Elaborate structures holding 1400 years of history and enshrining spirituality. The thousands of temples and shrines that populate the country are preserving an era reminding those who visit of what was, in the midst of what is. These structures exist in every city we ventured in many sizes and popularity. Kyoto's temples and shrines had vast garden grounds with many other buildings. where as those in Tokyo were smaller and more concealed away within the life of the neighborhoods and different districts.
It was coincidence that Matsuri (Japanese Fesitivals) were occurring all around my vicinity toward the end of my trip. These festivals which are more like an american parade are sponsored or hosted by the local temples and shrines in the districts. The Matsuri I found myself surrounded by was related to the planting or harvest of rice crops in early autumn. I ran into 3 different parades which all contained elaborate floats, traditional clothing and song.
featured include: Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Meji Jingu, Itsukushima, Eishoji
(Naoshima & Tokyo)