Scrapbook of a Future Nobleman

Landscape

Awaji Island: Ando’s Playground

Awaji Island: Ando's Playground

It’s pretty well-known that Renzo Piano’s Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX for you world travelers) is built on a gigantic man-made island, widely considered to be one of the greatest feats of engineering over the last century. What is less known is where all the fill for the island came from. The hills of Awaji, […]


Jikoin: The Tea Ceremony Temple

Jikoin: The Tea Ceremony Temple

About a 45-minute train ride from central Nara is the temple of Jikoin. Sited at the top of a hill, this temple was founded around the time of the unification of Japan by a nobleman interested in spreading the ideas of the tea ceremony. Because of this, most of the temple is devoted to tea […]


Todai-ji: Home of the Really Big Buddha

Todai-ji: Home of the Really Big Buddha

The highlight of Nara has to be Todai-ji, an absolutely gigantic temple with a statue of Buddha to match. Everything about this place is oversize; from the very minute you enter onto the main axis you are dwarfed by the architecture and the statues. The first gate to the temple is only a hint of […]


Koyasan: The Holy Mountain Town

Koyasan: The Holy Mountain Town

Yesterday, I wrote about visiting the cemetery at Okunoin. While that’s certainly the highlight of a visit to Koyasan, it’s hardly all there is to see. It’s a beautiful little mountain town, with lots of historic and beautiful places to visit. If you take the scenic route up the mountain, like we did, you ride […]


Okunoin: The Cemetery and the Cypresses

Okunoin: The Cemetery and the Cypresses

By far one of the most fascinating places we visited in Japan was Koyasan, a small mountain town with tons of temples centering around the cemetery and shrine to Kobo-daishi at Okunoin. Apparently, some consider Okunoin to be the holiest place in all of Japan. I don’t know about that, but it is remarkable and […]


Shunko-in

Shunko-in

This year, our study abroad program only had 17 people. That’s a good size for a studio. Other years, though, they’ve had so many students that some need to stay in another temple nearby, Shunko-in, also in the Myoshinji complex. Although it wasn’t needed this year, we still went to visit and watercolor their gardens. […]


Tokai-an: The Gardens of the Mind, Body, and Soul

Tokai-an: The Gardens of the Mind, Body, and Soul

Directly across from Daishin-in, the temple we made our home for six weeks, but still within the Myoshinji complex, is one of the most spectacular temples we saw during out time in Japan, Tokai-an. It was an incredible honor to be able to visit this temple at all – it is the head temple of […]


Tenryu-ji Temple & Arashiyama

Tenryu-ji Temple & Arashiyama

During our first week in Kyoto, we took a trip to visit Tenryu-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple on the west side of Kyoto, in an area known as Arashiyama. The temple grounds are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, especially for its gardens. The garden behind the main part of the temple, against the mountains, are […]


(Another) Computer Problem, A Flood of Japanese Instagram

(Another) Computer Problem, A Flood of Japanese Instagram

You may be wondering why, after I went to the trouble of making a post about being in Japan and taking tons of photographs, I didn’t post anything. Well, about a week or two into the program, my computer died. Why I always have major computer issues while I’m abroad is beyond me. My poor […]


Six Weeks in Kyoto!

Six Weeks in Kyoto!

The website lives! I have a reason, and, hopefully, time to post regularly this summer. I am currently in Kyoto, Japan, on a six-week study abroad program in landscape architecture. We are living in a 350-year-old temple in a much larger temple complex. Other than emphasizing becoming better designers, we will be learning how to […]


Portland!

Portland!

Just two from our class field trip to Portland last week. It’s a really cool town. Glad I finally had a chance to visit.


Oregon!

Oregon!

A little over a month ago I mentioned that I was in architecture school… I told you it was going to be busy! First, the good news: I got my kit lens back in fully working order. Hurrah! As much as I love my nifty fifty, it’s nice to not be limited to the one […]


Baeza & Ubeda

Baeza & Ubeda

Here are a few photos from a day trip we took to Baeza and Ubeda, two UNESCO World Heritage Site towns in Jaen province. These photos, I’m afraid, don’t nearly do justice to the place. Still, I think you’ll enjoy looking.


Granada

Granada

Seville is All About the Details

Seville is All About the Details

At the beginning of December, a few friends and I took a trip to Seville, the capital of Andalucía and the fourth-largest city in Spain. It is also what you might consider the “soul” of Spain, as a lot of the typical Spanish traditions were either born there or practiced most fiercely there. Unlike Madrid […]


A Few From Málaga

A Few From Málaga

Anytime I feel like traveling out of Spain, I have to get to one of the major airports. There are really only three in the whole country, and I’m sort of midway between two of them – Madrid and Málaga. Oftentimes, it’s easier for me to go south to Málaga, mostly because there is a […]


Brussels: The Capital of Europe

Brussels: The Capital of Europe

This will be the last post relating to my Christmas adventures. Promise. When I last left you, I was in Bruges. But it was Brussels, the so-called “Capital of Europe,” that I got to first and where I ended my trip to the Low Countries. Like Bruges, the city is charming, but it’s a much […]


Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Here’s some more from the Christmas-New Year’s Holiday trip. Leaving Holland, I worked my way south to Belgium. I started in Brussels, but took a side trip to see the town of Bruges – a much cooler city, in my opinion. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t inspired by a certain movie to […]


Holidays in Holland

Holidays in Holland

After Ronda, the next stop on my travels was the Netherlands. I landed in Eindhoven and was there for three days over Christmas (overall, a miserable place). Then I spent a day in the unpronounceable city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, home to medieval painter Heironymous Bosch. The highlight, however, was a week spent visiting friends in Utrecht, […]


Up La Peña

Up La Peña

I had hoped to be posting some pictures of my holiday trip right about now, but, well, read my last post… Instead, I will bring you some photos of Martos I had waiting to be posted. It’s an apt subject, actually, because I’m tired of traveling and it’s nice to be home. (Ok, maybe it’s […]


Graffiti in Europe is Always Better

Graffiti in Europe is Always Better

Feria San Lucas, Jaén

Feria San Lucas, Jaén

This is a HUGE festival here… It runs for a little over a week, all day and all night. Buses from all over the province stop at the fairground itself, which is just acres and acres of games, rides, food, and dance clubs. We went out on Saturday, saw the parade and then went out […]


Last Day in L.A.

Last Day in L.A.

The Arboretum

The Arboretum

Early last week I took an expedition to the Arboretum – that is, The  Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens – to get the dose of nature I’m not otherwise able to get thanks to the not-yet-quite-contained Station Fire. Although you would expect this to be located somewhere downton, it’s not. It’s in Arcadia […]