Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kyoto in March, 2008

Afternoon of 3/22 after we checked into our room and decided we must go out. B had stated he wanted to see shrines and stuff. Well, seems we were just around the corner from one.



This is Yasaka Shrine, originally called Gion Shrine. Once you go up the stairs through the Ro-Mon (gate)...



many people were there. Seems March is a month of celebrations there.





However you have to get by this guy to get in. One of the Shishi statues.



We weren't sure what was inside, turns out there were food and other vendors around the grounds.





We kept walking since we were there to do some sight seeing. Funny that if now I went to a shrine with a festival going on I would definitely check out what is being sold and the food.







So just wander with us as we looked at the lovely things there...













































for more information about Yasaka Shrine, started in 656,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasaka_Shrine
http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/org/yasaka/english/index.html
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/japan/kyoto-yasaka-shrine.htm

From my trip back in 2008. Previously posted elsewhere but putting them here for back-up plus I think it will go with what I will be posting soon.

Putting this up in this week's Show Me Japan.
ありがとう

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It starts here. From March 2008

I have been trying to figure out how to finish posting my Dec 2010 trip and start posting about my trip this month. But then I realized it might be a good idea to post my first trip to Japan. Because the website hosting my posts is not doing too well and I'd like a back-up. So while I continue working on the photos from my most recent trips, here is a bit from March, 2008.

Starting on March 22 at the Holiday Inn by Narita Airport.



But it wasn't for long because it was just to get some sleep on the hardest bed in Japan (yes, we did futons the rest of the trip and that bed was harder!). Because our goal was to end up in...

Kyoto!
So off we went on the JR Narita train to Tokyo Station. Which was the craziest place. I would have liked to explore it more, but with suitcases and empty stomachs and a short wait before the train to Kyoto, we went looking for food. Of course once I saw this place I could not be detered....SUSHI!

Nothing is as fine as watching for sushi going by at a kaiten. This may have been Genki Sushi but I am not sure since I didn't catch the name of the place. I was quite impressed by the quality and the price. ;_; that it cost so much more here in California.


I was nervous being my first time in a place like this, but it was easy to figure out how to make the powdered hot green tea and even more fun picking out what to eat. Because so many people eat at this place, all of the sushi is quite fresh. For anyone who hasn't tried this, the color of the plates indicates the price, and at the end they add up your empty plates. Ahhh, I so want to do this again.

We were happy because this was one of the things I really wanted to try on the trip.

So next Mikey, B and I found our seats on the Shinkensan Train. Because we had JR passes we took the Hikari. it was much easier than I though, and the seats were more comfortable than our plane seats. It was interesting trying to get use to the high speed that the trains travel.


And lucky us that it was such a clear day. Because we got to see something else we wanted to see

Mount Fuji. B got this photo. We were quite impressed, and it was nice to see our fellow Japanese passengers smiling about seeing Mount Fuji. Later we showed the photo to some friends and they said we were lucky! I hope so.

We made it to Kyoto Station after a very nice trip. From there it was a short taxi ride to our Ryokan in Gion. I think that was a good idea because the outside of the building did not look like it did in the photos. We were not prepared for how close all the buildings were to each other. I don't think that is such a bad thing, because now I'm home and wishing things were closer here.

But the inside of the lobby of Gion Fukuzumi Inn was nice. With a pleasant suprise of a lovely Hina Matsuri display still up and two lovely dolls beside it.


Inside our room a tea table was set-up

I found these chairs to be quite comfortable.


cute packaging for yatsuhashi, a traditional mochi and red bean treat made in Kyoto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yatsuhashi


They Ryokan owner came in and served us tea! As you can see, Mikey enjoyed this and ate all the yatsuhashi.

Okay, that's it for tonight. Hope to have more tomorrow.

I've put this post in the Show Me Japan for 4/21/11. Show Me Japan features various looks at Japan. Check it out here for this week. Here is the blog that usually hosts Show Me Japan.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blog for Japan

Going to just post the link here and say that it gives a list of organizations one can donate to besides the obvious ones.

Blog For Japan

There are more that are helping, many without announcing that they are doing so. Individuals and groups inside Japan doing whatever they can. People are still in towns without any help. Over time they will need so much since so much has been lost.

JEARS

If you want to donate to help out animals affected by this disaster, the above is the donation page for groups for Animal Rescue in Japan.

Thanks

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I have a really good excuse for not blogging

I want to apologize for not posting lately. I thought that once I finish my current trip to Tokyo I
would do combination posts with my trip in December.

But things kind of didn't go as planned as you may know. I'm still in Tokyo, it's quite safe except for shaking now and again. I do plan on writing once I get home.

If you want you can check my Twitter. I am updating events and information there.

thank you and will be back.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shiba Toshogu Shrine from Dec. 2010

Shiba Toshogu 3

This is one of many Toshogu shrines in Japan. It was built to honor former shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Shiba Toshogu is the Shinto shrine in Shiba-koen, Minato, Tokyo, Japan.

Shiba Toshogu 2

Shiba Toshogu 1

Closed mouth and open mouth Koma-inu guarding Shiba Toshogu Shrine.

Tokyo Tower 1

Tokyo Tower viewed from Shiba Park (koen) across from the American Center.

For now this will be the only place I post about my trip last year.
Thank you for reading my posts.

Last of the Ginkgo Trees from Me

At least for now.

Shiba-koen 20

Shiba-koen 21

Stone owl and either a salamander or a lizard found along the walk-way. I don't know who carved these but they are rather nice. It's very common to find artwork in public places in Tokyo.

Shiba-koen 22

It's also nice to see more traditional architecture alongside contemporary buildings. These buildings are part of a cemetery.

Shiba-koen 23

A different photo of the wonderful bridge across the dry creek.

Shiba-koen 24

This woman was working on a drawing. Just beyond her was a man playing saxophone. I felt like I was having a Tokyo Times moment.

Shiba-koen 25

Just a few feet away were a lot of photographers taking photos of a couple of models. They filled the stream bed. It was amusing.

Shiba-koen 26

Something I did not know about is the hill that rises behind these photographers is actually one of the large burial mounds in Japan. This one is Maruyama-Kofun. They do not know who it was for or able to pin down a date for it.

Shiba-koen 27

And a bit more ginkgo because it's quite lovely to see sunlight through the leaves. They really do stand out.

Shiba-koen 29

Shiba-koen 30