Monday, May 14, 2007

Old Japan slides - Part II

When the sakura trees blossom in Kyoto, it is almost like snowfall, the petals and blossoms are dazzling. [This is me, April 1986, age 25]

Sakura in Kyoto. 京都の桜

I adjusted the "temperature" in this slide to make the colors a little warmer.

Wherever I went in Japan, there were noticeably more old people outside walking than here in the US. Especially in the early morning when I walked, I met many elders walking briskly or doing morning exercises. We always greeted each other with, "ohayou gozaimasu" (good morning).

Seaweed drying. Seaweed heaven!

Stone lantern.

I played with the adjustments in iPhoto to get some color in this photo. It's a little dark, but mysterious and mossy, like the woods in Japan.

This is the color of the Buddha slide now. The original stone was likely grayer in color.

I played with this Buddha in iPhoto, adjusting the color and cropping it.

These farmers are wheeling their fresh produce to a local market on the Noto Hanto 能登半島
(Noto Peninsula).

トンネル tunnel

At the entrance/exit of the many tunnels we bicycled through in Japan, there are Jizo statues set up as altars or shrines for the protection of travellers through these tunnels. We certainly needed protection. Japan is more than 70% mountainous with many, many tunnels to go through when driving, walking, or bicycling through the country. Each time we came to a tunnel, we stopped for a moment at the jizo altar before switching on our bicycle lights. Next, we checked to see if we could see light or not (to know how long the tunnel might be) and then let out our loud cry of TON-NE-RU ! before entering the tunnel. Most of the tunnels had green, drippy slimy walls. When we could see light, or when the tunnel had only a narrow cement ledge for a walking path, and the walls were especially slimy and drippy, we would bicycle on the road itself, hoping the zoomy little trucks would see us. When the tunnel was really dark and long, riding in the middle of the lane with our flashing rear lights was actually safer than trying to navigate the narrow ledges while simultaneously wheeling our loaded bikes, trying to avoid the green drippy stuff, and not lose balance as the zippy cars and zooming trucks passed by. Arigatou, jizo-sama. Thanks to you, Jizo-sama.

Kate seated on the edge of a field getting the stove ready for our lunch.

Springtime -- bamboo shoots 竹の子 takenoko

My home on wheels.

Home for the night. The little yellow tent was home for two of us for up to 6 months at a time when we bicycle travelled. Fortunately, we lived more on our bicycles and outside than inside the small space of the tent.

Journal writing and drawing en route. We were (and are) always en route....

Waiting for the head priest to arrive on his white horse (below) at Kamigamo Jinja (Shinto Shrine) in Kyoto.

Kamigamo Jinja, Kyoto.

Shrines on rocks, rocks that are shrines, trees that are sacred, and roadside altars are everywhere in Japan. In nature, in the city, in the nature that is in the cities, in people and in offices, too.

Wakame seaweed drying on Noto Hanto. Yum!

A gardener at a botanic gardens.

Field in the Minami Alps region of Japan.

Fish drying.

Hinouki wood carving workshop in Kyoto. Hinouki is the beautiful blonde wood that is used to make some geta (sandals), exquisitely hewn ofuro (deep bathtubs), and other fine craftwork.

Little neighbor boy and his obaachan (grandmother) next to the small ryokan where I stayed in Narita-shi.

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