Category Archives: Takayama

July 19

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 […]

June 08

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 […]

June 01

And Now Some Tasteful Japanese Aesthetic….

Tokyo’s kitschy English signs, like the ones I linked to yesterday, are purely for the consumption of the young wannabe urbanite. The signage in smaller towns, particularly in the well preserved old towns, adhere to the spare, subtle norms of Japanese aesthetic. Elegant and beautiful, quite like the artful plating of their food, or the […]

January 22

The Cleansing Waters Of The Temizuya

Ritual cleansing prior to worship, is an age old practice. The use of water to purify oneself, being obligatory in most world religions until today. Traditionally, this purification was done at a river, stream or seashore.  As religions evolved, ablution fountains and Lavers started appearing in the outer courts of places of worship. The temple tank […]

November 18

The Karakuri Marionettes Of Takayama

We arrived late. And in the race up to the night festival and back, we left with little or no impression of this historic market town, in the heart of the larger Takayama city. On our return the next morning, after a night at an Onsen nearby, its medieval charm and picturesque setting, took us completely by surprise! Presiding over […]

November 13

The Takayama Hachiman Matsuri

No temple festival in India is complete without a procession of the temple chariot around town. Like the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri for example…..that incidentally gave the English language the word ‘Juggernaut’! Originating in the early 17th century, as thanksgiving for a good harvest, and to mark the onset of winter, the Takayama Hachiman […]

October 21

Two’s company……

Proof that blogging influences one’s perspective on travel, can be found in the increased number of ‘people’ pictures in my Japan album. Never have I been so aware of the people around me. And the gentle, gracious, courteous citizens of Japan were a joy to chronicle, despite the language barrier. These loving couples seemed to […]