Family at Meiji Jingu

Today is the day before Shichi-Go-San, a ritual and festival-day for three and seven year-old girls and three and five year-old boys.

Parents take their children, dressed in their most beautiful traditionial clothing, to their local shrine. In Tokyo-region they often are visiting Meiji-Jingu, too.

This is where we met this family which generously allowed me to take some photos of them.

(I’m still trying to put up a japanese translation. Please be patient)

Familiy at Meiji-Jingu

Olivia Lufkin in concert

I just got word from Avex approving the publication of some concert photos taken at

Connichi 2010

Without further hesitation, here we go:


Jeffrey & Murochin
Jeffrey and Murochin



Visit Olivias site here.

Unlike my site policy all these pictures are copyrighted. It’s strictly forbidden to use them in any form without written consent of Avex Group Holdings K.K. and me.


This might be the day of traditional superlatives…

Visiting Nara we went out to see the Todai-Ji temple site.

On this site you’ll find the world’s largest wooden building, the Daibutsu-den (Daibutsu Hall).

In this building sits the world’s largest statue of the Buddha Vairocana. In Japan, this statue is known as “the” Daibutsu.

The Daibutsu-den

A Bodhisattva (Kokuuzo bosatsu, left) and the Daibutsu (right)

The whole temple site is inhabited by Sika deer. In Shinto religion these deers are the messengers of the gods.

Kyoto temple tour

Thanks to our special guide we spent one half of this day seeing Kyoto from the non-tourist side of life, including bento dinner at the river under the cherry trees. The other half he took us out to a lot of temples and other places worth seeing.

Here are some of the temple sites:

The To-ji temple

The famous golden pavillion temple, the Kinkaku-Ji

and the well known tori of Fushimi Inari-taisha.


By now we’ve moved away from Tokyo, going over to Kyoto, Hiroshima & Nagoya for about one week.

This is the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, situated in eastern Kyoto.

The main building is partly put on pillars about 13m high. From the veranda of this building you’ll have an excellent view over the city centre of Kyoto.

As the weather was really great – about 30°C, the highest April temperature measured in Japan since ages – a lot of people were on the temple site, alot of them in traditional clothing.

Some other impressions from the site…

Yamanote full stop

In Tokyo almost everybody gets anywhere by using the subway & railway-system. One of the lifelines of this city is the Yamanote-Line, a circle line which takes about 90 minutes to loop around the major parts of Tokyo.

Today the Yamanote was completely halted for about 3 hours. You’d expect total chaos on the railway stations – but not in Tokyo. The trains which could be used to bypass the Yamanote line were really crowded, you could not fall, no matter how fast the train accelerated or how hard it braked. You could barely move your arms.

But at the end everything went in order, no pushing, no scramble on the platform, everybody was just lined up to eventually enter a train which had some space left.

Hakone and kuro tamago

As written in the post below we went to Hakone this day.

Hakone is well known in Japan for its hot sulfur springs, fed by volcanic activity in this area.

It’s a three hour ride from Tokyo, including a mountain railway and a ropeway. After that ride you have to climb up the last 50 metres in height by stairs.

Having reached the top you can buy kuro tamago, eggs, which have been in the hot springs for about half an hour. Because of the sulfur the shell turns black.

It is said that each of those eggs prolongs your life for 7 years. So by now we’ve prolonged our lifes by 17,5 years.


Today we went to Hakone (1050 metres above sea level, Tokyo: 6 metres).

On our way we were on a ropeway. From a valley we had a great view of Mount Fujiyama.

Hanami at Ueno Park, Tokyo

At this time of the year the cherry blossoms start to open. People all over Japan admire and celebrate the Sakura, temporary food stalls are built in parks. They just sit down together and enjoy this time of the year. This altogether is called “Hanami”.

First impressions of Tokyo area

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Beware of closing doors

View from Sawanoya Ryokan

Sakura blossoms at night


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