One of the distinctive particularities of the buildings inside the hanamachi geisha districts of Kyoto were the red ocher colored walls.
The red pigment used was made of iron oxide brought from Bengara, India, and it is still known in Japan as bengara. Besides the beautiful color, bengara also protects the wood against weather, at it is believed to be effective against moths too…
The Himeji-jō castle complex includes an impressive number of structures: besides the world known Himeji tenshu, there are 82 gates, yagura turrets, storehouses, corridors and walls. Among them, 74 are designated as Important Cultural Assets: 11 corridors, 16 yagura turrets, 15 gates, and 32 earthen walls.
Photographed here is the largest gate of Himeji-jō, the Hishi ("Diamond") Gate, a type of structure called yaguramon, a gate with a yagura built on top.
Beauty in asymmetry is one of the Japanese garden aesthetic principles. Photographed here is a modern Zen garden of Tofuku-ji, Kyoto, featuring a checkered pattern made with rectangular rocks and moss.
Here, the asymmetric beauty is further enhanced by nature, with the moss burned by the torrid summer sun. Simply beautiful…
The unmistakable sound of the suzu 「鈴」 metallic bells is always present in the Shinto rituals. Their size ranges from a small pea to bells as big as a car tire. Small suzu are tied to the omamori good luck charms, and large suzu are hung in front of the worshiping halls, being used to attract the attention of the kami.
An interesting version is the Kagura suzu, photographed here, used by the miko shrine attendants during the kagura sacred dances. Kagura suzu has three rows of bells, arranged in a shape said to be inspired by the fruit of the ogatama tree, one of the sacred trees in Shinto religion.
One of the oldest and best preserved traditional merchant houses in Japan is the Kikuya residence, in the Hagi castle town.
Because it was the most important residence of its type, during the Tokugawa shogunate was used for accommodation by the government’s inspectors, so it was preserved as it was at the beginning of the Edo period, 350 years ago. Besides the main house, the Kikuya residence also includes several annex buildings, and it was declared an Important Cultural Properties.
This artistic manhole cover from Kamakura features three of the city’s symbols: the gentian, which is the city flower, yamazakura, the city tree, and the train station.
The Kamakura Station was opened in 1889, only 17 years after the first train line was inaugurated in Japan, on the line connecting Ōfuna and Yokosuka (which at the time was an important navy base). The today’s station building was rebuilt in 1984, but preserves a style reminding of the old times.
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Sumiya entrance and the red walls of the former Kyoto geisha district
One of the distinctive particularities of the buildings inside the hanamachi geisha districts of Kyoto were the red ocher colored walls. The
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