Saturday, 29 January 2011

Osaka, Nara and Kyoto

Osaka: 'America Village' topped by the Statue of Liberty, a weird corruption of the US fashion world beloved by Japanese youth and a great place to people watch. Dotombori, middle and left, bustling shopping arcades on canals with the kind of girls wearing the kind of clothes that leave you with eye and neck strain.

"Is Buddhism for me?" A wild deer of Nara, the original Japanese capital, visits one of the many temples.

Todai-ji temple in Nara-koen, a hugely impressive temple with a huge and impressive Buddha even for someone who has seen a lot of temples and Buddhas. Apparently the biggest wooden building and the biggest bronze Buddha in the world.

The very tame but still wild deer of Nara are all over the city, hassling children for crackers and knocking over the elderly.

Water for purification at the entrance to all Buddhist temples.

Kyoto: A geisha, whether genuine or model, in the ancient geisha district of Gion. There are fewer than 100 in the city and 1000 in Japan.

The cobbled streets of Higashiyama, in Kyoto, are lined with original wooden latticed Japanese homes and restaurants and walked by women in kimonos and wooden sandals, the only giveaway of the current year being the cables and the cameras.

Kyoto: Japanese lanterns and characters are now noticeably different from their Chinese cousins.

Kyoto: A bamboo forest in the hills above the city. I walked through a deserted temple and up here for a great view across the city to the mountains opposite, surrounded by family shrines and undisturbed by the people below.

Trinkets left at the shrines above the city.

The Ryōzen Kannon memorial in Kyoto commemorating the Japanese soldiers who died during WWII, seen through a metal grate as it was closed.

Sun setting over Kyoto with the silhouette of the Kyoto Tower on the left, my landmark for finding my way back to the hostel without a map after a long day of exploring.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice photos!It shows the mix culture of Japan: adopted modern culture, well-preserved tradition, bustle and peaceful. Mysterious as it is always. It is Japan.
    Your blog reqiures your more words, thoughts. Watch less How I Met Your Mother!