Kosoku-ji Blossoms

Kosoku-ji, a small temple not far from Hasedera, has absolutely fantastic gardens.Even before you get to the gardens, though, there are absolutely fantastic cherry trees - and today, they were pretty much at their peak. I admit to setting this next shot up. Not at first, but I decided that the blossoms that were already … Continue reading Kosoku-ji Blossoms

Early Sakura

We visited Kosoku-ji, a small temple with amazing gardens just down the street from us, the other day, and were surprised to see a few cherry trees had already bloomed. Unfortunately, I only had my iPad mini on me, and the trees were rather far away, so the photos aren't as clear as I wish … Continue reading Early Sakura

Zuisen-ji Green

One of the things I love best about Japan is its greenery. It may have massive cities and more concrete than you can shake a stick at, but when it's green, it's green--with ferns, bamboo, towering cedars, and soft moss. And you really don't have to go too far off the beaten track to find … Continue reading Zuisen-ji Green

When Discomfort Threatens to Overpower Culture

A few weeks ago, some pretty major news dropped: the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (they make maps) proposed a set of changes to its tourist maps. The goal is clarity–some of the current symbols are a bit confusing for those who have just arrived. For example, "H" stands for "hotel"–not "hospital" or "helipad", while an … Continue reading When Discomfort Threatens to Overpower Culture


Zuisen-ji, tucked away in the hills northeast of Kamakura Station, is famous for its gardens. It's not so old compared to other Kamakura temples, having been founded in 1327, but it is one of the more important temples nonetheless what with its close association with members of the Muromachi Shogunate. Zuisen-ji is also on the … Continue reading Zuisen-ji