PHOTO: Japanese Girl with Umbrella in Tokyo’s Hama-rikyu Gardens

Japanese girl with umbrella shelters from the sun in Hama-rikyu Gardens in Tokyo, Japan

Click on title to view photo in large format. Japan’s weather ranges from brutally cold winters to sweltering summer sun and monsoon rains. This Japanese girl with umbrella in Tokyo’s Hama-rikyu Gardens already knows how to use her umbrella against sun and rain. While the practice of carrying umbrellas makes for precious photos, Japanese tend … Read more

PHOTO: Zojoji Temple Complex in Tokyo, Japan

Main Hall at Zojoji Temple complex in Tokyo, Japan

Click on title to view photo in large format. Zojoji Temple is a mere shadow of the complex that once stood on the present day site in Tokyo, Japan. In past centuries, 3,000 priests lived there, working and praying in more than 48 temples and 150 schools. Zojoji Temple is, however, still home to the … Read more

PHOTO: Five-storied Pagoda on Miyajima Island, Japan

Five-storied Pagoda on Miyajima Island, near Hiroshima, Japan

Click on title to view photo in large format. The Five-storied Pagoda on Miyajima Island, near Hiroshima, Japan, was built in 1407. It is dedicated to the Buddha of Medicine, and originally held images of the deity and some lesser saints. Unfortunately, the images were removed around the beginning of the 20th century, when Japan … Read more

Negotiating Japanese Technology, or How to Use a Toilet in Japan

How to use a Japanese toilet - not as simple as you might think

“Hey look at that! The taxi driver opened his door while he was driving down the street toward a passenger.” Matt, the 16-year old son of my traveling companions, Leanne and Tony Argyle, pointed out what turned out to be a neat bit of technology. In Japan, taxi drivers push a button to automatically open … Read more

PHOTO: Torii Gate on Miyajima Island, Japan

As the tide rolls in toward Itsukushima Shrine, water floods over the massive wooden legs of Torii Gate on Miyajima Island, just across the bay from Hiroshima, Japan

Click on title to view photo in large format. A waxing tide floods the massive wooden legs of Torii Gate on Miyajima Island. The entire island, located across the bay from Hiroshima, Japan, is a spiritual wonderland. Designated as one of the top three most beautiful sites in Japan, it is covered in shrines, the … Read more