden at Kotoin Temple, which was constructed in 1603. Kotoin is a sub
temple of Daitokuji Temple.
|The dark and serene interior of
the Zen temple Kotoin in northern Kyoto, which is known for its tea houses.
||Sunlight pierces the dense canopy
of Maple Trees that line the stone walk at Kotoin Temple that dates to the
early 17th century.
||A lush view of Kotoin Garden
plants through shoji screen doors from within a building covered with tatami
|A small interior garden between
temple buildings in the inner recesses of Kotoin Temple in northern Kyoto.
||Looking east at the main lobby of
Kyoto Train Station.
||Looking west at the main lobby of
Kyoto Train Station.
|An older style Express Train
parked at the boarding platform at Kyoto Station.
||Ryogenin's rock and moss garden is
the foremost representation of Zen beauty and simplicity.
||Twin Chinese boys wait for the
train at Kyoto Station.
|In Japan, tiny automobiles require
a small garage to park them in. You have to be a very good driver.
||If you have the idea that Japan is
a poor third world nation, then you would be mistaken. It is a very
sophisticated, affluent country.
||Sora-chan who is four months old
and Takumi-chan who is three take a well deserved nap after a morning filled
|A residential neighborhood street
at night in Joyo City south of Kyoto.
||Commuters riding a train that has
just left Kyoto Station bound south towards Nara.
|| A noodle restaurant just outside the
entrance to the Joyo City Train Station.
|The Porta is a massive underground
shopping and dining center that is near Kyoto's main train station.
||Daigoji Temple pagoda spire detail
showing the nine ring decoration, the water flame, and the sacred jewel
ornament. The pagoda dates to 951 and is the oldest in Kyoto.
||The Daigoji Temple pagoda in Kyoto
dates to 951 and is the oldest structure in Kyoto.
|The 12th century Daigoji Temple
Kongo Rikishi gate guardian. They come in pairs. One has his mouth open and
the other has his mouth closed.
||The Daigoji Kongo Rikishi in place
at their gate posts for almost a thousand years. You pass between them as
you enter the temple complex.
||Deluxe Shrimp Sushi harvested off
a conveyor belt at a Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant. As it moves by, you see
what you want and grab it.
|The Sushi Chef prepares numerous
sushi entrees and places them on the conveyor belt for customers to peruse.
||In the Conveyor Belt Sushi
Restaurant, customers drink beer and tea and eat a variety of Sushi entrees.
||The Yumedono eight sided Dream
Pavilion at Horyuji Temple was constructed in 739 and is one of the oldest
wood structures in the world.
|Himeji City's Kokoen Lord's House
Garden is an exact replica of what was here during the 17th century Edo
||The Horyuji Temple Main Hall and
Pagoda are two of the oldest wooden buildings in the world.
||Detail of construction of the
Kondo Main Hall at Horyuji Temple, which was completed in 680.
|The Asuka Period 7th century was
an age of mysticism. Gargoyle roof tiles at Horyuji Temple were incorporated
into construction to ward off evil spirits.
||Detail of Horyuji Temple's
Yumedono roof ornament consisting of a lotus flower, a sacred vase, a canopy
and a sacred gem. The ogre faced tiles are original and date to the 8th
||This Horyuji Temple Bell Tower is
a National Treasure that dates to the 8th century. It is located in the
eastern precinct of the temple complex.
|The east pagoda at Yakushiji
Temple in Nara is original and is the only architecture from the 7th century
Hakuoh period in Japan to survive.
||Detail of Yakushiji Temple's east
pagoda. It appears to be a five story pagoda, but it is a cleverly disguised
true three story pagoda.
||Detail of Yakushiji's west pagoda,
which is new construction as the original burned down.
|A Diorama of the Himeji Castle
compound. You can clearly see the intricacy and labyrinthine detail that
went into the castle area design.
||This gate style door leads to the
main Tower of Himeji Castle, which was the safest place for the feudal Lord
to defend during Japan's middle ages.
|Himeji Castle, completed in the
16th century, is the finest example of feudal castles in Japan. It is an
|Samurai battle armor on display
inside the main tower of Himeji Castle. As you can see, the samurai was a
small, but fierce warrior.
||Zuihoin Zen Garden was constructed
in 1582 during the Muromachi Period. It is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple
in north Kyoto.
|This main Ryogenin Rock Garden was
constructed in 1504 and is attributed to the great garden designer, Soami.
It is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple.
|Zuihoin Temple is a sub temple of
Daitokuji Temple. This rock garden demonstrates Zen simplicity and beauty.
||A small tea house and dry Zen
garden within the confines of Zuihoin Temple in northern Kyoto.
||Another view looking back the
other direction of the small Zuihoin Temple Karesansui dry garden.
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