TJ’s Trip to Japan, part 13

TJ woke up the next morning with a surprise – a weather card and a packet of yuzu candy!

IMG 1992

TJ was staying in Arashiyama, a very green neighborhood in Kyoto. He went down to the local tram station to catch a ride downtown.

 

IMG 1996

It was a much sunnier day as TJ walked along the canals.

IMG 2017

He found an interesting shop…

IMG 2029

…with an interesting host!

IMG 2028

 

TJ did some shopping for gifts for friends.

IMG 2030

From there TJ went to visit a gigantic forest of bamboo!

IMG 2046

 

There was bamboo as tall and as far as the eye could see.

IMG 2042

IMG 2047

On his way to dinner, TJ even found some familiar faces to pose with…

2015 04 22 10 14 32

 

Before long TJ was seated at the table…

2015 04 10 18 55 14

 

…and settling in for dinner.

2015 04 10 18 56 14

 

The next morning, TJ woke up and got ready to head home.

2015 04 23 13 27 44

 

The bullet train was waiting to take TJ to the airport in Osaka.

2015 04 22 10 37 38

 

Looking out the window, TJ thought about everything he had seen and was a little sad to be leaving so soon…

 

2015 04 22 11 39 23

…but as the train took off like a rocket, he was reminded just how excited he is to always be going somewhere new!

2015 04 22 11 28 28

 

Sayonara and arigato gozimasu, Japan!  TJ hopes to see you again soon!

2015 04 15 20 36 03

TJ’s Trip to Japan, part 12

TJ went for a ride around Kyoto on a drizzly day.

2015 04 19 10 22 58

 

He saw the footpath across the river…but it looked a little slippery!

2015 04 19 09 50 30

In the geisha district, he saw more traditional Japanese attire.

IMG 1897

IMG 1892

2015 04 19 10 45 42

The backs of the houses faced out onto the waterway.

IMG 1901

TJ saw a temple full of cats…

IMG 1920

…and found a possible future study-abroad job as a parking mascot!

IMG 1917

At the train station, TJ walked out on the Skyway to get a view of the entire complex…

 

IMG 1945

…which gave him a commanding view of the city.

IMG 1951

IMG 1948

The train station was enormous!

IMG 1957

 

It even included a wedding pavilion!

IMG 1952

After such a full day, TJ headed to his hotel for a long soak…

2015 04 20 12 36 23

…and a comfortable bed.

2015 04 20 12 35 53

TJ’s Trip to Japan, part 11

TJ’s side trip took him to Nara, home of the famous Nara deer!

IMG 1797

The deer are the symbol of the town of Nara, and are so accustomed to being around people that anyone can just walk up to them.

IMG 1796

Feeding the deer is even encouraged – to the point that the deer even bob their heads to say thank you!

2015 04 18 10 15 47

Nara is home to an enormous temple.

2015 04 18 10 35 47

Enormous statues guard the entrance on either side.

IMG 1799

IMG 1798

The statue inside is also very very large…

IMG 1802

 

…as TJ found out standing next to a replica of the statue’s hand!

 

2015 04 18 10 50 50

 

TJ painted his name on a tile…

2015 04 18 10 47 17

 

…and rang the temple gong (with a helping hand).

2015 04 18 10 44 01

 

Back on the street, TJ hopped into a bus and found the deer were everywhere – even embroidered on the seats!

IMG 1841

 

Back in Kyoto, TJ found himself at the Fushimi-Inari shrine…

 

2015 04 18 15 03 55

…world-famous for its thousands of brightly colored torii gates.

2015 04 18 15 07 47

 

There are ten thousand gates in all!

IMG 1855

IMG 1852

 

TJ also made some new friends who had come out for the day in traditional attire.

2015 04 18 15 06 33

And he couldn’t pass up the chance to finish the day by taking a picture with a Japanese icon!

IMG 1866

TJ’s Trip to Japan, part 10

Before long TJ arrived in Kyoto, the historic and cultural capital of Japan. 

2015 04 17 09 39 51

 

TJ’s first stop was the magnificent golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji. The entire building is covered in gold leaf!

IMG 1721

 

While waiting in line, TJ befriended a group of schoolboys. TJ still makes friends wherever he goes!

IMG 1723

 

The surrounding grounds and garden are meticulously kept.

IMG 1716

 

2015 04 17 09 56 49

2015 04 17 10 36 29

 

Inside the pavilion TJ found a well-groomed courtyard…

2015 04 17 10 49 51

…elaborate art on the walls and sliding doors…

IMG 1742

 

IMG 1743

 

…and an awfully familiar-looking rock!

2015 04 17 11 03 59

 

From Kinkaku-ji, TJ went on a whirlwind tour of Kyoto.  He visited the Kyoto Castle…

2015 04 17 13 15 13

 

…watched a tea ceremony…

 

2015 04 17 15 02 52

 

2015 04 17 15 03 29

2015 04 17 15 25 42

 

…and saw some wishing statues!

2015 04 17 15 38 58

TJ had one more side trip to make…

TJ’s Trip to Japan, part 9

TJ’s next stop was the Kutani porcelain factory. He was shown an introduction video…

2015 04 16 09 53 46

…and saw samples of the raw material that goes into making this famous ceramic.

2015 04 16 10 14 43

2015 04 16 10 15 05

The factory showed off everything from tile mosaics…

2015 04 16 09 55 26

…to elaborate vases…

2015 04 16 10 22 44

…to famous movie characters!

2015 04 16 09 52 47

 

TJ got to watch the raw material being shaped on a potter’s wheel…

 

2015 04 16 10 53 39

 

…and helped shape it into cups.

2015 04 16 11 07 21

After a great day, it was time to set off for Kyoto!

 

2015 04 16 10 39 03

TJ’s Trip to Japan, part 8

TJ’s next stop was Kanazawa.  He visited a house that belonged to the local samurai years ago.

2015 04 15 09 15 15

2015 04 15 09 18 39

The samurai’s armor was on display…

 

2015 04 15 09 16 56

…as was the family shrine.

2015 04 15 09 26 33

The courtyard of the house was a beautiful garden!

2015 04 15 09 38 05

Outside, despite the rain, TJ decided to visit the Botanical Gardens.

2015 04 15 09 48 24

 

IMG 1619

IMG 1620

TJ visited a goldsmith shop in Kanazawa, where he saw golden samurai armor…

 

IMG 1634

…and gold being pressed into a foil so thin…

IMG 1636

 

…that it could be served on ice cream!

IMG 1638

 

TJ settled for a look through the gift shop.

IMG 1642

Where would TJ wind up next?

 

TJ’s Trip to Japan, part 7

TJ’s next stop was the village of Shirakawa-go.

2015 04 14 10 16 21

Shirakawa-go is a World Heritage site, a mountain village of rice fields and thatched-roof houses.

2015 04 14 10 15 49

One house was open to tour inside and out.

 

2015 04 14 10 21 14

TJ could go all the way up the stairs into the attic…

2015 04 14 10 35 32

…and snuck into a spot in the rafters next to the straw ceiling that protects the thatch from underneath. The timbers were blackened and hardened with smoke from inside the house over many years.

2015 04 14 10 37 40

 

 

2015 04 14 10 37 52

Back on the main floor, TJ explored the lacquerware and woven goods in the house…

 

2015 04 14 10 23 56

2015 04 14 10 38 48

…and posed for a picture with the owner of the house, whose family has owned the house for over three hundred years!

2015 04 14 10 46 54

 

Outside, TJ watched fish swim through the irrigation trenches.

2015 04 14 10 50 15

2015 04 14 10 52 19

There was so much snow that winter that someone had built an igloo!

 

2015 04 14 11 02 20

TJ had a savory snack of fried dough balls…

2015 04 14 11 10 58

…but his favorite dessert was green tea ice cream!

IMG 1571

 

A perfect day in the Japanese Alps!

2015 04 14 12 44 44

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.