S: Japan, Summer 2008
FC: Japan Summer 2008
1: Kinkakuji Also known as The Golden Pavillion is a Zen Temple covered in gold leaf.
2: The public is allowed to visit the inner most palace grounds twice a year. We were only able to visit the outer grounds.
3: i | Gardeners on the Kyoto Imperial Palace East Garden grounds
4: Kyoto | Gion Matsuri Festival is the festival of the Yasaka Shrine. It is also the most famous festival in Japan.
5: Along with the floats, food venders are celebrating with Japanese street foods. Traditional clothes are worn during the festival.
6: Most enclaves in Japanese cities have shrines where the neighborhood worships. Here, men are participating in traditional ceremonies for this particular shrine. | Yasaka Shrine during Gion Matsuri Festival
8: Kodaji Temple Temples and shrines are scattered around Kyoto. Koddaji is one of the best known.
10: Traveling the streets of Kyoto
11: Traveling the streets of Kyoto
13: Osaka Castle | The original castle was started in 1583. After some fighting, it was restored and updated in 1931.
14: Horyuji Temple This temple is one of Japan's oldest temples, dating from the 7th century. These buildings are some of the world's oldest wooden structures.
15: Main Hall Five- Storied Pagoda
16: The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery considers itself to be the birthplace of Japanese whiskey. This whiskey is unique because it is made from the water that flows from the hill above.
17: Suntory Yamazaki Distillery
18: This park is full of free roaming deer, believed to be messengers of the Gods in the Shinto religion. The deer demand food from tourists, their favorite being green tea ice cream. | Nara Park
19: Todaiji Temple "Great Eastern Temple" One of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples, constructed in 752. This temple houses the largest Buddha statue inside the world's largest wooden building. The current reconstruction is two-thirds the size of the original temple.
20: This is one of the most celebrated Shinto shrines in Japan. | This shrine is famous for its stone and bronze lanterns which are donated by worshippers.
21: Kasuga Taisha
22: Hiroshima is the site of the first atomic bombing of Japan by US on August 6, 1945. It obliterated everything within a 2 km radius. The only building still standing has been memorialized at the A-Bomb Dome. | Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park is the site of the direct blast of the atomic bomb. It was decided that the area would not be redeveloped, rather it would house the memorial facilities.
24: Miyajima | The Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine.
25: Torii gate | Itsukushima Shrine was built over water and looks as though it is floating during high tide.
26: The Great Buddha of Kamakura The second largest bronze Buddha statue in Japan.
27: Hase Kannon Temple overlooks the coastal city of Kamakura.
28: Himeji Castle | Unlike other castles, Himeji has not been damaged by war, earthquake or fires. It is in its original form.
29: Nighttime in Tokyo | Our hotel was in Shinjuku. We treated ourselves to dinner at the New York Bar.
30: We enjoyed our trip to Tokyo Disneyland. It was fun to hear Jack Sparrow speak Japanese.
31: We went to a soccer game when we were in Tokyo. The home team's song is "You Will Never Walk A'r'one"! I love Japan!!
32: The Japanese take their restrooms very seriously. The Japanese toilet is set into the floor over which you squat. | The Japanese provide instructions for a lot of things, including how to clean the toilet seat.
33: Oh, the Japanese and their use of English!