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May 11 2014


March 03 2013

Hina Matsuri Traditional Dolls - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Hina Matsuri Dolls

One of the most beautiful celebrations in Japan takes place today: Hina Matsuri - the Doll Festival, a day when the families with girls are displaying a very special set of dolls, hina-ningyō, thus praying for their girl’s good health and happiness.

As you can see from my photo, the traditional sets of Hina Matsuri dolls are true works of art. A complex set can include up to 15 dolls (and can cost up to 1 million yen…), while the simplest set includes only two: the Emperor (Odairi-sama) and the Empress (Ohime-sama). Placed in front of a gold folding screen (byōbu), they are wearing Heian Period clothing (the empress wears juunihitoe, a twelve-layered robe), the Emperor is holding a shaku (a ritual baton) and the Empress is holding a fan. The set also includes two paper lanterns (bonbori), two flower vases, two lacquered boxes, a mandarin orange tree (ukon no tachibana) on the left and a cherry blossom tree (sakon no sakura) on the right.

March 01 2013

Grand Front Osaka - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Grand Front Osaka, Kita, Osaka

If you enjoy modern architecture, Osaka is becoming a must-see destination. Besides the brand new tallest building in Japan - Abeno Harukas or the beautiful Umeda Sky Building, many other skyscrapers are currently being built: among them, a whole complex in the Umeda area, called Grand Front Osaka.

In my photo, from left to right, you can see the Grand Front Osaka Block C (174.2 meters), the next two are the Block B North (154 meters) and South Tower (175.2 meters) and the Grand Front Osaka Block A (179.5 meters, the 10th tallest building in Osaka), all planned to be finished this year. The three buildings will house shops, restaurants, hotels, residential areas and offices, will use solar power generation, reclaimed water and will feature green roofs…

February 25 2013

A-Bombed willow tree - via A Japan Photo per Day -

A-bombed willow tree, Hiroshima Castle, Hiroshima

The over 50 trees that survived to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, are known as the hibaku jumoku and are located in an area between a hundred meters and over 2 kilometers from the atomic explosion’s epicenter.

Not far from the giant Eucalyptus which is 740 meters away from the epicenter, near the Main Gate of the Hiroshima Castle, after another 30 meters there’s a willow (”salix chaenomeloides“, maruba-yanagi in Japanese) whose trunk was broken by the explosion. But after a while, a few buds appeared and since great care was taken to ensure its survival, a new crown grew and, as you can see from the photo, the tree looks green and healthy.

Reposted bycygenb0ckAndi

February 23 2013

The Fire-bucket monument - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Asakusa Shrine, Senso-ji, Tokyo

While visiting the traditional areas of Japan, right in front of some shops or restaurants, you may notice small stacks of wooden buckets, carefully placed on large barrels. They originate from the times when the fire was a constant menace in the Japanese cities. Many precautions were taken to prevent the fires and the firemen were requesting the shop owners to keep close a constant provision of water.

Of course, today these buckets are just decorations or in some cases even monuments. The one you can see in today’s photo is a monument to honor the firemen, raised at the Asakusa Shrine from Tokyo.

February 22 2013

The asymmetric twin JR Central Towers - via A Japan Photo per Day -

View from Midland Square, JR Central Towers, Nagoya

The headquarters of the Central Japan Railway Company from Nagoya is an impressive structure from any point of view, but I discovered a place that really highlights its spectacular architecture: the glass-walled elevator of the nearby Midland Square skyscraper.

The beauty of the building is in the asymmetry of the two towers: the tower from the right, called the Office Tower, is taller (245 meters), thicker and it starts right from the base of the building, while the tower from the left, the Hotel Tower, starts at the 20th story and it is shorter by 19 meters. The asymmetry continues on the lower part of the building, where the elevators are placed right under the Hotel Tower, complementing it…

February 21 2013

The Moss-Covered God - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Mizukake Fudo Statue, Hozen-ji Temple, Namba, Osaka

The coin offerings box in front of the Buddhist temples (saisenbako) is almost omnipresent in Japan. But there are some unusual cases, when the offerings are of a different kind…

At Hozen-ji, a temple located close to the Dotonbori area from Osaka, you will find a very unusual statue, with an equally unusual custom: in front of the statue there’s a bowl of water and, instead of offerings, the visitors are… splashing the statue with water! The statue represents the god Fudo Myo-o (Acala by the Sanscrit name), a wrathful god (see here a typical Fudo Myo-o statue), one of the most respected and loved deities in Japan, and because of this custom, the statue is called Mizukake Fudo (mizu means “water"). Today, after many years of water-splashing, the statue is completely covered by moss and it doesn’t seem so wrathful anymore. Only the flames from the back (which are said to burn the evil) are reminiscent of the original, frightening image…

Reposted bycygenb0ckbina

February 20 2013

A Shrine for Romance - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Yasaka Shrine, Gion, Kyoto

One of the most unusual Japanese customs is the cult of enmusubi 「縁結び」: en means “destiny” and musubi means “to tie together", so enmusubi can be loosely translated as… “matchmaking".

I found such shrines in Kyoto, one of them right next to the Kiyomizu-dera (the Jishu Shrine) and another inside the Yasaka Shrine. Dedicated to Okuninushi-no-Mikoto, the kami of love, marriage and matchmaking, these shrines can be recognized easily, because the statue of the kami with the “Hare of Inaba” are placed on the right of the torii.

Many young people are coming here, alone ar in couples, to pray, to buy some good luck charms or only just to take a picture…

February 17 2013

The Bridge from the Rurouni Kenshin movie - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Bikan Historical Quarter, Kurashiki, Okayama

The merchant neighborhood from Kurashiki, Okayama, known as the Bikan Historical Quarter, is one of the places in Japan where time seems to have stopped, the whole area still looking like at the end of the Edo period. To preserve this feeling, not even electric poles were installed and only a few shops with modern merchandise reminds you that you’re actually in the 21st century.

In such a wonderful setting, if you film carefully, you can make a beautiful historical scene. And that’s exactly what has been done for the recent Rurouni Kenshin movie, the most recent adaptation of the manga created by Nobuhiro Watsuki. If you already saw the movie, you probably remember the scene of the fight between Kenshin and Sanosuke, on the bridge near the Akabeko restaurant. That was filmed in the Kurashiki Historical Quarter and the bridge is the one in this photo…

cleaning a mainboard
Reposted byfadenbdecarabiaZirconSeizetheNightchowmeinsucznikedhelldonotmindmevogelsmoke11lord-destruktorHypothermiamushusicksindavrosgaf

February 15 2013

Yakatabune Dinner Cruise - via A Japan Photo per Day -


One of the fine things to do when you’re in Japan is a trip on a yakatabune. Yakatabune are Japanese traditional cruising boats, built with a roof and arranged inside like a traditional Japanese restaurant, with low tables, tatami mats and paper lantern decorations. Exactly like it was during the Shoguns era… well, actually better, because now there’s air conditioning. (^_^)

It is a great opportunity to spend 2 or 3 hours serving a fine meal, “all you can drink” and to admire the landscape… A trip like this usually costs around 10000 yen and you must always reserve in advance.

February 14 2013

Kilometre Zero of Japan's Railways - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Kilometre Zero of the Japanese Railways, Tokyo Station, Tokyo

The marking of the Kilometre Zero is popular in many countries and Japan is no exception. I found two such markers in Japan: one is the KM 0 for the roads, located on the Nihonbashi bridge in Tokyo, the starting place of the Five Routes (Gokaidō) connecting the old Edo to the 5 important provinces.

The second marker, pictured in today’s photo, is the KM 0 for the Japanese Railways: located inside the JR Tokyo Station, the marker can be found on the platform number 20-21 (which is for the Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen).

Reposted bykrolikKabriolettakonotoriSam90AluslawWeksRekrut-Kpsyfxvolldostfadenbverdantforcep125sm0k1nggnuLogHiMaMrCoffe

February 13 2013

Traditional Japanese Renjishi Dolls - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Traditional Japanese Shishi Dolls

There’s a wide variety of traditional Japanese dolls, sometimes classified by how they are made, other times by what they represent. Most of them are easy to identify: geisha, noble ladies or samurai, but there are some representing less known characters from the Japanese traditional culture, like the Hina Matsuri Dolls, or the Ichimatsu Dolls.

The dolls from today’s photo are very popular in Japan and many times I have been asked what they represent… it is clear that they represent Kabuki characters, but what is the story?

They are characters from the Renjishi / Lion Dance Kabuki play, but as strange as it may seem, these are not humans: these are… lions - well, actually shishi, mythological lion-like animals. The white one is the father and the red one is the cub… (^_^)

February 11 2013

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A Sky Full Of Spiders - YouTube

February 08 2013

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normal battle in a chinese school - YouTube
Reposted bypascalmhshadows
World's longest suspended monorail - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Chiba Urban Monorail, Chiba

With 10 currently operating monorail systems and many other experiments and discontinued lines, Japan is probably the country with the highest density of monorails in the world. Among them, three lines are each holding a world record: The Ueno Zoo Monorail was the first zoo monorail in the world, the Tokyo Monorail is at the same time the busiest and the most successful monorail line in the world, while the monorail from Chiba is the world’s longest suspended monorail.

With its two lines, the Chiba Urban Monorail - that’s the complete name - has a total length of 15.2 kilometers, with 18 stations. And there are chances that it will grow even longer in the near future, since there are projects to expand the line with 2 more kilometers…

Reposted byschlachtoros schlachtoros

February 03 2013

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A BP Oil Executive Gets Iced - YouTube 5sf

February 01 2013

a fish that looks like hitler
Reposted bydivifadenbadmnHereNamepascalmhKeksverpackungMarshalrusty

January 30 2013

Japanese castle garden - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Genkyu-en Garden, Hikone

The Japanese castles were built as military strongholds, but the aesthetic aspect was always taken into consideration. And as symbols of the ruler’s power and wealth, many of them were also augmented with beautiful, traditional Japanese gardens. In many cases the gardens were made to be admired from the castle and also to be enjoyed during a promenade, so they were often made by the period’s famous designers, featuring tea houses, rare plants, spectacular rocks or islands connected by elegant bridges…

Here is a photo taken inside the Hikone Castle’s Genkyu-en garden, one of the most beautiful Japanese castle gardens, built in 1677.

Reposted bymindgrinder mindgrinder

January 27 2013

avatar in a nutshell
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