jessicaek.typepad.com > Japan

Kimono

Kimono

This Edo period kimono is decorated based on a scene from the Tale of Genji.


Scroll

Scroll

This Japanese scroll, as I recall, was a comedy.


Samurai Armor

Samurai Armor

This armor dates back to the 15th century, Muromachi period. It is of the domaru type with black leather lacing in katatsumadori style.


Buddha

Buddha

The first of many Buddhas we saw on our trip.


Statues

Statues

I believe these are some of the twelve heavenly generals. They are protective deities in Buddhism. These statues date back to the 13th century.


Samurai Sword

Samurai Sword

We saw many spectacular swords by some of the greatest swordsmiths. I wish I could tell you exactly which one of them this was, but all the swords look very similar to me. They took many months to make and it is amazing that they were made in the 10-14 centuries yet they still look flawless.


Tokyo

Tokyo

We went to the top of the TMG Builing to see an aerial view of the city. The city is huge and seemed to go as far as the eye could see in every direction.


Sushi Bar

Sushi Bar

We went to the fish market in Tokyo and had a sushi breakfast.


Fish Market

Fish Market

The market was chaotic and, if you weren't careful, you could be run over by these little trucks.


Jarred Goodies

Jarred Goodies

Most meals included little bits of seasoned something or pickled something or other. Many stores had these items for sale with free samples. Some of these were very good but many were not identifiable.


Hot Pot

Hot Pot

This was part of our meal at the guesthouse we stayed at in Hakone.


Squid

Squid

This is me with a grilled squid on a leaf. It was also a dish at the guesthouse dinner.


Breakfast

Breakfast

This was the last Japanese breakfast we had on the trip. It was good, but not what I'm used to first thing in the morning. After that, we went to the grocery store to get yogurt, cereal, juice, and fruit for breakfast.


Okinomiyaki

Okinomiyaki

This guy is making us what is sometimes called a Japanese pizza. It is made of flour, egg, cabbage, and spices then topped with whatever you would like. It's delicious.


Noodles

Noodles

These attractive bundles of noodles were for sale at a Japanese market.


Toji Market

Toji Market

The flea market was at the base of a five story pagoda and is held once a month.


Bird

Bird


School Kids

School Kids

This group had an assignment for English class that we were able to help with.


Yellow Tree

Yellow Tree

We went at the perfect time of year for all the leaves turning color in Kyoto.


Kyudo

Kyudo

We were very fortunate to have a chance to watch this form of zen archery. It is full of slow, deliberate movements and incredible accuracy.


Setting Up

Setting Up

They would come out in groups and then get the first arrow ready, then one by one shoot. It was a carefully orchestrated dance.


Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony

We also were thrilled to be able to attend a tea ceremony. The ceremony is also a zen art and each movement is filled with purpose and meaning. This was just a light tea but the full ceremony with a heavy tea can take up to four hours!


Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion

The golden pavilion is a zen temple covered in gold leaf.


Kinkakuji

Kinkakuji

Almost everywhere you go in the garden, the gold temple stands out.


Samples

Samples

This platter of free samples was at the Nishiki Food Market.


First Glimpse of a Geisha

First Glimpse of a Geisha

We tried to see actual geisha in the Gion district multiple evenings but were unsuccessful. Fortunately, there were many people getting dressed up as geisha during the day.


Geisha Style

Geisha Style

The white paint goes on the face and part of the back, but a spot at the nape of the neck is left unpainted. This is supposed to be an alluring glimpse of what lies beneath all the makeup.


Tourist Geisha

Tourist Geisha

She was posing for pictures, so I was happy to oblige.


Another Tourist Geisha

Another Tourist Geisha


Hatagaya

Hatagaya

We were in a throng headed up the hill, through the Hatagaya area.


Ramen

Ramen

Actual ramen does not come in packets. These noodles were cooked then rinsed in cold water. Then, you would dip them into the soup to warm them before eating. It was delicious.


Gaining Wisdom

Gaining Wisdom

If you let the smoke from the incense wash over your head, you will become wise. Chris is lighting some incense before entering the temple.


Merchant's House

Merchant's House

This house in Nara was designed to stay cool in the summer, so rooms with rice paper walls open into a garden courtyard to improve the lighting and circulation.


Kofukuji

Kofukuji

This temple originally dated back to the 8th century and was built when Nara was the capital of Japan.


Arashiyama bridge

Arashiyama bridge

This bridge was originally built during the Heian Period (794-1185) and most recently reconstructed in the 1930s.


Monks Begging for Alms

Monks Begging for Alms

The community is supposed to provide for the monks physically (through food and monetary donations) and the monks in turn provide for the community spiritually. They wear hats making it harder for people to see their faces and for them to see the faces of others. That way there is no giver or receiver, but just the pure ceremony of giving and receiving.


Katsura Villa View

Katsura Villa View

This tea house looks over part of the Katsura gardens.


Sake Offerings

Sake Offerings

These large barrels of sake were offerings made to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.


Mother and Child

Mother and Child

There was a 3, 5, 7 festival where parents brought their 3 and 7 year old daughters and 5 year old sons to be blessed at the shrine. It's a time to dress up and wear kimonos.


Father and Daughter

Father and Daughter

This father and daughter were at the Meiji shrine in Tokyo.


Little Girl in Kimono

Little Girl in Kimono

She was posing in a very colorful floral kimono.


Shinto Wedding

Shinto Wedding

This wedding procession came by at the Meiji Shrine. The red umbrella is supposed to keep away evil spirits and the white hood the bride wears is supposed to hide the horns that start to grow from a wife's head.


Contributions

Contributions

People who give money toward the upkeep of a temple or shrine are often given recognition through these wooden signs.


47 Ronin

47 Ronin

There was a lord who was insulted. When he tried to avenge himself, the lord who had insulted him was nowhere to be found. Being unable to avenge his honor, he committed ritual suicide. His samurai, hunted down the other lord and brought back his head. Then, they all committed suicide. It's a strange, sad, true story. We went to the Tokyo temple where they were buried.


Ronin Grave Stones

Ronin Grave Stones

It was a peaceful place and barely anyone else was there.


Ryokan

Ryokan

This is our Japanese style room at the guest house in Hakone.


River View

River View

This was the view from our balcony hot tub, looking down at the river.


Tea Time

Tea Time

We enjoyed tea while relaxing in the hot tub.


Hakone

Hakone

This is looking out the window of our room in Hakone. It was a very relaxing stop and we enjoyed it completely.


Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji

It was a gorgeous day when we went up the rope car to see Mt Fuji.


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