Pictures from Japan, Kanazawa Day 10

Large images!  This may take sometime to view if you are on a slow connection!  You have been warned.  I am trying to give a flavor of traveling in Japan; I hope I am succeeding, even when the pictures are obviously artsy.

One last shrine outside of Kyoto and then off to Kanazawa, a smaller city going north-east from Kyoto.  Azumamaro Jinjya shrine was very interesting for two reasons.  The first was because it had more of one thing than any other Shinto shrine.  If you remember from a few days back the big tori gate in the water on Miromoto Island (I may have mispelled that); well this shrine has literally thousands of such (much smaller) gates.  Apparently a number of people tried to donate a gate to the shrine when it was new.  Soon everybody was doing it, in dedication of the family or a business.  As you will see, they were all accepted and they make "tunnels" of gates up and down the mountain.   (See the map provided courtesy of JR - Japan Railroad Company.)  The other thing interesting is that the shrine has a patron animal protector - the kitsune, that's Japanese for fox.  You'll see some below.  Look for the one to which someone has given a cookie as an offering.  On the way to the big shrine, in the city, is a little shrine maintained on the street by a citizen.  I don't know the significance of the bibs on the statutes or the rocks, other than that they are offerings.  The man standing by the bridge is a monk and I am told he would be praying like that all day, though our tour guide, ever skeptical, thought he might be a beggar, too.  Notice the washing station just outside the shrine were all the tourists are gathered.  The image that follows it is the instructions to properly cleanse before entering the shrine, attending to your hands and your breath.

After the shrine, we had a long bus trip to Kanazawa.  Half-way, we stopped at a truck stop where we had a very nice meal.  Here we meet another flavor of vending machine.  You select what you want, it spits out a ticket, and you take it to the counter.  Saves the staff a lot of hassle, one would think.   Continuing on, there is a picture that looks like a flying saucer composited into a picture of rice paddies..  That's a sewage treatment plant.   The pink duck is a sign on a woman's restroom.  In pictures, you may have seen Japanese making V signs where posing for pictures, as is the case with the school girls in one picture here.  That is a "happy" sign; at least, so I was told.  We visited a handicraft museum and garden.  The garden was a bit too manicured for my taste, but some of the pictures I took of it were particular interesting (to me at least), especially of those of the gardeners.  

The Japanese fellow posing with Ines is Tommy.  He was the supervisor that the tour company sent with the two buses.  Interestingly enough, he spent his first 18 years in Argentina and considers himself culturally more Argentine than Japanese.  Ines and he hit it off and had a great time chatting in Spanish.  

The remaining pictures are city scenes in Kanazawa, including statues, signs, and a shrine at sunset.  I was fascinated by a digital fountain that displayed words and the time.  It would have had just a bit more panache if at night it were lit up as if it were a red LED display. 

A note about the pictures.  I have worked with the color in some of the pictures.  Many of the ones outside in Kanazawa were in the dusk.  That it looks daylight is because of these changes.  Others, like the bridge and the stones are what NASA commentators talking about Saturn might call false color.  These two in particular where pretty much colorless when I started.  Other pictures have been tweaked to make the color a little more vibrant. 

All pictures (c) 2007 by Robert S. Blum







































































Shrine Town Panorama


Sidewalk Border in Garden


First Tori Gate at the Shrine - All the others follow it.


Panorama of the Shrine