Latest Posts

by / on February 2, 2014 at 9:50 PM / in Heijō Palace Area, Nara Ken, Nara-City

Kikō-ji Temple in Nara Founded by Gyōki in 721!

Kikō-ji Temple in Nara: Last week Friday, while cycling around the Saidaiji area of Nara, I visited the Kikō-ji Temple (喜光寺). This old temple, dating back to 721 AD is also known as Sugawara-dera. Kikō-ji Temple was founded by Priest Gyōk (行基). An impressive Nandaimon or South Gate (南大門) is the entrance. Two fierce looking Kongōrikishi (金剛力士) or Niō (仁王) […]

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by / on January 25, 2014 at 8:52 PM / in Heijō Palace Area, Nara-City

Biking Along Kizugawa to Heijō Palace in Nara!

Biking Along Kizugawa: Yesterday, January 24, I went on a bike ride along the Kizugawa River towards Heijō Palace grounds in Nara City. It was a fine day, the forecast was a spring like day with temperatures rising to 12 degrees Celsius. I have recently bought an MTB as part of my exercise plan. Although I am exercising on a […]

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by / on January 23, 2014 at 6:43 PM / in Gourmet, Kita-ku, Temples-Shrines

Aburi-mochi at the Imamiya Shrine in Kyoto!

A 1000 year old Shrine: A few days ago, while visiting Daitoku temple in Northern Kyoto. I stumbled upon a Imamiya Shrine. It was rapidly getting dark and the paper lanterns, new-years decorations on the Kaguraden, where glowing in the dark. There where still some worshipers who came to pray for blessings in the coming year. There are two entrances […]

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by / on January 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM / in Mie-ken, My Travels

Nagashima Spa Land: An Unforgettable Experience!

Just before New-Year we went to Nagashima Spa Land (ナガシマスパーランド) Mie-ken, Japan. Its about a 1 ½ hour drive from Kyoto on the highway and the weather, although a little chilly, was sunny and dry. It is a fairly big amusement park along the pacific ocean in the Ise bay. I have been there before in the summer and enjoyed […]

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by / on January 11, 2014 at 11:22 AM / in Higashiyama-ku, Temples-Shrines

38.000 Ears and Noses lay Buried here: Mimizuka (耳塚) in Kyoto!

Did you know about this? This often forgotten memorial is located not so far from the famous Kiyomizu dera temple and the Kyoto National museum on the Higashiyama and Shichijo crossing and just a few meters away from the Hokoku Shrine. The Hokuku shrine is also known as the Toyokuni shrine (豊国神社) honoring Toyotomi Hideyoshi! Hideyoshi being the guy ordering […]

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by / on January 5, 2014 at 12:46 PM / in Kamigamo Jinja, Kita-ku, Kyoto WH, Temples-Shrines

Tsukemono at the Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto!

A few days ago, I went to the Kamigamo Shrine (上賀茂神社), a World Heritage Site in Kyoto. As you enter the inner shrine on your left are series of pickle presses lined up and a little tent with the finished product in festive barrels as an offering to the shrine by the local farmers. The pickles inside the barrels, are […]

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by / on January 4, 2014 at 8:14 PM / in Fushimi-ku, Kamigamo Jinja, Nishikyō-ku, Shimogamo Jinja, Shimogyō-ku, Temples-Shrines, Yamashina-ku

New-Years -2014- Celebrations in Kyoto!

Shōgatsu or New-Years is an important time for Japanese people and there are many customs and traditions to be observed. Some shinto shrines display large “Ema” (絵馬) in their precincts. Ema (絵馬) are votive tablets (an object offered in fulfilment of a vow) bearing illustrations of horses or other scenes offered at shrines and temples. This year is the “year […]

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