Nature

I.M. Pei's Shangri-La – Miho Museum

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Toothpicker

 
"The Peach Blossom Land" was a Chinese fable written by poet Tao Yuanming in 421 CE about a fisherman's discovery of a hidden valley - an ethereal utopia where contented people lead an ideal existence in harmony with nature, unaware of the outside world for centuries. It is similar to the mystical and [...]

This post was posted in Architecture, Travel, Nature, Art, Anything Japanese, Kyoto, Contemporary, Japan and was tagged with art and design exhibitions, Kyoto, contemporary architecture, cherry blossom, Miho museum


Gardens, temples, and zazen in Kyoto

Posted on September 9, 2018 by Toothpicker

A view of Tofukuji's Tsutenkyo Bridge
 
It is on every tourist's itinerary to visit at least one/two karesansui (dry landscape garden) in Kyoto, but during the peak season, it is best to avoid the famous ones and head for the less crowded gardens. A few years ago, I visited Kyoto in February and [...]

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, Buddhism & meditation, Anything Japanese, Kyoto, Gardens & parks, Japan and was tagged with nature, Kyoto, gardens, temples, Zen Buddhism, zen gardens, zazen


'Kanko kogai' (tourism pollution) in Kyoto

Posted on September 2, 2018 by Toothpicker

 
The usually tranquil Philosopher's path was full of tourists with selfie sticks during the cherry blossom period
 
I have been warned and I knew when I struggled to find accommodations three months before my trip, yet I still went to Kyoto during the sakura season. It was not my plan to visit [...]

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, Social issues, Anything Japanese, Kyoto, Japan, Mass tourism and was tagged with nature, Kyoto, Japan, cherry blossom, mass tourism


Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail (last day)

Posted on August 30, 2018 by Toothpicker

Japanese breakfast at Minshuku Momofuku in Koguchi
 
After having a big Japanese breakfast at Minshuku Momofuku, I was ready for my last hike of the pilgrimage trail. Mr Nakazawa warned me about the first stretch of the hike, which requires a steep climb of 800 metres in elevation over 5km. This [...]

This post was posted in Food & dining, Travel, Nature, Markets, Anything Japanese, Hiking & walking, Japan and was tagged with hiking, nature, Japan, Kumano Kodo, fish market


Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail (Day 2)

Posted on August 29, 2018 by Toothpicker

 

Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine
 
Since I missed the Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine yesterday, I decided to visit the shrine before starting my walk today as it is one of the most three important shrines on the pilgrimage route, as well as the head shrine of over 3,000 Kumano shrines across [...]

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, Anything Japanese, Hiking & walking, Japan and was tagged with hiking, nature, Japan, walking, Kumano Kodo


Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail (Day 1)

Posted on August 28, 2018 by Toothpicker

 
 
After a restful night at the lovely Happiness Chikatsuyu, I was feeling mentally prepared for my pilgrimage walk. According to the map, the distance from Chikatusuyu to Hongu Taisha-mae is about 25 km/15.5 miles with an elevation of 650 meters at the highest point of the route. On paper, it doesn't [...]

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, Anything Japanese, Hiking & walking, Japan and was tagged with hiking, nature, Japan, Kumano Kodo


From Koyasan to Kumano Kodo

Posted on August 27, 2018 by Toothpicker

When I was planning my Japan trip, I came across an article about the ancient pilgrimage trail, Kumano Kodo, in the Wakayama region. Despite numerous visits to Japan over the years, I have never heard of this trail before. I became interested and started researching about the trail. Unlike the famous pilgramge [...]

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, Anything Japanese, Hiking & walking, Japan and was tagged with hiking, nature, Japan, Kumano Kodo


Japan's sacred mountain – Koyasan

Posted on August 26, 2018 by Toothpicker

 

Danjo Garan Temple complex
 
For a long time, I have been wanting to visit Mount Koya or Koyansan, a sacred mountain in the Wakayama region. It is the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism ( a Chinese-influenced esoteric sect), introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi, also known as Kukai. Located in the [...]

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, Buddhism & meditation, Anything Japanese, Gardens & parks, Japan and was tagged with nature, Buddhism, gardens, temples, Japan, Shingon, Koyansan, Japanese garden


A perfect spring day in Nara

Posted on August 24, 2018 by Toothpicker

Sunny and warm afternoon at Nara park
 
My trip began in Osaka, though I barely spent any time there except for the evenings. My good friend has recently moved to Sendai (we originally met in London) flew over to Osaka to meet me before I continued on with my journey. And I [...]

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, Anything Japanese, Gardens & parks, Japan and was tagged with nature, temples, Japan, parks, cherry blossom, Nara


A glorious walk through Windsor Great Park

Posted on January 29, 2018 by Toothpicker

 
January has been a stressful month for me, and even my regular meditation practice could not prevent me from developing some skin allergy as a result of stress. I feel that many city dwellers often struggle to maintain a work/play/rest balance, and despite the best effort, stress seems to affect many of [...]

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, Hiking & walking, Gardens & parks, Britain and was tagged with walks, nature, parks, walking, Windsor Great Park


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