Category Archives: Jnto

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 […]

Kiyomizu Dera December 09

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 […]

January 31

The Grand Gate On The Sea

I spot the Otorii from across the expanse of the (Seto) Inland Sea, emerging from the waters like a giant Pi symbol against the dense green mantle of the hills beyond. More bleached terracotta than the vermilion of the postcards, this 52 feet high floating ‘grand gate‘ claims equal billing with Mount Fuji as the iconic symbol of […]

November 24

‘The Mountain Of Fuji’

“No, that can’t be Mount Fuji” I dismissed my sisters query very authoritatively, as I snuggled back into my seat. “Where is the snow cap and cloud cover?”     My sister’s faith in my opinion was plain for all to see, when she turned to our guide for confirmation. “Nooooo! Where is the snow cap and cloud […]

October 25

The Gassho Zukhuri Houses Of Ogimachi

Gassho-Zukhuri means ‘Hands folded in prayer’ in reference to the roof of the distinctive thatched buildings in the Shirakawa-Go district. Ogimachi – a living, traditional Gassho village with 59 original Gassho-style houses – is one of three villages designated UNESCO heritage sites, .