Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A View of Tokyo Tower from Zojo-ji

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To say the least I spent some time at Zojo-ji. Since it was December last year the trees were showing a bit of color to compete with the colorful Tokyo Tower.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Jizo and Shinto Shrine at Zojo-ji

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Ankokuden Hall at Zojo-ji. It houses the Black Image of Amida Buddha who was worshiped by Ieyasu Tokugawa and was said to protect him.

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I read somewhere there are 1300 Jizo here. Jizo are taken care of because they protect children and travelers. The ones at Zojo-ji appear to focus on children.

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Even on the grounds of this large Buddhist complex there is a Shinto Shrine.

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Yatagarasu the three legged crow, depicted on the chozuya. This is where one washes their hands and mouth before attending at the shrine.

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This is the honden of Kumano Shrine at Zojo-ji.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Food for Friday: A few of the flavors of Pocky

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I'd have to say that one of the most popular sweet treats to come out of Japan is Pocky. While I don't normally eat it, I had to pick up a few boxes the other day when I saw they had Pumpkin at the local Marukai store. It was pretty good! I'm guessing they were going for a Japanese pumpkin flavor, kabocha, which is sweet when cooked.

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Although I don't know if I would recommend giving Pocky to wild animals. I think there was a give-away for the little animal figures but not sure about this.

The Daiden of Zojo-ji Temple

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Really, the most impressive thing at Zojo-ji is the Main Hall or Daiden. The night before I went for a walk without my camera. I walked through Sangedatsumon and saw before me Daiden all lit up. The scent of incense was in the air along with the sounds of drums.

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Behind Daiden Tokyo Tower was shining with colored lights. I walked up the steps with others and looked inside.

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For there was a presentation of dances which were performed during the time of the Shoguns. Truly amazing and special to see. The interior glowed with the lights shining off of the gold ornamentation.

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If you do go to Tokyo and decide to visit Tokyo Tower, try to walk across the street to see the temples that the Shoguns use to worship at. It is worth it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

At Zojo-ji just beyond Sangedatsu-mon

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The statue of the Kannon, bodhisattva of great compassion. Kannon is considered one of Amida Buddha's attendants. This statue at the Pure Land Temple of Zojo-ji has a little Amida Buddha at top of her head.

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The Daibonsho, the Temple bell. It was completed in 1673 and still is tolled twice a day.

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A look back at Sangedatsu-mon. From my visit in December, 2010.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sangedatsu-mon of Zojo-ji Temple

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Next to the buildings and gate I showed in my previous post there is an imposing structure.

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Most people reach here starting from the Dai-mon Station area, passing under the Dai-mon gate. Which is how I did the night before and is the way to go to see these amazing gates.

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However to see Sangedatsu-mon from the side allows you to see some very unique details. Do you see the guardian oni?

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Looking in from the front of the gate like I did the night before offers glimpses of what lays beyond.

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But it really is worth first looking for the details of Sangedatsu-mon.

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Sangedatsu-mon is the main entrance to the Zojo-ji Temple area. Originally built in 1622, it is the only building of Zojo-ji that survived intact to this day. Enshrined in the upper story are statues from the early days of Zojo-ji. The name of Sangedatsu-mon comes from the belief that passing through it delivers one from three earthly states of mind, which are greed, anger and stupidity.

Wordless Wednesday: Going Your Own Way

going your own way

Wordless Wednesday is here.

Also added to Skywatch Friday here for Sept. 16th, 2011. Thanks for checking my blogs and looking at my photos.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Zojo-ji, Pure Land Buddhist Temple Grounds

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I have a rather interesting story to tell about my first time seeing Zojo-ji, or Zojoji. Which was the night before I took these photos.

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But unlike the night before, my walk to Zojoji was from the side where there are many buildings that are not necessarily part of where the tourists go.

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Still they were beautiful and a bit thought provoking like this smaller gate or mon, which appears older than other buildings there. I don't know if like the larger gates it dates back to when they began building Zojoji starting in 1598.

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This is the first of a few posts from my visit to Tokyo in December, 2010.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

So-mon Gate of Daitokuin

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There are many amazing things in Japan. Things that I find out much more about long after seeing them.

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One such thing is this gate. It is called So-mon and once was the entrance to the mausoleum for Tokugawa Hidetada, second Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

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The mausoleum and surrounding architecture were built in 1632. Like many things in Japan, it burned down during WWII. Four gates were left. Three were moved to Fudo-ji Temple in Saitama and Tokugawa Hidetada was reburied after the war.

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So-mon is in Shiba-koen next to Zojo-ji main complex. Japanese Castle Explorer has a great photo of what it looked like when the mausoleum was still there. So much has changed since then.

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The gates survived because they were far enough away from the mausoleum. The details on So-mon hint at what the mausoleum must have looked like with lacquered pillars and golden trim.

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Only one side of So-mon has statues. The Nio guardians are quite impressive. This is Ungyo, who represents latent strength.

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The second guardian is Agyo, who represents overt strength.

These photos are from my first visit to Shiba-koen in Tokyo back in December, 2010.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Food for Friday: Snacks in Japan

Since it's Friday here and I want to get back into posting my trip to Tokyo last December, thought I would combine the two with photos of some of the good things I ate while there. Of course that means Japanese snacks.

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Probably one of the most famous are the Kit Kats made just for Japan. With really unique flavors they can be rather interesting. This Almond Kit Kat was less unique but quite good.

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I didn't know what would be rich about these Calbee potato chips when I picked them up. I noticed the top when I went to open them. Yes they were very cheesy. Not bad. It's interesting that it seems that when cheese is put on something in Japan it's often a lot of cheese.

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The Battleship Yamato live action movie was coming out and there were ads everywhere. Turn on the tv and you were bound to see Takuya Kimura. So it was fun to find these Ozack potato chip tie-ins.

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Last is one of my favorite, Saku Saku panda cookies. I could not resist the giant panda one.