日本での一年間

May 28, 2009

Kurashiki – Ohara Museum

Filed under: Chuugoku, Domestic, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 4:45 pm

The Ohara Museum, located in the city of Kurashiki, was the first museum dedicated solely to Western art in Japan.

outside the front of the museum

outside the front of the museum

Outside the front of the museum

Outside the front of the museum

Museum facade

Museum facade

Vine covered gate

Vine covered gate. I like this girl's outfit.

This girl looks freakishly similar to someone I know

This girl looks freakishly similar to someone I know

The museum has a lot of windows and actually is split into several buildings. The main building in particular has a lot of good natural light

The museum has a lot of windows and actually is split into several buildings. The main building in particular has a lot of good natural light

windows

windows

May 26, 2009

Kurashiki Canal

Filed under: Chuugoku, Domestic, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 12:26 am

After Kyoto, we moved on to Kurashiki, a city in the Chugoku region of Japan on the Western end of the main island that lies on the shores of the Seto Inland Sea. It isn’t a very large city, but it’s famous for it’s western art museum, it’s canal and it’s history of folk crafts, such as toys. I took the following pictures while we were watching a boat go along the canal. (Of course, the canal is so short now that the boat isn’t needed to travel down the canal, but tourists can still ride these boats to get a taste of what Kurashiki was once like.)

The canal, with pedestrian walkways on either side, and not yet bloomed trees lining the sides. It must be very beautiful when the trees bloom.

The canal, with pedestrian walkways on either side, and not yet bloomed trees lining the sides. It must be very beautiful when the trees bloom.

The boat approaches

The boat approaches

A lady walks along the canal in traditional dress.

A lady walks along the canal in traditional dress.

The boat up close

The boat up close

May 15, 2009

Mitarashi Dango Shop in Kyoto

Filed under: Cuisine, Domestic, Food, Kansai, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 1:08 pm

While in Kyoto, I ran across this little shop selling sweets, including Mitarashi Dango (御手洗団子), Rice cakes covered in sweet soy sauce. We each bought a stick of the mitarashi dango and it was delicious.

looking over the items for sale

looking over the items for sale

Putting the sweet soy sauce on the rice cakes

Putting the sweet soy sauce on the rice cakes

Making a sale. There was quite a long line at this little store.

Making a sale. There was quite a long line at this little store.

May 12, 2009

Corn Sushi

Filed under: Cuisine, Food — myyearinjapan @ 6:59 am

I was at a kaiten-zushi (回転寿司 those restaurants where sushi passes in front of you on a converyor belt and you take whichever sushi you like and pay at the end based on the number of plates you have in front of you) place with some friends. I saw this piece of sushi that had soem grilled corn on top instead of fish and thought it was so interesting that I had to get it.

corn sushi

corn sushi

May 11, 2009

Shirakawago

Filed under: Chubu, Domestic, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 2:15 am

While in Takayama, we took a day trip to Shirakawago (白川郷), a small town up in the mountains famous for its gassho zukuri houses (合掌造り), which means ‘hands in prayer’ style. They’re a kind of wooden house with a steep rafter roof. That area of Japan is part of Snow Country (雪国), and gets some of the most snow in Japan. That’s a big reason why this style of architecture developed. It was common throughout the region, but now can only be seen in a few places, such as Shirakawago. I had wanted to visit during the winter, so I could see the gassho houses covered in snow, when they are supposed to be quite spectacular, but by the time we got there, the snow was mostly melted, only a few piles here and there in the shade.

There arent any trains to Shirakawago, most people get there on tour buses, like the ones in the bottom left of this picture.

There aren't any trains to Shirakawago, most people get there on tour buses, like the ones in the bottom left of this picture. It was very rainy the day we went to Shirakawago.

Even the restaurants and souvenir shops are gassho zukuri style buildings

Even the restaurants and souvenir shops are gassho zukuri style buildings

Right next to a gassho zukuri house

Right next to a gassho zukuri house

Another gassho zukuri house

Another gassho zukuri house

Looking out at gassho zukuri houses from the attic of another house

Looking out at gassho zukuri houses from the attic of another house

Babbling brook that goes past the gassho zukuri homes

Babbling brook that goes past the gassho zukuri homes

The house thats covered in plastic is set to have its roof repaired. Then roofs are repaired by groups of volunteers, who want to help preserve history

The house that's covered in plastic is set to have its roof repaired. Then roofs are repaired by groups of volunteers, who want to help preserve history

The homes next to the river

The homes next to the river

A lantern framed by poles that mimic the gassho zukuri style

A lantern framed by poles that mimic the gassho zukuri style

Shirakawago is a little village in a valley surrounded by mountains.

Shirakawago is a little village in a valley surrounded by mountains.

May 10, 2009

Travelling, from Nagoya to Hida-Takayama

Filed under: Chubu, Domestic, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 12:43 am

I’m putting these pictures up kind of out of order, since I already put up pictures from Takayama, but these are some pictures from the train ride to Takayama, specifically between Nagoya and Takayama. We went to Nagoya from Tokyo by Shinkansen, Bullet Train, and then transferred to a limited express train. That ride went through mountains and past streams and was very pleasant. The following are some pictures from that trip.

Rice fields below the mountains

Rice fields below the mountains

Sunlight peaks out from behind the mountains

Sunlight peaks out from behind the mountains

more fields below the mountains

more fields below the mountains

stream that seems to come out from the mountainside

stream that seems to come out from the mountainside

May 9, 2009

Kyoto (Kamogawa River)

Filed under: Domestic, Kansai, seikatsu, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 12:42 am

Running through the center of Kyoto is the Kamogawa River (賀茂川). ‘Gawa’ actually means river so this translation is a redundancy. Anyway, this river runs through Kyoto and is a central part of the city. Lots of people hang out on the river banks. I’m told that groups of young people go there to get drunk (there’s no law against public drunkenness here). And lots of people bike along the river as well.

The river.

The river.

biking along the river

biking along the river

May 7, 2009

Kyoto (Fushimi Inari Shrine – Part 2)

Filed under: Domestic, Kansai, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 7:31 am

A continuation of my previous post.

Light breaks in between the gates of the Fushimi Inari Shinre

Light breaks in between the gates of the Fushimi Inari Shinre

Outside the gates

Outside the gates

Mini gate shaped ema (絵馬), votive picture tablets. (Thanks to Jenn for teaching me this word!)

Mini gate shaped ema (絵馬), votive picture tablets. (Thanks to Jenn for teaching me this word!)

big gates

big gates

Fox standing watch

Fox standing watch

lantern next to the gates

lantern next to the gates

May 6, 2009

Kyoto (Fushimi Inari Shrine – Part 1)

Filed under: Domestic, Kansai, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 10:37 am

The Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷神社), while not one of Kyoto’s UNESCO world heritage sites, is another of the most photographed places in the city. It is particularly famous for the rows of orange gates, which happen to look great in pictures.

The first of many, many gates

The first of many, many gates

The symbol of this type of shrine is the fox. Just outside the shrine, there are many stuffed foxes of all sizes for sale.

The symbol of this type of shrine is the fox. Just outside the shrine, there are many stuffed foxes of all sizes for sale.

The first row of gates. This row is of rather large gates, and it later splits off into two rows of smaller gates

The first row of gates. This row is of rather large gates, and it later splits off into two rows of smaller gates

The split into the two rows of smaller gates. Which way to go?

The split into the two rows of smaller gates. Which way to go?

The famous Fushimi Inari picture that can be found all over the internet and various publications about Japan and Kyoto.

The famous Fushimi Inari picture that can be found all over the internet and various publications about Japan and Kyoto. It's actually kind of hard to get a picture like this because there's always a lot of people around and you have to wait a while before you get a chance to take a people-less picture.

Looking through the hole in one row of gates to peek at the other

Looking through the hole in one row of gates to peek at the other

May 5, 2009

Kyoto (Kiyomizu-dera Temple – Part 2)

Filed under: Domestic, Kansai, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 11:58 pm

A continuation of my previous post. More photos from my visit to Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺).

The view from Kiyomizu, looking in the direction of Kyoto Station. You can see Kyoto Tower poking up out of the city.

The view from Kiyomizu, looking in the direction of Kyoto Station. You can see Kyoto Tower poking up out of the city.

That popular cliched photo of Kiyomizu and the people looking out over the city

That popular cliched photo of Kiyomizu and the people looking out over the city

The temple with tress in front. The blossomed definitely hadnt bloomed yet

The temple with tress in front. The blossomed definitely hadn't bloomed yet

Finally found a tree with blossoms!

Finally found a tree with blossoms!

Greenery at Kiyomizu

Greenery at Kiyomizu

pagoda

pagoda

Looking down a path near the temple

Looking down a path near the temple

Steps going up the steep hill to the temple

Steps going up the steep hill to the temple

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