Wednesday, June 20, 2018

JAPANESE FEAST


After our walk along a small section of the Nakasendo Trail we returned to our Ryokan in Tsumago (Hanaya Inn) to an impressive table of Japanese delights.  Photo courtesy of Ashish a fellow Intrepid Traveler. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

AS THE LIGHT FALL SO TOO DOES THE WATERFALL


Imagine our delight when on a walk through an ancient Japanese forest off the Nakasendo trail on the way to Tsumago we discovered this magical waterfall. As the light falls so too does the waterfall.


Monday, June 18, 2018

MAGOME-JUKU - WATER WHEEL


On day 7 of our Japanese Journey we left the big cities behind and found ourselves in Magome-Juku the 43rd of the 69 stations of the Nakasendo, an ancient road that connected Kyoto and Edo duing the Edo Period. Magome-Juku is an old post town complete with water wheel as you can see.  Tomorrow on to the next post town,Tsumago, and a trek through the forest.  Can't wait to show you the waterfall.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

GREAT TORII GATE


The giant, orange Great Torii Gate to Itsukushima Shrine at low tide.  Understandably a World Heritage Site.  

Saturday, June 16, 2018

ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE - MIYAJIMA ISLAND


As if floating on water the  dramatic gate, or torii, appears to float on Hiroshima Bay as it signals the entrance to Itsukushima jinja the chief Shinto Shrine in the Province. The view was magnificent as we appoached by ferry and spectacular when viewed at low tide from the beach.  More tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2018

HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL PARK


Our visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was very moving .  This photograph contains many stories.  In the distance is the A-Bomb Dome, the remains of the former Prefecture Industrial Promotional Hall.  It is viewed through the Cenotaph, an arched tomb for those who died because of the bomb, either because of the initial blast or exposure to radiation.  Below the arch is a stone chest holding a register of the names of the victims; over 220,000.  I prefer to focus on the foreground the children, friends, the future.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

HIMEJI CASTLE


From Koyasan we traveled to Himeji and it's spectacular Castle. A local guide took us on a journey through the castle asking us to imagine we were attackers and pointing out all the tricks and traps along the way designed to quickly bring us to our doom well before reaching the emperor safely secreted on the top floor.  The tricks and traps included three moats, misleading pathways, hidden shooting galleries, stone drops, hidden floors and narrowing, steepening stairs to the top. Very clever Samarai!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

KONPON DAITO PAGODA


The spectacular pagoda that is in Danjogaran the heart of Mount Koya. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

OKUNION CEMETERY


From Kyoto we traveled by various trains and cable car to Koyason. That afternoon we found ourselves walking through Okunion Cemetery.  An ancient Buddhist burial ground on Mount Koya filled with dramatic monuments, an eerie silence and chill mountain air.  It was followed by a stay in a monastery, a Japanese feast and a goods nights sleep on a futon. An amazing day.

Monday, June 11, 2018

SHINKANSEN - BULLET TRAIN


Several of our journey's from Kyoto to Tokyo were on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train).  We traveled on the Tokaido Shinkansen connecting Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka the world's busiest high speed rail line.  Travelling on the Bullet Train was so smooth and comfortable it was hard to imagine the maximum operating speed is 320 km/h.  Standing on the platform while an express flies by is another story.  I will never forget the stunned expression on one of our fellow traveler's faces when an express unexpectedly whooshed by in an instant. The video is of one gracefully pulling up to the station.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

OLD KYOTO


There's a surprise on every corner in Old Kyoto.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

FOOD HALL - DAIMARU - KYOTO


If you want excellent Customer Service head to Kyoto. No matter what store or shop we visited we were always greeted with a smile.  Shopping was a pleasure and the food hall in Daimaru was no exception.  

Friday, June 8, 2018

NIJO CASTLE - KYOTO


One of the highlights of our stay in Kyoto was a visit to Nijo-Castle the grand entrance of which is photographed above.  One of the surprising features inside the castle is its "nightingale floors".  The dry timber floor boards creak against the flooring nails giving the impression of hundreds of birds chirping as visitors walk around the vast hallways.  An early warning of approaching enemies.  

Thursday, June 7, 2018

KINKAKUJI - GOLDEN PAVILION - KYOTO


We recently had the pleasure of being guided by Kodo Miura on Intrepid's "Classic Japan".  I could use the word "tour" or "holiday" to describe our time with Kodo and although it was both it was much more.   It was an "experience".  An introduction, not only to the Japan's sights but also its people, culture, history, food, transport, it's chaos and tranquility.  Over the next few weeks we will post one photo a day from our time away.  Not an easy task in a country with such unique beauty.

Today's Photo is the Golden Pavilion one of Kyoto's most famous sights.