Friday, December 30, 2011

Some things I loved about Japan

Fabulous, speedy, punctual trains that take you everywhere you want to go.

The look of clay tiled rooftops against winter skies.

The guardian demons in front of the Ninnaji temple in Kyoto. There is an "Ah" guardian and a "Un" guardian; each is one half of a perfect breath. This is Ah.

The elaborate meals I ate at Buddhist temples. Called shojin-ryori, the ingredients are seasonal and entirely vegetarian. While I have to admit I did not love the flavor of every dish, I did love the beautiful presentation and the care that went into the preparation of the food.

A cup of steaming green tea and a chestnut-paste sweet at a teahouse on a chilly afternoon.

Confections counter at a Tokyo department store. Department store basements are filled with the most wondrous food you can imagine.

Fox guardians, or komainu, at an Inari (Shinto) shrine in Nagano. I never did learn the significance of the red bib.

Japanese schoolboys eager to practice their English homework.

Bamboo trunks as thick and tall as trees.

Maple tree ablaze at Ritsurin Gardens.

A dozen kinds of apples in Obuse.

Baffling, unintentionally eloquent Japanese-to-English translations.

The swans gliding in the moat that surrounds the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

2 comments:

Pants said...

Hi Tai

Love the photos - as always. I found Japan fascinating. I haven't been there since 1993. I'd been a frequent visitor for about five years before that. Seeing your photos reminds me of all the brilliant colours. Magnificent.

xxx

Pants

Tai said...

Hello Pants darling,

Yes, Japan is all about color! I am still thinking about one meal that involved a slice of jade-green melon served on a cobalt blue plate. Edible art.