Travel theme: Unexpected

During our wandering around Ueno park on the trip in 2013, we unexpectedly met this group who performed Japanese dance. So we stopped and watched them. Their performance looked elegant and interesting. I’ve captured them in both photographs and videos.

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The Valley of Dolls

This story is astonishing and haunting at the same time, and I won’t dare to walk around that area after sunset.

Ayano Tsukimi (64) is living in Nagoro, a village in eastern Iya on Shikoku, one of the four main islands of Japan. Not many people are still living there. For those who die or move away, Ayano Tsukimi is making lifesized dolls in their liking and puts them in places that were important to them. The dolls are scattered around the whole valley.

Valley of Dolls

Travel theme: Clean

Based on my experience while travelling in Japan, I would find a water well for hands cleaning whenever I visited temples or shrines. Like the time I went to Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) in Kyoto with my younger brother and our aunt. We found the well with the instruction board explaining how to clean our hands.

Have you seen the instruction board on a wall?

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

The well was located in the front before we entered the main gate. Speaking of the Shrine’s name, Inari means Shinto God of rice which has foxes as messengers (source). Consequently, there were statues of foxes in front of the main gate as well as the area inside.

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

We went there during Autumn Leaves Season so we would be able to see the red Maple leaves.

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

The Fushimi Inari Shrine was also famous for the thousand of Torii gates.

A torii  is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred.

Source

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Me & Torii | Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Me & Torii | Kyoto | Japan | 2013

 

Actually, the trail were arranged through the summit. However, we walked through Torii gates for a while and we stopped as we wanted to turn back due to our weariness. Anyway, we didn’t walk back to the same route. We chose to walk past another route which led us to different scenery.

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

We said good bye to the shrine with the last ray of sunlight.

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Kyoto | Japan | 2013

Travel theme: Pink

When I first saw this week’s travel theme from Ailsa, I couldn’t help thinking of the cherry blossom in Japan where I could see pale pink petal of Sakura trees or bright pink of plum trees. 3 out of my 8 trips in Japan were in April when everyone visited Japan for Cherry Blossom.

The below set of pink photos were taken during one of those 3 Sakura trips. It was way back to the time in April 2004.

Tokyo | Japan | 2004

Tokyo | Japan | 2004

Tokyo | Japan | 2004

Tokyo | Japan | 2004

Osaka | Japan | 2004

Osaka | Japan | 2004

Osaka | Japan | 2004

Osaka | Japan | 2004

Himeji | Japan | 2004

Himeji | Japan | 2004

Himeji | Japan | 2004

Himeji | Japan | 2004

Kyoto | Japan | 2004

Kyoto | Japan | 2004

Kyoto | Japan | 2004

Kyoto | Japan | 2004

Fujinomiya | Japan | 2004

Fujinomiya | Japan | 2004

In my opinion, the Cherry blossom season is the best time to visit Japan if you’ve never been there before because you will be able to see the beauty of blooming flowers. In addition, the weather will be very nice with bright sunshine but still cool enough to walk around without wiping the sweat. Besides that, you will feel energetic vibe from those around you since as far as I’ve known; April is the beginning period of Japanese people’s life such as new job, school opening, etc. So you can feel that something have awakened from long hibernation in the cold Winter. Moreover, Japanese also have this tradition to eat&drink under the Sakura trees as they call Hanami (花見, “flower viewing”). You can sense the relaxation and fun moments all around.

Travel theme: Gardens

Kyoto | Japan | Dec - 2013

Kyoto | Japan | Dec – 2013

You might wonder why did I choose to post this panorama picture of Water Lilies for this week’s travel theme. Did I want to bend a rule by selecting this image for imitation of a lilies pond in the garden. Nope, I didn’t want to do that.

I was certain that I followed the theme because this piece of art was the 1st work at the Garden of Fine Arts  in Kyoto, Japan. This outdoor museum was designed by Tadao Ando. The garden holds  well-known masterpieces on porcelain panels. The admission fee is only 100 yen and free for children age 0 – 15 years old.

The work of arts are near-life sized recreation. You could see how grand of ‘The Last Judgement’ was by comparing with me on the front.

Kyoto | Japan | Dec - 2013

Kyoto | Japan | Dec – 2013

Besides the amazing works, the architecture is also impressive. It shows how considerable the architect thought and designed this place for art exhibition.

And because of the thoughtful design of the Garden of Fine Arts, I thought this place was really great for photography. We spent time taking a lot of photos while we were walking along the path leading us to each panel. We immensely enjoyed our time there even though the garden didn’t have a vast area holding only 8 pieces of art.

If you have a chance to go to Kyoto and you like art and photography, I certainly recommend this place to you to explore. I believe you won’t be disappointed. Anyway, please choose the day that is bright with sunshine because you will be able to see light and shadow that play around the place.

More information: Garden of Fine Arts, Kyoto.

Colours on the ground

Photo 3-3-2557 BE, 21 22 21

I think one of the advantages of using mobile phone to take photos is that we can capture images in a various angles. Like this one that I lowered my iPhone 5s to get the picture of dry red/orange maple leaves on the green moss ground during the trip at Ginkakuji, Kyoto, Japan.

This photo was processed later in Line camera, and it was re-sized in ‘Resize Image’. Photo credit was added in Phonto, one of my favourite text apps.

I’d like to add another picture that I used LINE brush to provide the painting filter to it. This one was applied with the Seurat effect which I think this filter wants to imitate the arts by Georges Seurat.

Photo 3-3-2557 BE, 21 14 54

This post is a respond to Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Nature.

Travel theme: Romance

Kyoto | Japan | Dec-2013

Kyoto | Japan | Dec-2013

I found this couple around an area of Kiyomizu Temple, the famous temple in Kyoto Japan. It seemed that they went there for pre-wedding photo taking. I grabbed my chance to photograph them while their real photographer were doing his work.

Actually, I met 2 or 3 couples who visited the temple for their pre-wedding photos. It was easy to understand why they chose this place because the Autumn leaves were absolutely beautiful around the temple. I felt like Romance was all around.

Kiyomizu temple is famous for wooden stage which supported the main hall 13 meters above the slope hill below.

Kyoto | Japan | Dec - 2013

Kyoto | Japan | Dec – 2013

What a shame that the temple was under construction so I couldn’t avoid taking photos of construction side.

Kyoto | Japan | Dec-2013

Kyoto | Japan | Dec-2013

We could look at the main hall from afar beyond trees.

Kyoto | Japan | Dec - 2013

Kyoto | Japan | Dec – 2013

Before heading back to Tokyo, we finished our trip here at Kiyomizu Dera by eating sweet Maccha Cream Puff. Sweet dessert for the sweet Romance we’ve met here.
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Travel theme: Yellow

One of my goals during the trip of Autumn Leaf  in Japan last year was to visit the Gingko Avenue (Icho Namiki). Gingko Avenue is the road that was lined with Gingko trees which its leaves would turn to yellow color when the Autumn season had arrived.

I wasn’t disappointed at all even though there were a lot of people there. The scenery was too beautiful to bother with a vast number of people who wanted to see the brilliant color of the golden trees.

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Finalized this post with a yellow subway train to Shibuya.

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013

Tokyo | Japan | Dec-2013