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The Synchronised Scramble Of Shibuya

Ten traffic lanes. Five pedestrian crosswalks. All converging onto the most iconic intersection in the world. An attraction in its own right. When the lights change, traffic comes to a halt on ALL ten lanes. And this huge mass of people – an estimated 2500 at any given time, and a whopping 2+ million per day! – surge forward…

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Favourite Five To Return To

It must be quite apparent from my effusive travelogues that I leave a piece of my heart in most every place I visit. And given a chance I would return to every one of them……almost. Sadly, the inverse relationship between time and my ever lengthening bucket list makes return trips impractical. Compiling a hypothetical list for the ‘Top Destinations…

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The ‘Kazaridaru’ Of Meiji Jingu

Lining either side of the path leading to the Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo, are neatly arranged stacks of wine barrels. These (empty) decorative sake containers known as Kazaridaru, commemorate the sake houses – represented by the National Sake Brewers Association – that supply the shrine (s) with Omiki or sacred ritual wine, an essential component of Shinto purification rituals. The offering and consumption…

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The Historical Government House Of Takayama

If you have ever been captivated by tales of fierce samurai and feudal warlords, you will love Takayama. Hida-Takayama is said to be one of few cities in Japan to retain its medieval character, particularly in the timber architecture of the old town that dates back to the Edo* era (1603 -1868). A period when the fragmented country transitioned from turbulence under warring chieftains to…

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“Rest In Peace, For The Error Shall Not Be Repeated”

Memorial Monument For Hiroshima City Of Peace. The saddle shaped structure straddles a cenotaph that lists the names of all victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The epitaph on the cenotaph reads “Rest in peace, for the error shall not be repeated”. In the background, frozen in time, is the…

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Crossing Milestones

A literal as well as symbolic crossing of the threshold in the Meiji Jingu shrine, Tokyo. This little girl, in her traditional finery, is all set to mark a milestone at the Shichi-go-san, a coming of age ritual celebrated annually at Shinto shrines across Japan. More about it here. Thank you for visiting………..have a great weekend.

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The Healing Pillar In Nara

Squeezing into the hole at the bottom of the massive ‘healing’ pillar in the Daibutsuden of the Todaiji Temple is said to guarantee your place in Heaven. I didn’t dare risk being stuck in limbo!

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Shichigosan At Meiji Jingu

On a Sunday closest to November 15, considered the most auspicious day in the Japanese calender, families descend on Shinto shrines across Japan, to celebrate a rite of passage called Shichi-go-san. The name literally translates to ‘Seven-Five-Three’, indicating a medieval tradition among aristocratic/Samurai families that stipulated that boys and girl stopped getting their hair shaved when they turned three, that boys aged five…

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The Temple Of Pure Water

A grand viewing deck to commune with nature. That is the principal attraction of Kiyomizu-dera (Clear Water Temple), a Buddhist shrine near Kyoto, founded in 798 AD, whose main hall is dedicated to the eleven headed, thousand armed Bodhisattva. Highly venerated for its wish granting abilities, and brought out for public viewing only a few times a…

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