We start our Japanese adventure in Kumamoto City and of coarse Kumamoto Castle. The buildings, parts that date back 400 years, and the grounds are astounding. Many, many stairs! Many, many rewards for climbing them…the views are wonderful. We had to lose the shoes at the door…not really lose as they gave us bags to put them in so we could be reshod when leaving the building!
The tori gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto are incredible, some go on for a mile. each pathway is a bit different. Reminds me of the scene in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha where our protagonist as a young girl, runs through the gates. For me, Walking through them transports one to another dimension. the light coming through is so magical…different every moment keeping time with the path of the sunlight throughout the day.
This Bamboo Grove was so beautiful. Walking down the path was like entering an enchanted forest! Cool, calm, whispering breezes, and a quiet sense of belonging enveloped me. I use the word quiet a lot in my commentaries on Japan, Seoul, and China I think because the contrast of the dense cities and the calm minimalistic parks is so stark. In places where there are so many people, it is edifying to find the quiet for awhile. This park is on the far side of Kyoto and well worth the hour drive to get there.
This is the street where we stayed in Kyoto. Our Machiya, a traditional apartment/townhouse came complete with Tatami mats to sleep on and rice paper sliding doors between rooms. The unit had a small courtyard perfect for early morning tea, reading, and quiet meditative moments. The neighborhood is walking distance from shops, restaurants, and a temple. What more do you need? Oh, I almost forgot…there is the Starbucks 3 blocks away…not so authentic but a welcome familiarity where little or no English is spoken.
This is a really nice picture of one of the many five story pagodas we saw in Japan. Loved the details and the scale of the structures.
This is a treasure found in the Nara area. Nara is a short train ride from Kyoto and is the old capital of Japan and is the center of historic Japan. This is the Todaiji Temple and it houses the “Great Buddha Hall” and is ranked as one of the world’s largest wooden structures. The great statue of Buddha inside this hall is lovingly referred to by Japanese as “the Great Buddha of Nara – Nara no Daibutsu-san.”
We're Montie and David, and we are always looking for an adventure. I am the writer and David the photographer. Because of this division of labor you will see me in more pictures than him, and probably because I am the one making the decisions about what to print and what to write. That being said, I could not do this without his great skill and vision. The photos you see in the section above are samples of some of our adventures which include the random weekend fancy and our many planned excursions all over the world. I hope to be blogging about them all as we go along. See more of David's great photos by following him on Instagram at ravinslavin.