Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha

The thousand torii of Fushimi Inari Taisha

Today we go for a night photo-walk to Fushimi Inari-taisha, the head shrine of the kami Inari, located just a train stop away from the bustling city of Kyoto.

The first time I visited Fushimi Inari-taisha was way back in January of 2016 Since then I have been to the heritage site a couple of times but I never came around to writing about it Fushimi Inari-taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of the Kami Inari, located in Fushimi-ku area of Kyoto The shrine sits at the base of a mountain, also named Inari, which is roundabout 230 meters in height Most of the shrine’s prominent structures are located right at the base of the mountain However, for the adventurous types there are numerous trails that lead right up to the summit of the Inari mountain, where you can find some very old
Ukimi-do Hall

Photowalk to Ukimido Pavilion

While on my evening walk today, I dropped in at Ukimido Pavilion. Ukimido is a hexagonal gazebo over the Sagiike Pond in an aloof area of Nara Park. During summer evenings the floating pavilion is illuminated and it feels very relaxing sitting in the center of the pond surrounded by enchanting lights.

Ukimido is a hexagonal gazebo over the Sagiike Pond in Nara Park The park is generally crowded with tourists all through the day, but they usually stay away from this area The airy structure in the middle of the pond, surrounded by herds of deer, is one place where I can find peace at any time of the day I have been to Ukimido in Nara several times before but never during the evenings A few days before I came across a flier at the Nara Tourist Information Center that had a cover photo of the pavilion at night It looked so immersive that I couldn’t miss photographing this lovely gazebo
Osaka Castle

The stunning Osaka Castle

I love walking around Osaka Castle in the evenings. The castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who ruled Japan in the latter half of the 16th century. The stone walls and moats surround the castle separating it from the bustling city. As dusk sets in, the sodium lamps light up the pathways surrounding the castle. The weeping sakura leaves along the wide moat briskly sway in the wind and the castle itself looks like a fantasy structure from the mythical age of dragons.

I dropped in at Osaka today to capture the stunning Osaka Castle in the evening light Osaka, Chūō-ku is the second largest metropolis of Japan It’s a bustling city with over 19 million inhabitants The city is well-connected by the subway During my first few days in Osaka, I used to feel very lost making my way through the confusing subway But I have made progress in the last few months and now am able to understand the routes better We started from Nara after lunch Nara to Osaka Castle We reached the Tembabashi Station at about 4 pm In my opinion its the easiest route to the Castle
Yasaka Pagoda

An evening at Yasaka-no-tou Pagoda

Today we take a walk down to Yasaka-dori in Kyoto to the stunning Yasaka-no-to Pagoda. Built in 592, the Pagoda is the only standing structure of the Hokan-ji Temple. The rest of the structures have either been destroyed by fires or earthquakes over the years.

Today we take a walk down to Yasaka-dori in Kyoto to the stunning Yasaka-no-tou Pagoda Built in 592, the Pagoda is the only standing structure of the Hokan-ji Temple The rest of the structures have either been destroyed by fires or earthquakes over the years Kyoto has many attractions for the wide-eyed tourists The Kinkaku-ji Temple and Kiyomizu-dera Temple being the most favorites, but if you are photographically inclined, the Yasaka Pagoda is not to be missed With its old city charm and cobblestone paths, it takes your breadth away, specially during the evenings when the pathways are illuminated in a golden glow How to reach Yasaka Pagoda from
Horyuji Temple

Exploring the Horyu-ji Temple

Hōryū-ji is one of the seven great temples of Nara. Today we investigate the Pagoda at the grounds, said to be one of the oldest standing wooden structures in history. The tree used in the construction of the Pagoda dates back to 594 A.D. Can wood even survive that long!

Hōryū-ji (法隆寺) is one of the seven great temples of Nara The temple is a central artifact in the history of Japan and just invoking its name is enough to bring a sparkle in the eyes of most Japanese The original temple was commissioned by Prince Shōtoku in 607 CE and even though the complex has been hit by fire more than a few times, it still boasts the presence of the world’s oldest wooden building known to man Summer was upon us On a lazy Sunday, Me & Mani, left our dorm for Hōryū-ji at around noon In the steaming hot weather, with only the occasional breeze providing some relief, we walked
New Year at Todaiji

Ringing in the new year at Todai-ji

We decided to do something different this new year eve. We walked down to Todaiji at midnight to usher in the new year with the blessings of the great Daibutsu. For it is only during New Year eve that the upper doors, in front of the face of the Great Buddha, are opened so all can witness the eyes of the Daibutsu.

We decided to do something different this new year eve We walked down to Todai-ji at midnight to usher in the new year with the blessings of the great Daibutsu Todai-ji is the largest of the Seven Great Temples of Nara and one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara“ The roads were lit and the streets were empty Nothing new for someone who has lived in Nara even for a short amount of time Once we reached the Nara Park area, we could see some families walking towards the temple A group of deer were gathered under the street lights We came across some deer while walking towards Todaiji The narrow
Todai-ji

Todai-ji : Home of Buddha

One cannot but feel tiny in front of Todaiji, home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha, housed in the colossal Daibutsuden Hall. Constructed in 752 AD as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples, it rose to become one of the most powerful temple in Japan, guarded by the fierce Sohei warrior monks.

Today we went for a walk to Nara Park to explore the age-old Buddhist temple of Todai-ji (東大寺) Once the most powerful temple in all of Japan, guarded by the fierce Sohei warrior monks, its phenomenal rise eventually forced the Emperor to shift their capital from Nara to Kyoto to stop its growing influence After a long week of dull cloudy days, the sun was finally shining through It was a Monday and I was hoping the crowd would be less compared to the weekends The last time we were at the park, it was late in the evening and the temple hall had closed down for the day Shrines and temple in Japan
Kasuga Taisha

Photo Walk to Kasuga Taisha

I go back to explore Kasuga Taisha, shrine of a thousand lanterns, hidden away in the primeval forest of Kasugayama. Shinto shrines are generally destroyed and rebuilt every 20 years for purification purposes and this is the 57th re-incarnation of the 1700 year old Shrine.

The sun was shining again and I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to explore Kasuga Taisha We had missed going inside the shrine on the day we went for a walk in the Nara Deer Park and it looked like a lovely day to fix it Kasuga Taisha was built in 768 CE by Lord Fujiwara, by the order of Emperor Shotoku It enshrines four gods from important shrines around the country From the 8th century, as the Fujiwara dynasty grew in clout, the Kasuga shrine also prospered Kasuga Taisha became so powerful that even Emperors came to worship here During that time, the Fujiwara clan wielded such huge amount of political influence that some emperors even
Yakushi-ji

Exploring the Yakushi-ji Temple

I took the Nara Kotsu bus to explore the 7th century temple of Yakushi-ji in the suburbs of Nara. Known as the Temple of Medicine, Yakushi-ji is among Unesco’s list of “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara” World Heritage Site.

After spending a couple of hours in the peaceful gardens of Toshodai-ji, I walked down to Yakushi-ji using Google Maps as my guide It led me along a narrow path along a Canal The water flowing in the Canal was sparkling clear I cannot in my wildest dream think of such clean flowing water in Kolkata (my hometown) I trudged along the path at a leisurely pace At the first intersection, I asked a traffic cop for directions who directed me towards the gate of the temple While walking towards the Yakushi-ji temple, I happened to see a lovely courtyard on my right and I went in to take a look

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