More of Japan’s Manhole Covers

19.11.2012 § Leave a comment

I sent a link to my last post about manhole covers to my Japanese friends, and they directed me to this website, which got me wildly excited. I selected a few of the manhole covers that have Japanese woodcarving interest to share here.

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Hunting Manhole Covers

08.10.2012 § 1 Comment

I’ve been lucky to travel to Europe many times for business, to France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, England. After a while, I got a little blasé about things and did not pay too much attention to anything other than getting my business done. I did take one or two short excursions for pleasure, dovetailing the business trip, to places such as Venice, Paris and Prague. I was not looking for anything in particular at those times, although I noticed the door handles in Prague were quite amazing and took many pictures of them. Unfortunately, my documentation was lost, and I have never been back to Prague since. « Read the rest of this entry »

Gaudy Chinese Folk Shrine

18.09.2012 § Leave a comment

Many people get Chinese folk beliefs and Buddhism mixed up, so I am sure many people would think that a shrine like this is a Chinese Buddhist temple. It surely looks splendid in the photo, but it is gaudy in person. This photo was taken in the middle of Taiwan where I took an excursion during my Japan trip.

Chinese Folk Shrine

Buddhist temples are usually a lot plainer. « Read the rest of this entry »

Bathtubs and Robes

12.07.2012 § Leave a comment

A Cultural Difference

I got into the habit of taking hot baths after experiencing the hot spring bath culture in Japan, and I started to notice the difference between the hotels in Japan and the US. First, the bathtubs in Japan are shorter but deeper so the water covers a person up to her neck. By contrast, the hotel tubs in the US are longer but shallower. If a person wants to warm up her knees and shoulders at the same time it is a bit hard. One has to sit up straight to soak her knees or lie down completely and bend her knees to soak her shoulders in hot water. Atami Hot Springs

Atami Hot Springs

Atami Hot Springs

I also noticed that the hotels in Japan always prepare you with a toothbrush and toothpaste and a pair of disposable slippers.  None of these could be found at the Minneapolis Hilton I checked into when I visited our representative in Minnesota.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Cherry Blossoms over Water

30.05.2012 § Leave a comment

Cherry blossoms do not only grow in Japan but they look and feel different when seen against a Japanese architectural and historical background.

I was too early for Kyoto’s cherry blossoms although it was the main purpose of my trip; this regret promises another trip to Kyoto soon. However, I caught the full bloom in Kamakura, a thousand-year-old capital located 45 minutes away from Tokyo where the remnants of temples and castles show the influences of early Dang Dynasty China. There I finally experienced the cherry blossoms cascading down over the water.

Next time I want to see the ocean of cherry trees in full bloom in Kyoto.

Cherry Blossoms over Water
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Fuji Mountain

04.05.2012 § 2 Comments

Journey to Japan

This spring’s trip to Japan reminds me of my first trip to Italy in 1992.  I called it “The Grand Tour”– a term referring to the tradition of 18 century European artists who could not consider their art educations complete until they had make a trip to Italy.  I prepared for this trip to Japan for over a year and a half, and never have I put so much time into preparing for a journey to a foreign country.  I am not sure if being able to ask for directions on the street or in a busy subway paid off for all of the time I put into studying the language, but I certainly was happy that I could be free and independent.

Fuji Mountain

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