One very interesting, and also quite rare type of Japanese Buddhist constructions is the revolving, circular repository called rinzō, a “wheel repository". This is where the sacred sutras are preserved, and a particular about this construction is that it sits on a central pillar, and can be rotated easily, by pushing handles.
Photographed here is the Rokkaku Kyuzo, hexagonal sutra repository on the Koya-san area, one of the few remaining in Japan where anyone is allowed to rotate it. Similar to the Tibetan prayer wheels, rotating the rinzō symbolizes the reading of the sutra.
The Nagoya Tower and the Ferris Wheel at the Sunshine Sakae building are some of the main attractions in Sakae, especially if you want to admire the city from above. With beautiful and bright night illumination, the Ferris wheel is a must see and a must ride for a romantic evening in Nagoya…
During winter, Kanazawa typically experiences large snow amounts, and the pine trees may accumulate heavy quantities of snow, which can break or bend the branches.
To prevent this, in the Kenroku-en garden, at the beginning of November, the pines are protected with a method called Yukitsuri (or yukizuri): bamboo poles and ropes are installed to create a cone around each tree. Photographed here is one of the most valuable elements of the garden, the group of Karasaki pines, all protected by Yukitsuri.
The Izumo-taisha shrine in Shimane is one of the oldest and most important shrines in Japan, being established so long ago that the exact date was forgotten.
Because it is one of the main pilgrimage sites in Japan, around the shrine grew a large commercial area, well preserved today, a place well worth exploring for souvenirs and to sample the local cuisine…
Did you know that the stories about “magic” trees that bloom in the middle of the winter have some truth to them?
In Japan, there are indeed sakura cherry trees which blossom twice a year, first on spring and second in late autumn, usually in October, continuing as late as December. Their name varies from region to region, but they are basically the same. So, you may hear about shikizakura (four-season cherry blossom trees), fudanzakura (sakura that always blooms), fuyuzakura (winter sakura), kanzakura (cold-season cherry blossom trees) or jugatsuzakura (October cherry tree). Here is one such sakura tree, photographed this winter…
To preserve its historic heritage, Kyoto has a very strict legislation. Photographed here is the Sannenzaka area in Higashiyama, designated as part of the Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings, protected by a law from 1975.
New historic preservation policies were added in 2005, which led to the removal of electric poles and flashy billboards, so the area looks today as close as possible to how it was during the old days.
Built about 400 years ago, the main hall of Kiyomizu-dera is an amazing example of the architectural style known as Kake-zukuri, “overhang style".
The stage in front of the building stretches above a 13 meters steep slope, and it is built exclusively of wood, assembled without any metal part. The structure is flexible, and this flexibility is also the secret of its impressive longevity.
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