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Jidai Matsuri

The Jidai Matsuri event is taking place again right now in Kyoto. The weather seems to have dipped a bit and is providing some rain today. Not too bad but a lot of umbrellas were on show. Always nice to see these…

Photography in Japan 1853-1912

I was asked recently whether I would like to introduce a book detailing the history of Japanese photography from the period 1853-1912. The book is a recent publication by Tuttle Publishing which gives quite an in depth and amazing look into…

Daimonji Gozan Okuribi Bonfires

On August 16th each year the traditional Gozan no Okuribi 五山送り火 bonfires are lit on the mountain side around Kyoto. This is part of the obon festival. There are five bonfires in total. I managed to capture a few of them this year.…

Shirahige Jinja

Cycling around Lake Biwa over Golden Week, I got to see some great countryside. This was one of the standout views. Shirahige Jinja with its Torii Gate in the clear waters of the lake. Lots of people around here taking photos. Great…

Yasaka Jinja

I visited a number of Temples and Shrines on New Years Day just to have a walk around and see the crowds. I started in the center of Kyoto and walked to Yasaka Jinja, Kodaiji, Kiyomizudera and then back to town.

City Contrasts

In a modern city it is always interesting to see how the older style architecture and culture is incorporated into new plans. Looking at this scene reminded me of just how difficult it is to accommodate a large population with limited…

Gion Matsuri

One of the most important festivals of the year, and one that takes over the city of Kyoto for almost a month as the town comes together to prepare and take part. I have more photos from the parade and the preparation stage as well.…

Summer dining on Kamogawa

Summer along the Kamogawa river in Kyoto is always busy. The Gion festival with its various preparations takes place during the rainy season and tourist numbers are always large to see this. Locals as well as tourists make great use of…

Kinkakuji

Yesterday I visited Kinkakuji after the rain from the typhoon. The pond was a bit murky, but the gold was glittering.

Aoi Matsuri

The Aoi Matsuri is one of the three main festivals held in Kyoto each year in addition to the Festival of the Ages (Jidai Matsuri) and Gion Festival. The festival has its origins from the time of Emperor Kinmei back in the 500's, and…

New iPad3? Get a Kimono iPad Case

I visited Kyoto recently and dropped in on Kyokaori Company where they have been very creative and turned some kimono obi's into brilliantly colorful and unique iPad Cases. Imagine turning up to a meeting with your iPad dressed in a…

Hoshi Matsuri

Today was the annual Hoshi Matsuri at the Agon Shu Temple in Kyoto. I was surprised to see it being broadcast on so many different television stations live, including the BBC. Were you watching in your part of the world? The Hoshi…

Kisaragi and Setsubun

The month of February used to be called Kisaragi in Japan. February was the second month of winter under the lunar calendar, which Japan used before the Heian Period. Under this calendar, Winter was the period from January to end of…

Temple Colors

It is very cold in Japan at the moment with snow falling heavily in many parts of the country. Back in summer when I visited Arashiyama, it was all blue skies and warm weather. Visiting the gardens and Temples of Japan, the strong…

Sakamoto Ryoma

I watched the NHK drama series, Ryomaden 龍馬伝, in 2010 and also the Jin drama on TBS last year, which both focused on the story of Sakamoto Ryoma, 坂本龍馬. I bought the DVD set for the first series of Ryomaden to watch it again. It is a…

New Year Day 2012

It is always quiet in Tokyo on New Year Day. Here is a scene in Shibuya with a lot less people than normal. It's really nice on the streets with so few people. Like a scene from a movie.

Hinamatsuri, Doll Festival

Hina Matsuri, Girls Days is coming up soon (March 3) and the displays are out in the department store encouraging parents or grandparents to buy. Do you have your own Hina Matsuri display at home?

Happy New Year 2011

Happy New Year to everyone. I had a quiet night for New Years Eve, watching Kouhaku on the TV and then a quick walk in the local area after midnight, visiting a Jinja in Ebisu. Today I had a walk out to Meiji Jingu and then back…

Origami

Sometimes the simple things are the best. These 2 origami cranes I captured a while ago whilst staying in Kyoto always make me smile when I look at them. What is your favorite origami? Origami on wikipedia

Hina Matsuri Cake

Saw this delicious looking Hina Matsuri cake for sale at Buzzsearch Shinagawa. The price was Yen 1,680. What a wonderful day to celebrate the upcoming Dolls Festival on March 3rd. What plans do you have for celebrating Hina Matsuri?

Doll Festival

I was at Ryogoku Station, where the Sumo is held in Tokyo, to visit the offices of a friendly bear company yesterday, and on the way back spotted this display of Hina Ningyo that had been set up by the Ryogoku Station staff. There is…