Saturday, June 29, 2013

Philosophers Path - Kyoto, Japan

Tetsugaku no michi or the Philosophers Path is located in the northern part of Higashiyama district of Kyoto. It is a stoned path that runs along an old canal lined with cherry trees and it is 2 kilometers long. It starts or ends depending which way you go from Ginkaku-ji or Silver Pavilion and ends right around Nanzen-ji Temple. The name comes from Nishida Kitaro who was a famous philosopher who walked along the canal in daily meditation while heading to Kyoto University.
I decided to take the path by bike after I visited Ginkaku-ji, post here. It was a wonderful path to take on a sunny day, so it started out. It started to rain when I took the path back haha. 

There were a lot of school students at Ginkaku-ji but along the path it died out which was great since I had some peace and quiet.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Eikan-do Zenrin-ji temple - Kyoto, Japan

Eikan-do Zenrin-ji is the head temple of the Seizan branch in the Jodo-shu sect of Buddhism. It is in Kyoto's Sakyo-ku in the town of Eikando. Eikan-do means "View of Eternity Hall and Zenrin-ji means "Temple of Forest of Zen". Kukai's Pupil Shinsho wanted to found a temple where he can worship Five Wisdom Buddhas, Goshi Nyorai, in 853. He got some land and couldn't build it for 10 years because of the band on temple building at the time. It was originally for the Shingon sect but shifted to the Jodo-shu. There is a Amida Buddha statue on the grounds that made this place famous. Usually Buddha looks forward but this statue looks over it's shoulder.
This was one of my favorite temples to see. It was on the day  that I walked the Philosophers path and truley had one of my best days in my life. I hope you enjoy the photographs!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Maymont Cherry

the Cherry Tree season was fantastic  again this year. I went to a lot more places that have Cherry Trees this year and even made a trip to Washington D.C. for the National Cherry Blossoms festival. I went to Richmond's Brown's Island where they have some and along VCU's main path for their's as well. Also went to Maymont a few times and that is what I have right here for everyone! 

The Cherry trees that are right along the road to the mansion are always lovely. A guy was actually filming them moving in the wind. He was there for a while. 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sanjusangen-do Temple - Kyoto, Japan

I almost wrote this off my list completely because I didn't know about it. I actually passed on it one day not know what it was but someone had told me about a temple with hundreds of Kannon statues and I was interested immensely after that. This temple is popular for its 1001 statues of Kannon which is the goddess of mercy. Founded in 1164 and called Rengeo-in (Hall of the Lotus King) is the official name of the Buddhist temple. Sanjusangen-do literally means "Hall with Thirty three spaces between columns. It was built under orders of Emperor Go-Shirakawa and had a fire in 1249 and the only thing rebuilt was the main hall in 1266. There was  popular archery contest called Toshiya that is held on the grounds since the Edo period. It is also believed that the famous warriors Miyamoto Mushashi and Yoshioka Denshichiro had their battle just outside of the  the temple in 1604. The main deity is the Thousand Arm Kannon of the temple and the statue of the main one was created by Kamakura Sculpture Tankei and is officially a National Treasure. On both sides of this main statue are 1000 life size statues of the Kannon in 10 rows and 50 columns. 124 of these are from the original temple that were  saved from the fires and the rest were carved in the 13th century. they all were made from Japanese Cypress and look marvelous. Unfortunately you are no allowed to take any pictures inside the main hall but you can see pictures online that were allowed. I think ti is also one of the longest wooden buildings in the world. 

Like usual in my quests in Kyoto I was at peak school trip time and had tons of junior high students running around also asking if i could take a picutre with them.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bryan Park Azalea Garden

The Azalea Gardens that are in Joseph Bryan park use to look fantastic! It is 17 acres and started in 1952 by Robert E. Harvey. He and a ton of volunteers planted 450,000 Azalea plants with 50 different verities! That is a ton but it isn't like that now. A while ago the city and such just didn't really have the funding to maintain a lot of open spaces and the gardens fell into disrepair. The fountain grew over and the pond had cat tails and a lot of azaleas died. Now it is handled by volunteers who want to make it come back. I didn't know until the beginning of this year that there was this garden there and I wanted to see what it could become. My girlfriend and I adopted a bed and had a great time cleaning it out unnatural vines (I got poison Ivy because of it) and raked up a lot of leaves. The peak season was April 1 to May 15 and boy did they look great and all the azaleas in the city. I recommend adopting one, there are still a ton of beds that need help! Enjoy the flowers, this is when my parents wanted to check it out with us.

There were a lot of pretty colors to view there. People were driving through just to do it on the way home and people also stopped for a picnic in the gardens. Was a great place to choose!

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mountains in Black and White

I think I am interested in starting to take photographs in black and white. I actually took my film camera with me to the mountains but apparently the little 6 volt battery inside was dead so that didn't happen. These were from the trip I posted a few days ago.
This is Old Rag again.

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Some falling water from Dark Hollow Falls. 

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Massanutten Mountain in the background, can barely see it with the haze that there is. 

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Hope I can bring more to you guys!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kōtō-in Temple of Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto

Wow it has been exactly a year since I got back from my trip to Japan. Sorry that it has taken to long to post all of these and there isn't to much after this. I absolutely loved this small temple. I never got in but it just had an atmosphere about it that truly moved me and so I went back to it quite a bit since it was a walk from where I stayed. It was built in 1601 by Hosokawa Tadaoki and he actually rests there and the founder of kabuki (Izumo no Okuni). It is within the Daitoku-ji temple complex. It is really famous for it's maple trees. It also has fantastic moss all around the temple area. 

I love the entrance which has the rock foot path with a bamboo railing along it. Moss was lined down it


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Camping in the Spring in Shenandoah

So a few weeks when flowers had already bloomed in Richmond and trees had their leaves out my girlfriend and I went to Shenandoah National Park for some camping! She had not camped in years (like 10 possibly or more, probably more). We had a great weekend and the park actually labeled that the weekend as Wild flower Weekend where wildflowers were technically coming up. The funny thing is I thought that since it had been a few weeks since the Valley and Richmond had leaves but up there it was still bare in parts. It also got really chilly in the morning on Sunday when we went to hike. It was empty when we went up there to camp but later in the day Saturday everything was booked up till the next day so we left the Park for camping elsewhere. We stayed at this little funny place on Route 33 that was in Elkton. Wasn't bad, at least we camped still! Anyways, enjoy the photographs, I didn't take as much as I usually do. 

This was from Hawksbill Mountain, the tallest mountain in the park next to Stony Man which is 40 feet shorter. 

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lunch in China Town Yokohama

So when I went to Yokohama with the two girls that are from Taiwan. We stopped to have a Chinese feast of a lunch in China Town. Here are the yummies that we had!

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