Scrapbook of a Future Nobleman

Posts Tagged ‘japan’

The Water Temple

The Water Temple

Back on the main island, but still very close to Awaji Island, is another one of Tadao Ando’s buildings, the Water Temple in Hompuki. It is one of his most famous works, and probably one of his best. Set in the side of a hill overlooking the ocean, the small temple is meant to be […]


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 […]