Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Old and New Japan

It's wonderful that Japan has preserved so much of it's "old" past.  Makes you realize just how new America is when you look at buildings constructed in the 14th century which still stand proud.  I would love to be able to time travel and actually see the incredible humanity which lived around these shrines and fought to protect the feudal Lords that constructed them and lived on the compounds.
Tokyo Meji Shrine
 The following are from Kyoto, the ancient capitol of Japan . . . 

Even though all bodies are cremated in Japan, this Kyoto cemetery marks the honor
with which the Japanese revere their ancestors

Contrast these ancient sites with the new Kyoto train station.  A building so creative, unique, functional, aesthetic, and gigantic that it defies imagination.  Just can't capture it in pictures but here's a few shots anyway:

That's a stairway from the 3rd to 6th floor.  The stair edges change
lighting to depict scenes and sayings
Yep - those are people down there, and they are not even on the ground
floor, let alone the many floors below that which house much of the
rail track system
The lighted blue section with Geisha woman are those stairs again

But how can the beautiful present match the loveliness of the old and contemplative, especially when it comes to kimonos . . .

A Zen garden of thoughtfully set stones and gravel - a meditative creation

A walk through the Bamboo forrest
We discovered that if you climbed a mountain, you could also mingle with some of "the brothers"

At least Luke still has his "fur"

Every day our food choices have been great, but oh - this Kobe beef bowl !
Back in town, the occasionally hilarious tourist sign leaves you wondering - does anyone check this reading against real English?
Tried our best but not sure it would have qualified for "finely"
In Tokyo during our first days, we took a ride down a river into Tokyo Bay on this amazing creation:

Went to church at the complex in Tokyo with temple, housing center,
church, and Area Office
When we entered one shrine area in Kyoto, we were approached by some school kids who had an assignment of speaking with a foreigner ("gaijin").  They did so well and couldn't wait to cap off the visit with a picture
But the highlight in Kyoto may just have been this fabulous dinner of "Okonomiyaki" - Kyoto style.  Better than the food, was Mizuki, our waitress who had such a terrific spirit about her that we had a brief visit about the Church and exchanged contact information so the missionaries can visit with her.
 Had a great two days in Kyoto, now we're off to Kobe and Hiroshima.  Wishing you all the best from the Kyoto tower . . .


Leah said...

All the old buildings are so amazing, and I can not believe the size of the train station! Also, I'm starving now. That food looks so so good.

Matt said...

I'm with Leah...that last meal looked really amazing. I love the uniqueness (at least to us) of what you're seeing!

Vicki Rinne said...

We feel like we are getting a great tour of Japan. Thanks for the photos and insights.. Heikki and Vicki