Happy Year of the Tiger!
Based on the Japanese zodiac, 2022 is the year of the tiger and so you can see tiger images everywhere this new year! My favourite so far is this one seen in a hotel lobby. Looking stubborn but cute!
For a brief introduction to the Japanese zodiac, visit https://www.thoughtco.com/japanese-zodiac-overview-2028019
Several weeks ago, we spent some time Koya San (Mt. Koya), up in the mountains of Nara. It was founded in 819 as the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and has grown to be a huge temple complex. Currently there are over 120 temples and these are spread out over several kilometers. It's considered one of Japan's most sacred landmarks and has been a World Heritage Site since 2004.
Of course, the temples are beautiful and there is much to see and do in the village. However, I most enjoyed Okunoin, the largest cemetery in Japan. While that may sound creepy, in fact, I found the experience quite moving. The path through the cemetery is two-kilometers and over 200,000 gravestones line the path. As I slowly wandered my way along, past aging gravestones dripping with moss, my thoughts turned to loss, remembrance, and the passing of time. This is part of the reality of being human...
For more about Koya San: https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/city-guide-koyasan
For more about Okunoin: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4901.html
The Park Next Door
Next to my workplace is a lovely park with a pond and a small court where the locals play tennis or do outdoor exercises. I rarely have the chance to visit it but I always look at it wistfully through the bus window as we pass by. Today, as I left to return home, the sun was golden and so I decided that today was the day! Surely I could find 20 minutes in my schedule to go and enjoy the park. And so I did. This was what was waiting for me... (If you look carefully, you can see someone walking along the path. Hope that gives you some sense of scale.) (I didn't have my camera with me so took a chance with my mini iPad. Pretty happy with the results.)
Thanks so much for visiting even though I've been largely absent over the past few months. I've been dealing with many changes in my life - some difficult and painful, others welcomed and exhilarating, and others still ongoing. It will take time to settle into this new "normal" but I'm looking forward to what lies ahead. (In short, I've retired! \(^.^)/)
One thing that has become clear is that while I love sharing my photos, I need to rethink how I have organized this website. There is lots to consider and no matter what I do it will be a lot of work! However, it's one of the tasks I've given myself over the next year so expect some changes ahead!
Wish me luck! (^.~)/
Asian fawnlily ("katakuri" in Japanese) is a woodland plant and is rated vulnerable-endangered in parts of Japan. The bulb produces "katakuriko" which is used as a thickener in Japanese cooking but since quantities are so small, potato starch is now more commonly used. This patch was growing in a local botanical research garden.
vignettes of Obama
Despite good intentions, yet another month has passed since my last post. I blame a busy work season, a garden in desperate need of care after a wicked hot summer, and a temperamental tooth. Oh, and a camera that is getting crankier by the minute. I dread having to replace it but...
I'm a bit overwhelmed with photos at the moment. I love to take them but finding the time to cull and edit is a real challenge. However, I have managed to edit some from a short trip we took to Obama, a small city in Fukui Prefecture. We weren't expecting much, to be honest, but our visit was fantastic! Although it may be a small city it felt much more like a village - and a very friendly village at that. My kind of place! We certainly plan to return!
(These are best viewed on a desktop computer. This is the only option for posting multiple images that can be viewed on a mobile devise but, unfortunately, the images are awfully small.)
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.