culture

Kyoto – Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)

kyoto ginkakuji silver pavilion 07 Kyoto   Ginkaku ji (Silver Pavilion)

Ginkaku-ji (or Temple of the Silver Pavilion) is one of the 17 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto from the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Compared to the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, it feels less magnificent and more natural, but still beautiful. It features a sand garden where bees inhabit and a vast moss garden where it feels refreshing to walk during a hot Summer day (temperature can go up to a very humid 40ºC in Kyoto).
One of the must-go-see spot in Kyoto!
 
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Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

kyoto kinkakuji golden pavilion 03 Kyoto   Kinkaku ji (Golden Pavilion)

Kinkaku-ji (or Temple of the Golden Pavilion) is one of the 17 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto from the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Having been there, I can understand why it attracts so many visitors (foreigners as well as Japanese people themselves) throughout the year. The temple itself is magnificent with its golden coating and it is surrounded by a stunningly beautiful lake and garden. There is a lot of truly great pictures of it on the Internet, but believe me that have to see it in real to understand how beautiful it truly is.

I went there this Summer and took a few photos for you to see!
 
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Shisouan or How To Become A Samurai

Shisouan (梓想庵) is a service that let you borrow traditional samurai clothes from the Kamakura period and induce yourself into the atmosphere of the Kamakura area. Of course, katana are also included and you can even try Japanese archery (kyudo). You can also check out their blog if you want to see more photos.

shisouan 001 Shisouan or How To Become A Samurai

That’s how I looked after being transformed into a samurai.

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Samurais Crests – Part 1

Japanese crests, or mon or kamon, are used to represent a family, an individual or a clan. They usually represent animals, plants, natural and man-made objects and were vastly used for battle on flags and equipments.

Let’s take a look at what the crests of famous clans looked like during the Sengoku period.

- Oda clan

Oda emblem Samurais Crests   Part 1

The Oda clan’s crest is called the Oda Mokkou and is believed to represent the flowering quince or Japanese quince.

- Sanada clan

Sanada mon Samurais Crests   Part 1

The Sanada clan’s famous crest is called Rokumonsen which means and represents six coins. These coins are believed to be needed to cross the river of the underworld. By using this crest, Yukimura Sanada wanted to show he was never afraid of death during battle.

- Takeda clan

Takeda mon Samurais Crests   Part 1

The Takeda clan was the one in control of the Kai Province and rival to the Uesugi clan. Their crest represents four diamonds.

- Tokugawa clan

Tokugawa mon Samurais Crests   Part 1

The Tokugawa clan ruled Japan as shoguns starting the end of the Edo period. Their crest is called the Maruni-mitsubaaoi (“Circle Around Three Hollyhock Leaves”) and symbolizes a “triple hollyhock”.

- Uesugi clan

Uesugi mon Samurais Crests   Part 1

Their crest represents two flying swallows in bamboo.

That’s all for now! We’ll look at other clan’s crest next time.