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Archive for the ‘Picture Book’ Category

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Kon-do (central hall) seen from behind

In our quest to see new sights in Kyoto, we decided to visit Chishakuin, the headquarters of the Chisan School of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism, located at the height of Shichijo, at the foot of Higashiyama. Being somewhat off the beaten track, it was wonderfully quiet and peaceful there (and as often, not really any worse than the completely overrun main sights). Behind the majestic Kon-do, smaller temple halls are nestled in the wooded foothills of Higashiyama. A special attraction is however its scenic garden.
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Scenic garden at Chishakuin

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Zojoji and Tokyo Tower Going up Tokyo Tower is the typical sort of thing one doesn’t do when one lives in a city. But since it’s been more than seven years since we’ve moved away and we felt like doing something new for once, we finally did it! We approached the Tower coming from Hamamatsucho Station, crossing the grounds of Zojoji, which were very busy. View from Tokyo Tower (more…)

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180620062528 As part of the conference we attended in Sendai, we had a bus tour taking us further up North, to the World Heritage sites of Hiraizumi. Our first stop was Chuson-ji, a Buddhist temple located on a wooded hill. 180620062243 (more…)

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Of course we’ve been numerous times to Akihabara back when we lived in Tokyo, but we’ve never used it as a starting point for a walk through town. Today’s walk was a walk of contrasts, showcasing the many faces of Tokyo. Akihabara is so colorful with anime illustrations on many buildings and full of young people. From there, we walked to the Kanda-myōjin (神田明神), a historically important shrine. Today, it was still crowded and busy due to ongoing New Year’s celebrations.

Gate of the Kanda Myojin

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View across the pond at Eikando

View across the pond at Eikando

Winter is maybe not the most popular season to visit Kyoto. It being Kyoto, it is however not hard to find beauty. Of course it’s hard to measure up to the Sakura in bloom at Nanzen-ji’s Sanmon or the blazing maple leaves at Eikando in autumn. In winter, the views are more stark and austere which has its own charm. One definite advantage is that there is no sign of the crowds that ply the sights in spring and autumn.
Sanmon at Nanzen-ji

Sanmon at Nanzen-ji

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tokyo-nezu-museum-pond-reffert Just off of one of the fanciest shopping streets in Tokyo’s Omotesando, Nezu Museum is located. But it’s more than an art museum. Behind it, it hides one of the most amazing Japanese gardens of the metropolis, dark with leafy green and quiet ponds. The contrast to the modern and fashionable Omotesando could not be bigger. tokyo-nezu-museum-garden-reffert (more…)

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Hikone-Castle-Main-Keep-Reffert Staying for once for longer in the Kansai region, we were able to venture beyond Kyoto in our explorations. The town of Hikone, located on the shores of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake, is reachable from Kyoto in one hour by train, making it an easy day trip. Hikone Castle counts as one of the three best castles of Japan (after Himeji and Matsumoto).

View of Hikone Castle across Genkyu-en

View of Hikone Castle across Genkyu-en

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