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.
Tojinbo Cliffs enjoy the dubious distinction of being the most loved suicide spot in Japan. For the wandering souls like me, the enthralling, rugged cliffs eroded by the raging waves of the Sea of Japan combined with the mesmerizing sunset is certainly more than likely to cause skipped heartbeats.
Mani & I took the train to Kobe to check out the stunning illuminated harbor but we were sucked into the Bon Odori festivities happening on the same day. Food and beer stalls were everywhere. Surrounded by a sea of Kimono clad couples, on a small wooden stage, a group of lovely ladies were dancing to traditional music. It was great fun watching this 500-year-old tradition that is celebrated yearly to honor the spirits of their ancestors.
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.
We went for a stroll along the Aomori bay at dusk. As the sun gradually sunk into the Japan Sea, we were treated to a magical sunset. There is nothing more enchanting or enticing as Mother Nature. So just stop whatever you are doing. Leave the desk, couch or whatever and go out, and witness the golden moments that are passing you by.
We take a walk to the Tsuruga Castle in Aizu Wakamatsu, a city where the influences of samurai remain strong even today. The five storied impregnable fortress and castle tower that stands today is a replica reconstructed in 1965, based on photographs and historical documents of the preceding Kurokawa Castle, built in 1384.
Today we took a bus to the Kagoshima pier to witness the mighty Sakurajima. Sakurajima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and the symbol of Kagoshima. Approximately 10 billion tons of lava has flowed out over the years. Its frequent lava flows have resulted in the former island to be connected with the Osumi Peninsula.
Engetsu Island is a sandstone rock in the midst of the sea, popular for its remarkable sunset view. The almost perfect circle in the center of the island is enchanting to see as the sun passes from inside the circular arch.
I used to go past the Heijo Palace every time we used to drop in at Osaka. It used to look so beautiful in the night from the train. We finally went to the palace grounds today, to capture its majestic view. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Heijo Palace used to be the emperor’s residence when Nara was the capital of Japan in the 8th century.