The Japanese castles were designed to surprise attackers with many traps, from entrapment spaces such as masugata, to hidden ishi-otoshi, unnoticeable openings used to throw stones or hot oil. The Matsue castle features another surprise, it has an entire floor hidden by the architecture. As you can see in the photo, the castle seems to have five floors, while in fact it has six…
Many places in Japan have their own atmosphere, a complex feeling that combines the view with sounds, and often with some enjoyable scents.
Asakusa is one of the most visited places in Japan, and because its streets are packed with traditional restaurants, there’s a subtle but appetizing smell floating in the air, especially by sundown…
It’s impossible to describe it, but if you’ve already been there, or in any other traditional area in Japan, I hope this photo will help you remember that pleasant aroma…
Chashitsu, the Japanese tea rooms, are small spaces covered with tatami mats, featuring several common architectural elements, and some of them are visible in today’s photo.
To the right, you can see the sadouguchi door used by the host, a regular sized door, unlike the one used by the guests (nijiriguchi), which is very small, so that the guests crawl on all fours. In front, you can see the tokonoma alcove, which is the most important part of the room, decorated with a calligraphy hanging scroll (kakejiku), or sometimes with ikebana. The guests are seated in order of importance, the most important sitting right next to the tokonoma…
This narrow corridor of Namba Parks, with its tall curved walls, creates the feeling of a canyon and tempted me to try a lot of architecture photos. Of course, the ultra wide-angle lens makes it a lot more spectacular than it really is, but I think that the feeling captured is right…
Many of Japanese gardens that feature ponds have at least one arched bridge, made either of wood or stone. But in the Tensha-en garden of Uwajima I found an unusual arched bridge, designed to be admired from a distance, covered entirely by wisteria shrubs. I should return here during the wisteria blooming season…
Built approximately 450 years ago, during the middle of the Edo period, by one of the founders of the Jinaimachi town, the Sugiyama family residence is the oldest merchant house in the town. Its current look dates from 1747, when the second floor was added together with several more rooms.
Since it represents the typical architecture of a merchant house, it was purchased by the Tondabayashi city and it was designated an important cultural property. If you have time for a side trip from Osaka or Kyoto, the Tondabayashi Jinaimachi town is well worth a visit.
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