We headed up to Tokyo today to see my mother-in-law since we'll be busy over the usual family-gathering days of Oshogatsu (the Japanese new year). We also did ohaka mairi (visiting someone's final resting place) for Hisashi's father and other ancestors. Ohaka mairi is taken pretty seriously in Japan, though customs depend on the area … Continue reading Ohaka Mairi
A closer look at the tiny octopi of an earlier photo. These unfortunate eight-leggers are destined for takoyaki, balls of batter and, well, chopped up octopus.
There are a few elephant heads, as well as whole elephants, carved into the structures at Nikko's Tosho-gu. Apparently (and understandably), the builders/carvers had only stories on which to base their work, having never seen an elephant. For some reason, they seem to have been under the impression that elephants were pretty sinister creatures. I … Continue reading Nikko Elephants
Takoyaki is a favourite festival food in Japan. It's made of balls of batter mixed with chopped up octopus, and, in this case, teeny tiny octopi. Takoyaki made with wee octopi doesn't really float my boat, though normal takoyaki is pretty good—as long as the octopus pieces are suction cup-free.
The fall leaves in Nikko fell ages ago, having passed their best before we visited in mid-November. But we didn't miss all the colour. We got to see some bright reds, yellows and oranges while wandering Tosho-gu. Kamakura, on the other hand, is just now passing its peak.
A few weeks back, the family and I went on a short trip to Nikko, a World Heritage site a few hours north of Tokyo. The big shrine-temple complex there, Tosho-gu, is home to the three monkeys of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil fame.
When Japan opened its doors to the West in the second half of the 19th century, it kept pretty close tabs on foreign settlements. The Yamate area of Yokohama was one of the sanctioned areas, and it still has quite a few Western-style houses, as well as a beautiful Anglican Church, and a large cemetery. … Continue reading Yokohama Foreigners’ Cemetery
The Enoden Line's Kamakura Station always gets an A for effort when it comes to seasonal decorations, even for the more Western holidays.
Japanese gardens don't tend themselves. A temple gardener works on the grass of the garden at Engaku-ji.
This is a close-up of a photo I posted a few weeks ago. The other photo focused on Oinari-san, the fox. I hope what catches your eye in this photo is the small, round mirror in the back. That little mirror is the kami-sama, or god(dess).