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Archive for the ‘Picture Book’ Category

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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Japan-Kyoto-Kodaiji-Reffert2Kodai-ji is an all-time favorite of us in Kyoto – but I had never seen it by daylight! Both in spring and autumn, they have evening openings with light-ups, which we had gone to three times already (see here for a spring light-up). Now I made it there for the first time in the winter season, and during the day. Not surprisingly, it was a treat.

Dry landscape garden at Kodai-ji

Dry landscape garden at Kodai-ji

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Kyoto-traditional-Japan2-Reffert As I have said here before, one cannot spend too much time in Kyoto (or enough, for that matter). It’s not like we’ve seen all the sights worth seeing, but we’ve been there enough times that we feel we have the luxury of just strolling around aimlessly without feeling that we’re missing out on the big sights. And there are endlessly many charming corners to be discovered. Kyoto-traditional-Japan-Reffert (more…)

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