Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Stroll: A walk in Wilson Park

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I like using Sunday to post places around Southern California. Posts like I do of places I have traveled further to. Because most of Southern California is not like what they show on television or in the movies.

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Remember the tree house? This is the park where it is located. These are some photos of what it looks like when you are in the tree house looking out.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

AM2

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Random photos from the AM2 Convention in Anaheim this month. You want to see more?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Silent Zoo at Narita International Airport

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The first time I went to Japan I saw something I really wanted to see again. So when I went back to Narita International Airport Terminal 1 when leaving from my second trip, I made a point to go look for this multimedia art work on the fourth and fifth levels that so enthralled me the first trip.

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There it was, the murals Silent Zoo. Lights, sound, images. It's several levels of the artwork of Satoshi Hasegawa, with four pieces of audio commentary and music, titled Voyager, created by  Christophe Charles which plays as the lighting is dimmed. This and a hanging sculpture titled Advent by Takura Osaka was installed in 2002.

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The theme of the three pieces is Cosmos. I was so happy to get a few pictures that time, but sad because when leaving in March this year it was turned off. I wish I had taken video before and more photos. Turned off it was a solemn reminder of the way things were in Japan at that time.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kaisen Misakiko sushi at Narita Airport

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Kaisen Misakiko is a kaiten zushi restaurant at the upstairs food area in Terminal One at Narita Airport. That is conveyor belt sushi. Although when I was there last December the belt was not going. Guess there wasn't enough customers. Want to see what it was like?

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Stroll: A Tree House

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Sometimes you go out someplace and find the most unexpected things.

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Like a giant tree house in a park. Want to know where it is?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Food for Friday: Eating in Asakusa

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There are many interesting restaurants located around Senso-ji in Asakusa

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I had no idea where to go. But seeing a woman come out of this restaurant to give this cat a meal made me decide to take a chance. Want to see what I ate?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A few things around Senso-ji in Asakusa

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There are so many things to see around Senso-ji. Like this area of older buildings to the side.

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Such as the bell outside the shrine for Benzaiten. There is also a shrine that I posted before in Shiba Park for Benzaiten, who is the goddess of things that flow. Perhaps the Bentendo Hall Shrine for Benzaiten is here because Senso-ji is near the Sumida River where the statue of Kannon was found back in 628.

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The bell is from 1692 when it was recast and it is still rung by monks at 6:00 am every morning.

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Another sight that is very visible around Asakusa is Sky Tree.

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Not quite as old but definitely stands out. This was in December, 2010, when they were getting close to reaching it's full height.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Japanese crafts stores near Senso-ji in Asakusa

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Parallel to Nakamise at Senso-ji is another street where I found items which were a little more traditional in Japanese crafts and other arts. Turning there from Senso-ji I saw this display of what appear to be shrines.

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After this I saw shop after shop of wonderful crafts. Because it was December many displayed items for the coming Year of the Rabbit. So many cute and wonderful renditions of usagi. Want to see more?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Senso-ji Garden in Asakusa

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Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa has more than just the shopping street, mon and buildings. There are also a couple of gardens there. Would you like to see more?


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Stroll: Promenade on the Pennisula

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As I mentioned in my Friday post about the Italian restaurant Frascati, some time ago we were at The Promenade on the Pennisula.

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What I enjoy finding here and in many places is how a bit of greenery and growing things can be brought into an area and it becomes something more than just a commercial site.

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It creates a feeling of something more.

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And even though one is surrounded by concrete and asphalt

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there are little patches of beauty

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and color.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Food for Friday: Frascati in Rolling Hills Estates

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One day I wanted to have something nice to eat, in a nice place.

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We were at The Promenade on the Pennisula. An Italian restaurant with a sailing ship decor? Would it be any good? Curious to find out? Then click on "read more"


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kannodo Hall at Senso-ji in Asakusa

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The Main Hall or Kannodo Hall at Senso-ji is quite an imposing building. It inspires a feeling of reverence. Although it was rebuilt in 1958 with titanium roof tiles and concrete, it's suppose to have the same shape as the original hall built back in 942 and then 1649.

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People come to Kannodo Hall to pray to the Bodhisvatta Kannon. The statue that was found by fishermen in 628 is kept in secret inside the hall. A copy of the statue is brought out once a year on December 13th. I was there a few days before this. The Hall does have a mystical air to it inside.

I did not take photos inside but I did take more around the Kannodo Hall. Just "read more" to read and see more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Senso-ji Plaza

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Before reaching the Main Hall of Senso-ji, there were many people participating in purification and other rituals. For more, click below.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Five Story Pagoda of Senso-ji in Asakusa

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One of the buildings at Senso-ji that stands out is the five story pagoda.

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I've been looking for more information about the pagoda but beyond the building history of it, I haven't found much except it houses a relic of the Buddha.

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It is a wonderful example of pagodas, especially the golden finial.

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There are so many different views in which to see this pagoda. It's hard to decide which one is the best.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Stroll: De Portola Park in Torrance, California

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Some time ago we stopped by a little park located at the edge of the city of Torrance.

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While there are a couple places for recreational activities, this quiet neighborhood park feels like it would be very nice for a picnic. To see a bit more, click below.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Food for Friday: El Gringo restaurant in Redondo Beach

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I'm always looking for a good place for fish tacos. A while ago I decided to see how El Gringo in Redondo Beach would do.

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I wanted to try their grilled mahi mahi tacos. They have many mahi mahi dishes on their menu. But the waitress said they didn't have any mahi mahi and they were probably going to take it off the menu. Maybe they should have done that already?

So I ordered the battered fish tacos. The fish was fine and decent sized. The addition of a little avocado was nice. They were pretty good.

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They give a bottle of "white fish sauce" so you can add as little or as much as you want. Which was good because as you can see there is a pile of cabbage on these tacos. So I put sauce on it and ate it like a salad. I will say less cabbage and more salsa on the tacos would be a good idea.

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El Gringo is in Redondo Beach. I would have liked it except they are very expensive. I wish I had asked for the price of the Corona before ordering it becaue they charged $5 for this one bottle. That was way out of line. The food prices were higher than other places locally. That plus not having a main ingredient for many of their dishes plus the over doing of cabbage on the tacos means I won't be returning. But I thought I would post this because I do want to write not just about the good places to eat.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hozomon at Senso-ji in Asakusa

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The second gate or sanmon you come to walking to Senso-ji in Asakusa is called Hozomon. The upper floors store the temple's sacred sutras.  It's interesting to know that in it's current form it is made of steel reinforced concrete and is fire proof. This is the south side of Hozomon with the two Nio statues. The north side has the famous giant sandals or waraji.

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Which you can see in this photo as people enter.

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Just a bit of two of the lanterns, the red paper chochin and one of the beautiful copper toro. There are three lanterns total. The chochin and a toro on each side of it.

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One of the Nio that guards Senso-ji. This one is Aygo. Sadly my photo of the other, Ungyo, did not come out well. Low sun in December, and I think I was tired since this was close to the end of my trip. Plus wanting to see more than taking photos led to not the best this time. But I did get a few good ones of the rest of Senso-ji which I will post very soon.