Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Challenge...Stairs

Each image has a story. It's fun to imagine what these people are talking.
I took these pictures in Chionin Temple in Kyoto the other day.

This post is linking to Thursday Challenge. This week's theme is 'stairs'. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ruby Tuesday 2

This Ferris wheel is the landmark of the center shopping district of Umeda, Osaka. I took this picture from JR Osaka station the other day.

This post is part of Ruby Tuesday 2 and Our World Tuesday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mellow Yellow Monday

I wonder who lives behind the door. I found this paintings just in front of the apartment complex near my house. Does an artist live there?  What for?  Just to use as blinder? I have no idea. There's no hint.
Anyway, this looks fun.

This post is part of Mellow Yellow Monday. Happy Mellow Yellow Monday.


I took this picture in Gion, Kyoto in the early afternoon the other day. I suppose these kimono girls are beginner trainees to geisha , who have just started training this April, after graduating junior high school. They were on their way to the lesson of Japanese dance. For about five years every day they take various lessons regarding Japanese traditional arts such as Japanese dance, Japanese traditional song,  musical instrument, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, etc.
When their hair grow long enough to set in upright hairstyle, I'm sure they look quite different and more gorgeous. Look at the lady walking before them. She is called 'Maiko'.
To know more about maiko and geiko, please read this.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time Slip Journey

ododay I felt as if I were back to 300 years ago, like a time slip journey.

Today I had a time slip journey back to 300 years ago. This old town "Jinaimachi"looks like a movie location, but people are living and preserving these historical buildings now.

Greatly preserved historical district, "Jinaimachi" in Tondabayashi is located in the south-eastern part of Osaka Prefecture, just 30-minutes-train-ride from the center of Osaka city. About 40 old town houses still remain, which were built from the 18th to the early 20th century. The Sugiyama Family's House is only open to the public, but others aren't.

It is amazing so many traditional houses are carefully preserved and used as a residence in the area of 400 meter x 350 meter. This area has been designated as an important historical district and heritage site of Japan.

I love this historic town.  It's really an OUTDOOR museum.

 Greatly preserved historical district,
part of Osak

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Earnest Prayers

I took these pictures in front of the Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto. The pure green maple leaves against the vermilion torii gate caught my eyes. In the precincts there were lots of junior high school students who visit Kyoto for their school trips. Some of them offered earnest prayers in front of the main hall.
This is part of Ruby Tuesday 2 and Our World Tuesday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mellow Yellow Monday ...Sun Child

This 6.2-meter-statue is called 'Sun Child', which was created by Kenji Yanobe  in 2011. Now it is standing near the Hankyu Minami-Ibaraki station in Osaka.

This boy in a yellow protective suit has the sun in his right hand and is looking forward for the future with determination. It gives a big hope and dream to those who are struggling for recovery after last year's big earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

I was impressed by his strong expression even though he is hurt.

This is part of Mellow Yellow Monday.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scenic Sunday

One day in Nara Park ( Deer Park)

This is linking to Scenic Sunday.

New Record

Question time. What are these numbers? Not money.

14th    8,795
15th  17,816
16th  19,401
17th  23,242
18th  13,366
19th  18,902
today  4,819

Answer.......My pedometer shows these steps.  I overworked and overwalked this week. My new record. I know I should take care of myself, especially legs and feet. But I'm thinking of playing tennis tomorrow. I know I am crazy. But I need my time.

Friday, May 18, 2012


The Umeda Sky Building is the landmark of Osaka city.
This 40-story twin towers are connected at the top, which is the open-air observatory deck.  The half-mirror glasses that cover the building reflect the sky on their surface.

 This 173-meter open-air observatory is regarded as one of the best sunset locations in Japan.

This is part of Skywatch Friday and Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bletilla striata

Bletilla striata is popular in gardens.  The pink color is very gorgeous. I took this picture in the park. The Chinese-style terrace is a good accent of this park. It is also famous for its iris garden, so in a few weeks, I'll go again to take some iris shots.

This is linking to Floral Friday Fotos. Come and join us.

Aoi Festival

This is the report of Aoi Festival held yesterday on May 16th in Kyoto. Basically it is annually held on May 15th, but due to the heavy rain, it was postponed to the following day.
Aoi Festival, or Hollyhock Festival is the annual festival of Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. Along with the Gion Festival and the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of Ages), it is one of the three big festivals in Kyoto. Featured is a gorgeous parade in the style of the ancient Heian Court, everything in the parade is adorned with the hollyhock leaf crest, also called "aoi" _ thus the name of the festival. The parade leaves the Kyoto Imperial Palace at 10:30 in the morning. The 700-meter-long parade passes Shimogamo Shrine and heads for Kamigamo Shrine. This festival offers the opportunity to see the ancient time in Japan, so it makes a great tourist attraction.

   Nowadays, the massive procession illustrates the high regard. There are men on horseback, giant bouquets of flowers, ornately decorated ox drawn carts, and a large retinue of women in kimono accompanying the year's Saio.

this year's heroine, Saio
Traditionally, the Saio was a young female member of the imperial family who served as the high priestess of the Kamo Shrines. During festivals, the Saio performed rituals at the shrines. In the modern era, a different unmarried woman from Kyoto is selected each year to serve as Saio. She must go through purification ceremonies before the festival, and is taken through the procession on a palanquin.

I had a great time to watch the ancient time. I want to add one more thing. This parade is held without music, just quietly and solemnly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Red Gates

These two pictures are Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. It is one of the most famous Shinto shrines in Japan, which is regarded to enshrine the deities of agriculture and business. You can easily understand why this place is so popular. It is also famous for its 1,000 torii gates, as you can see in the second picture. Every time I walk through this red tunnel, I'm overwhelmed with these gates.

This is linking up with Ruby Tuesday 2 and Our World Tuesday.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rapeseed Riverbed

This is a picture of rapeseed flowers in full bloom on the riverbed near my house. Every year this season I am impressed with their strong living will. Because they are washed down every time it rains heavily, maybe more than once a month. After the rain is over, they gradually get up little by little and finally stand wth pride. I love their strength.

This is linking up with Mellow Yellow Monday. Come and enjoy others.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

                                                      Happy Mother's Day!!
                                                   This is part of Skywatch.

Friday, May 11, 2012

School Excursion

This is Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Garden located in the northern part of Kyoto city. Although today was very cold, many children came to the garden for their school excursion, from kindergarten to junior high school.
The first and second pictures show they were waiting for the next fountain to come out.

The next elementary students were sitting in front of the bamboo garden and drawing very earnestly. It was my first time to see such various bamboo kinds in one place.

These kids' uniforms and hats look very adorable.

 They sat in a small group on the grass and opened their lunch box. Lunch is the most joyful time for all of us.