April 13, 2017

Amazing Works Of Architecture

Japanese architecture is simply amazing!  From houses to castles to temples, they are all works of art.

Alex took us to The Nakamura House one afternoon.  Unfortunately Kana couldn't join us on this outing either.  She is a nurse at one of the local hospitals and her work schedule is quite full.  But we did go see her for a quick visit.  She was working in the nursery.  The babies sure were cute :-)

The Nakamura House is a typical style of a rich farmer's residence of the time.  It was built around 1720.  The main house has eight rooms including a kitchen, a room for separating crops for sale or family use, an alter room, a living room, a dining room and bedrooms.  The entrance has two shisa dogs as protection from evil spirits.  The wooden floor is covered in bamboo mats and we have to take off our shoes before we enter.

notice the shisa atop the roof and on the porch
large open rooms

dining room with the kitchen behind me

Both the building style and the materials used were something I hadn't seen before.  The pillars are assembled in such a way that we all wonder how it was done.  The doors are covered in a thin type of paper-like material.  They are protected from the weather by outer wooden doors, a large stone wall and sturdy trees called Fukugi.  The surrounding gardens are lush with trees and various types of vegetation.  The barn, storage shed and pig sty are located nearby for easy access.

beautiful gardens surround the house

pigs were raised for family consumption or for selling at market

storage shed on the left with the barn behind it, house entrance on the right

I prefer my tennis shoes to these sandals

We got a late start to our day so we make it a quick visit.  The traffic is getting busy as it's nearing the end of the wok day.  We all decide to go home for the day.

The following week Kana takes a few days of vacation.  We've had it scheduled to fly to Osaka (on mainland Japan) for more sight seeing.  Hopefully the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom.

not quite in full bloom, but just as beautiful!!
Our fist stop is Osaka Castle.  It's quite impressive from the outside!

a high wall and moat surround the castle

We pay our entrance fee of 600 yen and proceed up the steps.  There are eight floors total.  There is no photography allowed on some of the floors.  We're simply too amazed at the displays that we didn't even take photos at all.  Until we get to the top that is.  The top story is an observation deck.  We can see for miles and the view is incredible!  We're lucky to have visited the castle on such a clear day.

the moat as seen from the surrounding stone wall

what a view!
After we leave the castle we stroll around the grounds for awhile.  The small water area is picturesque.

As we leave Ron decides a selfie is in order :-)

After we tour Osaka Castle it's back on a bus and we head up to Kyoto.  We'll be here for two nights.

Lucky for us the hotel is located across the street from the subway station.  The subway is so much more than just it's name.  There are many shops and restaurants selling anything from bottled water to high end clothing.  We even did some of our souvenir shopping there.

Also, lucky for us to have a personal tour guide-Kana :-)  She took us to Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto.  Nearly hidden among the high rises is the main Inari shrine.  Hundreds of worshipers visit the shrine daily.  It certainly was crowded on the day we visited.  There are trails throughout the hillside which take you to different smaller shrines.


the hillside is covered with family mosques (graves)

The trails are lined with thousands of torii donated by local businesses.  It is very cool to walk through the 'tunnel' created by them.

Kana behind her lens, notice the names on the back of each torii

We make it about half way up the mountainside and decide it's time to cut our visit short.  We're all getting hungry and there's more in town we want to see.

We did find a cute cafe near a waterway and decide to stop for some coffee and sandwiches.

deciding on our next stop

what fun we're all having!
Back on the bus again and on to our next stop in Kyoto, an area of town known for cherry blossoms and a grove of very large bamboo trees.


  1. What an amazing experience - to visit with a local has to be especially wonderful. The barn looks like another home and those pig stys sure are sturdy!! Thanks for sharing all the beautiful structures. That shrine is lovely.

    1. Kana was such a help. We're truly happy to have her in our family :-)) Alex and she are great together too! I was quite surprised by the pig stys too. It was truly breathtaking to see Japan in person. I would love to visit again :-)


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