The shrines of Nikko

Today Mani & I visit the temples of Nikko in Tochigi. The vibrant temples at this World Heritage site are strikingly different in appearance from other temples I have witnessed in Japan. The lavishly decorated pillars and other structures are covered in a gold leaves and multitude carvings conveying expressions of religious belief as well as scholarship and philosophy.

The cute dolls of Tougyoku Doll Museum

We landed in Iwatsuki today to see the amazing Togyoku dolls. The collection at Tougyoku Dolls Museum is diverse and the exhibits include imperial court dolls and hina dolls among others. The town of Iwatsuki is famous for its cute dolls and is said to have over 300 doll-makers. They’ve been making dolls here since the 1700s when it was discovered that the Paulownia trees here are excellent for woodcarving. Soon the town became a center for the production of hina dolls, and the tradition continues to this day.

An evening at Enoshima

We traveled to Enoshima today, a small offshore island, about 4 km in circumference, at the mouth of the Katase River which flows into the Sagami Bay of Kanagawa. I was there to photograph Mt. Fuji, which I have heard looks stunning from the beach, but unfortunately the foggy weather foiled our attempts to catch the unique scene. However the beach is still an amazing place to spend an evening with your loved one.