Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekend Reflections

This is linking up with Weekend Reflections.

Shinto Purification

Time flies. June 30th is the last day of the first half of the year. And in Japan there is a unique custom held in many Shinto shrines. (Shinto is the indiginous religion of Japan.)
A big circle made by pampas grass is placed in the Shinto shrines. People pass through the circle to wish for purification and coming good luck.
I took these pictures at Heian Shrine. You can see the big circle placed at the gate. The red architecure covered with a green roof was modeled after Emperor's palace of the 11th -12th century in 5/8th scale.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hydrangea Part 2

Today I posted two types of hydrangeas again to Nick's Floral Friday Fotos. I found them in the Japanese garden of Heian Shrine in Kyoto.
Look at the picture above. The center is blue! The contrast of dark pink petals (I learned that the hydrangea is really a calyx in the botanical sense of the term though.) and the blue core is amazing!

I love this one, too. The delicate center part is surrounded by small flowers.
Last Friday I wrote the hydrangea looks more beautiful in rain, but on a fine day they look inviting as well.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wooden Tools

These are wooden tools used for sake production in the late 18th century in Kyoto. Wooden backet, tub,... Today these are displayed to let us know how to produce sake in an old style.

Here are more "wooden" things in Thursday Challenge.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Yellowish paper doors

This authentic Japanese room has a nice taste. The white paper sliding doors look yellowish through the light from two incandescent lamps. Lovely lamps. I took this picture in the Horino Memorial Museum, where you can experience "machiya" style architecture and the original form of a Kyoto brewery.

This is part of Mellow Yellow Monday.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Puppet Window

I hear Japanese animation is very popular in the world, but I don't know how popular they are. Probably many of you know more than me.
These are puppets of famous characters created by Hayao Miyazaki. I found this shop near Kiyomizu Temple, which features his creation. Among his wonderful fantasy movies, my favorites are "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Spirited Away." I remember my daughter watching Totoro every day when she was a little child. She saw it so coutless times that she could say the words without seeing the video at that time.
Do you remember Totoro?  OR do you like his movies?
This is linking up with Weekend Reflections.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rain Flower

Dear hydrangea, you look more beautiful in the rain.
You encourage me to walk in the rain.
Your are really rain-friendly!

This post is part of Floral Friday Fotos and Pink Saturday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Too Wet

Japan has distinct four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and witnter. And before starting hot and humid summer, there is a rainy season for a month, usually between the middle of June and the middle of July. Now we are in the midst of the rainy season. Wet, wet and wet! In addition, we are double affected because of the typhoon. Today 100 % heavy rain all day. So will tomorrow be, according to the weather forecast.
For rice cultivation, this rain is blessed rain, but for travelers it plays havoc! Look at the picture above. On such a day, acquarium is my recommendation. The water world makes us healed and relaxed.

It was fun to see a staff feed a big ray.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eye-catching Facade

I couldn't stop taking pictures even in the hard rain. These unique face-and-legs statues are standing in front of the hotel, really appealing to me. This is the facade of Namba Dotonbori Hotel.
It is not a famous hotel, but once you look at this facade, you won't be able to forget it.

This post is part of Our World Tuesday.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ruby Bench

This is a Japanese-style open cafe in the precincts of the Golden Pavilion. You can enjoy matcha green tea with Japanese sweets. Traditionally benches are covered with red felt.

Here you can enjoy other rubies.

Yellow Elevator

 I dedicate this post to Mellow Yellow Monday.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

I remember my father, who passed away 24 years ago, when he was 63 after two-year hospitalization. Luckily I have a lot of happy memories with him. He was born in a small island in Shikoku. He became a captive soldier in Siberia for some years. I was often told the story about the captive life when he was drunk. He loved reading, listening to classical music, writing, and drinking. And since my daughter was born,  every evening he visited my house to see her on the way back to home. He was a strict father to his daughters, but a very affectionate grandfather. He loved his granddaughter sooooooooooo much. He looked very happy to hold her in his arms. Happy memories.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Floral Friday Fotos....Iris

The rainy season has already started since last week, but until today we have little rain in Osaka. According to the weather forecast, from now rainy days will come for a few days.
 Iris looks more beautiful in the rain.
This is part of Floral Friday Fotos.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday Challenge 'Big'

Today's challenge is 'Big'. I chose the inner moat of Nijo Castle in Kyoto.

Nijo Castle was built in 1626 as a temporary residence of Tokugawa Shoguns, who basically lived in Edo, present-day Tokyo. Although the main tower was burned down by thunder lightning later, the Ninomaru Palace still remains and you can enter the palace full of gorgeous decorations. Photographing is strictly prohibited in order to preserve many national treasures there.

Today the temperature rose up over 30 degrees Celsius and cleared up all day. In the sun it was very hot, but in the shade we had a very good time.

See more 'BIG' here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Keitakuen Garden

This is one of my favoite places in Osaka. Keitakuen Garden in Tennoji Park. It used to be  the garden of Sumitomo family's principal residence at Mt. Chausu, Tennoji, Osaka, by spending 10 years from 1908. It is a large, modern Japanese garden of style to be appreciated by strolling through a forest around the pond ("Rinsen Kaiyū-shiki Teien").  Later this garden was donated to Osaka city along with Mt. Chausu.

Don't you think heart-shaped leaves look pretty?

This garden is in the center of Osaka city. Near the garden you can see a big construction area. This gigantic, modern building is Abeno Harukasu, which will be open in spring 2014.  According to the plan, we will enjoy the 360 degrees panorama from 300-meter-high observatory.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shiny Profile

I found this mural in the downtown area called Tennoji in Osaka. I don't know what this building is, but it caught my eyes. Especially the shining side face of the second picture.
I dedicate this post to Monday Mural and Our World Tuesday.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Roses

I found this unique kind of roses in the Expo Park Rose Garden. The mixture of yellow, pink and red looks nice, doesn't it?
 This is part of Mellow Yellow Monday and Ruby Tuesday 2.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Rice Planter

Today I found rice planting  near my house. There used to be a lot of rice paddy fields  a few dacades ago, but most of them turned into big condos and houses, and today it's hard to find rice field near here. For me this is a great experience to see the real machine plant rice seedlings.
Don't you think its moving is gorgeous?
I dedicate this post to Weekend Reflections.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Skywatch Friday

These unique tree silhouettes are Kitayama Cedar, which is known for its smooth texture and the uniformity of width derived from its unique cultivation method. I took this picture in front of the International Conference Center of Kyoto today.
I will post this picture to Skywatch Friday.