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Japan 6 Photographs

Ako City school children out on a field trip dressed in their color coordinated school uniforms. 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 altar. A Daigoji Temple gate guardian. One of a pair that have been guarding the temple for almost a thousand years. This Daigoji Temple gate guardian was sculpted from wood in 1135.
Daitokuji Temple 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 City. 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. Public Buddhist 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 complex.
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 Company. 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 century. 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 Station.
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 7th century. This Kondo Main Hall at Horyuji Temple dates to 680 and is the undisputed oldest wood structure in the world. 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 budding engineer. Japanese family cemetery plots near Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto. Most graves are repositories for the decedent's ashes. 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 and seats. 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 mat floors.

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 with play.

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 period. 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 century. 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 irreplaceable treasure.

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.

 

Japan 6

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Copyright 2003 by Daniel L. Hagerman. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Jan 2009 14:01:56 -0500 .