Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hina Doll

March 3rd is Girls' Day in Japan and a set of Hina Dolls are displayed to celebrate this day at home. I took this picture at the Hikone Castle Museum in Shiga Prefecture.  Several gorgeous sets are displayed there now.
I dedicate this post to Thursday Challenge meme and this week's theme is 'red'.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Two Dragons

The other day I was knocked down to see this large ceiling painting in the main hall of Kenninji Temple in Kyoto. It was attached to the ceiling of 11.4m by 15.7m (the size of 108 tatami mats) and is drawn with the finest quality ink on thick traditional Japanese paper by Junsaku Koizumi. This painting commemorates  the 800-year anniversary of Kenninji's founding, and a ceremony to mark its installation was given in April of 2002.
These  drangons'  expression looked funny to me and they stared at me wherever I walk in the hall.
This is part of Our World Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Red Dolls

Taken at Ichihime Shrine in Kyoto, which is regarded as the shrine to protect all women. These small dolls caught my eyes. They are all paper fortune containers. Generally, when people get a good fortune paper, they keep it, but if they get  a bad one, they leave it here like this. You can see white papers tied to the rope.
This shrine is also famous for its good water. This water is regarded as one of the best water in Kyoto. Even today it is  used for the tea ceremony and special auspicious occasions.

I dedicate this post to Ruby Tuesday 2 and Our World Tuesday.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Yellow Kimono

Look at the left kimono. This is the back style to show you this unique obi sash. This looks like Ume, Japanese plum flower shape. How wonderful it is to create such a flower from a just rectangular fabric!
Taken at the Ume Bonsai Exhibition in Osaka Temma Shrine.
This is part of Monday Mellow Yellows.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

At Seaside Park


Went to Ako city in Hyogo to eat this season's treat- OYSTER with my friends. The restaurant was so crowded that we had to wait for one and half hours. But thanks to the long waiting time, I could walk around  and in the Ako Seaside Park.
This is part of Scenic Sunday.

Friday, February 22, 2013

On the Roof

This double-roof building is the South Gate of the Todaiji Temple in Nara. The Todaiji Temple is proud of its world-largest wooden building (50m  x 57m x 50m) and the Great Statue of Buddha. In addition, this gate is 21m tall and more than 800 years old. On the top you see many crows at equal spaces. I took this picture this afternoon.
This is part of Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bonsai of UME

These are all bonsai, potted trees of ume, Japanese plum. I took these pictures at  Osaka Temmangu Shrine. As you see, there are a lot of different colors and shapes. I love their sweet scents.
This is part of Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Little Elephant

I believe that in summer this pair looks different. Mother or father will pour water over her or his child. Do you know this bigger one is mother or father? ??
I found them in front of the Sakai City Hospital in Osaka the other day.
This is part of Our World Tuesday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Yellow Restaurant

This is a sign of a ramen restaurant I found in Sakai, Osaka. This bright yellow and red sign caught my eyes.
Ramen restaurants can be seen everywhere in Japan. There are variety kinds of soups and noodles. I could say every ramen shop has a different taste. When I was younger, I loved to eat ramen, but now my stomach can't accept them any more. Due to some aging? So sad.
I dedicate this post to Monday Mellow Yellows.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Floral Friday Fotos

Japanese plum or ume has a variety kinds. This winter is a bit colder than usual, so the start of its blooming becomes late. This picture was taken a week ago in Osaka Castle Ume garden.
This is part of Floral Friday Fotos.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In a Frying Pan

This week's theme of Thursday Challenge is "Round". This was taken at the Uzumasa Studio Park in Kyoto last November. I remembered this big frying pan. This cute boy is playing on the sunny-side up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Round and Round

Yesterday I went to Osaka Castle to know the blooming of Japanese plum, UME. Some kinds have already started, but only small numbers. Maybe I need to wait two more weeks.
However, I found these birds flying round and round in the castle moat. Twenty to thirty seagulls were flying around one middle-aged man. He was feeding them some bread.

 Look at the eyes of the birds (please click this picture to enlarge). They are carefully watching the man's hand.
 And after flying many rounds, only lucky birds can get some bread like below.

This is part of Our World Tuesday.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweet Shrine

Today I went to Namba Walk in Osaka to see the completed shrine made of various sweets such as cakes, candies, cookies... It is filled with sweet smell. As I posted before, this shrine was produced by many confectionery school students from Feb. 6th here. And I heard they had started baking each part since one month ago. All parts are made of sweets, but  I believe they are already too tough to eat. The first picture shows the teacher is maintaining some part.
I dedicate this post to Monday Mellow Yellows.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Winter Pink

Winter pink.
No one cares about it during the exciting festival.
But I know your blooming.

This is part of Floral Friday Fotos.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Practical Work

On the way back to my home, I found young confectionery school students working in the basement plaza in Namba, Osaka. This is the Valentine's Day event. They have just started to produce a candy shrine. Two days later it will be completed, according to the staff. Feel like I need to be back here again to confirm the work on Friday.
Come and see more Our World Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In a Hurry

On last Sunday, I happened to see these three kimono ladies getting out of the taxi in Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto. They came there to participate the ceremony to celebrate the Setsubun (Seasonal Division). The black kimono lady is Geisha or Geiko and two others with red sash are Maiko, apprentice Geiko. I bet they were in a great hurry. The right lady's hair isn't finished.
I dedicate this post to Ruby Tuesday 2 and Our World Tuesday.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Mellow Yellows

It was taken at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto the other day. In this sub shrine, the deity of beauty in enshrined. I saw a dozen of ladies making a line to wish for their more beauty.
Happy Monday Mellow Yellows!

Three Dogs

A week ago we had a little snow. I took this picture in the park located hillside of Mt. Ikoma, Nara. Three dogs are waiting for food.
This is part of Shadow Shot Sunday.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Demon Dance


Today, February 3 is Setsubun, or Seasonal division in Japan. It is a festival held on one day before the start of spring according to the Japanese lunar calendar. For many centuries, Japanese people have been performing rituals with the purpose of chasing away evil spirits at the start of spring.
Today I went to Rosanji Temple in Kyoto to see this traditional ceremony. I waited and waited for about one hour to keep a good place to take pictures. With the big sound of the drum and the shell horns, the red, green and black demons appeared and started to dance slowly on the stage. I did my best to take better pictures. But until this time I was extremely exhausted from standing too long, so I left there to take a rest.
According to the information, these demons were thrown beans and kicked out later.

I dedicate this post to Scenic Sunday.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Look, look at this Chinese couple!  What a surprise! I've never seen a woman like this. I'm curious to know how she maintains her beautiful, long hair.  Nearly to the ground.
I walked just after her for a while to take a close look.