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Postby rick » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:53 pm

As promised here are some more pictures of Japan. We absolutely loved it there

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An evening in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

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This is the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

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With its thousands of tori gates like this that make a contiuous passage way all the way up the mountain and back down again.

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These chaps are everywhere, with there very loud chirruping but are surprisingly difficult to actually see.

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I forget the name of this Buddhist temple in Kyoto but it is supposed to be the largest wooden structure anywhere. There was a large rope that was used to get those enormous pine pillars down from the mountain that was supposedly made of the monks hair. The sceptic in me wondered if monks hair was a plentiful resource!

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Gion was fantastic. The shopping district was to die for.
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This was the art gallery in Osaka.

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Drying himself on the roof of the original Nintendo workshop!

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People arriving for the Daimonji festival.

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Character fires on the surrounding hills.

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How much luck do you need! - in a bar we went to after the festival.

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I forget the title of this, among many shrines at Ise-Shi. Didn't see the sacred chickens :( the divine messengers must have been away on official business.

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More of Ise-Shi

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The wedded rocks.

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A black eared kite on the seafront.
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Ginza, Tokyo... OMG!
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Re: Japan

Postby Minorcafan » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:11 pm

What pictures!!

I think the biggest wooden temple is called Higashi-Honganji
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Re: Japan

Postby dinosaw » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:26 pm

So glad you enjoyed yourselves. Did you get on ok with the food and the language?. Did you bring back a Maneki-neko?, we have three of them on our windowsill. Great picture of the Heron btw.
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Re: Japan

Postby rick » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:50 pm

Thanks Dinosaw - I've been practising my bird photography and hoped to see some - good thing with a digital is you can bin the majority that are rubbish.
I have a poor recall of some English words at the best of times so in the heat of the moment I didn't get much further than hello, please and thank you! Most Japanese had a grasp of some English though, particularly in Tokyo and Kyoto so we got by OK. It was just a bit difficult to have a conversation that went beyond the basics. The Japanese people are very friendly and helpful and a little sensitivity to etiquette goes a long way. I had some trouble smoking - only acceptable in smoking areas in restaurants and the like, or in your own house though I booked non-smoking for Carol's sake. No smoking in public spaces - I think its mostly to do with not dropping litter, everywhere is so clean and tidy.
We didn't buy a cat that grants everyday wishes but we did buy quite a lot of ceramics. The pottery and fabrics are very, very good - easy to spend a fair bit of money!
To be fair, the food takes some getting used to we found (the textures are quite different), especially as Carol was trying to be as vegetarian as possible. Gave up on avoiding fish stock though as that is impossible and things you would presume vegetarian here were rarely as expected. Tempura and noodles with 'only vegetables' was the safest option. I was less choosy and we just ordered an assortment and shared it according to preference. No wholemeal bread! However, the raw ingredients were varied, plentiful, fresh and local so we did some cooking at Kyoto when we had a house. In Ise (just a bit further along the coast at Futamino) we found that nowhere was open after 5pm and that evening we had to survive on pot noodle and snacks from the 7-Eleven - all part of the experience!
I was blown away to find that we were living next to the original Nintendo playing card factory. I have been collecting hanafuda cards for some time (bought some more sets too) and it was a whacky coincidence!
Though I know its not all roses and in some respects Japan is wrestling with some less savoury old patriarchal attitudes - there is general and all pervasive humour (not dissimilar to British), modesty and genuine love and respect of innocence in the culture that is very endearing... i.e. TV is purposefully old school in its presentation. The weather reporter uses a stick with a ball on to point at a card map with stick on bits. They could CGI the whole thing easily but choose not to. The graphics are blocky, 80's game like and the programs are largely of local interest. Switch over to Chinese TV and the commercial special effects bling is going full tilt! Unlike the 'special interest' stuff we see sometimes over here (if you are particularly loose with an internet search), cute manga style is everywhere and while, no doubt, there's dubious stuff going on somewhere - its obvious that it is a very tiny facet of a very much larger and deeper cultural aesthetic.
I fear that going once has rather whetted my appetite to see more of the country some day (though that flight is a bit rough!)
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Re: Japan

Postby valeriebutterley » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:26 pm

Absolutely wonderful pictures Rick, went to Kyoto many, many years ago. Love the kites (?) beautiful birds, have a couple of them anytime!
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Re: Japan

Postby bigyetiman » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:16 pm

Fantastic photos, thanks for sharing them with us, love the flight shot of the Kite.Glad you had a great time
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