Japan Part 2

 

My friend Claire has shared with me these wonderful pictures of her trip through some of the great temples and other sights of Japan. 

Her images range from the purely mythical--like this stone Foo dog (no two of which are the same)--to the "consumer realism" of the plastic food displayed by restaurants in Tokyo's Shinjuku area.  (When ordering in local restaurants, one makes selections from the plastic food models in the store's front window).  

There are 10,000 Torii Gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine.  Each pole represents one gate.  There is a small space in between the gates (each one of which bears the name of a donor).  Visitors walk through all the gates (about a ten minute or 1/4 mile walk), which lead up to the top of the mountain where the shrine is located.

These famous stepping stones are located in the gardens attached to the Heian Shrine.  The challenge is to walk on them without falling in.  Each stone is about two feet wide.  The flowers on the lily pads were white on the left of the stones and deep rose on the right.  The pads were so close together that they looked like a carpet.

The town of Uji, on the Uji River, is the green tea capital of Japan.  Everything that is available for purchase is made from green tea: noodles, ice cream, candy, cookies--even soda!

 

The "Japanese Grey" monkey colony is located at a shrine on top of a mountain--a twenty minute hike straight up!   About a hundred and fifty moneys live there, including lots of mothers and tiny babies.  They are unenclosed, so that they run free on the trail--they are fed so that they will stay in the area.  The colony overlooks the town of Arashayama. 

  

The Kyoto Nichiki Market, located in a long, enclosed arcade,  is where locals buy their provisions.  Most of the items are unrecognizable by westerners.


Finally, no trip to Japan is complete without a visit to the Todaiji Temple housing the Daibutsu (Great Buddha). The
Buddha is 50 feet tall. The wooden building housing the Buddha is
the largest wooden structure in the world.

 

Harriet H. Ahouse | Independent Travel Consultant
Vista Travel, Inc.
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Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142
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