Travel

The 48 Waterfalls of Akame

Akame 48 waterfalls is located in Nabari City Mie Prefecture and considered to be the birthplace of Ninja and home to giant Salamander.

After several failed attempts since last year, together with C, I finally made it there at the end of summer.

It’s about an hour train ride from Osaka by Kintetsu Line and another 10-15 minuted ride from the train station to the base of the waterfall.

C found a cheaper ticket by Kintetsu , which includes an round trip ticket from either Namba, Uehonmachi or Tsuruhashi station to Akameguchi Station. A round trip bus ticket to from Akameguchi Station to Akametaki. An entrance ticket to the waterfalls area and the Salamander Museum.  You can also get some discounts from the omiyage shops around the area.

To know more information about the place check out the website.

My Photo Collection is here.

Categories: Life In Japan, Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Oyamazaki Villa

One good thing about working far from home is the free train pass and unlimited train ride between home and work.

So one fine spring day, I took the train to Yamazaki and check out the much talked about Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Arts.

The main building was built by a wealthy businessman, Shotaro Kaga, and was considered for demolition decades after his death. Fortunately, with the help of local people, the Kyoto government and Asahi Breweries, the Villa was preserved and was opened to the public as Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum in 1996.

Let’s start the tour.

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The tunnel going to the Villa.

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I thought I’ve already reached the Villa, but this turn out to a small resting place and locker to store big backpacks or big luggage since it’s not allowed inside the Museum.

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Beautiful, Sakura tree.

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I’m finally here.

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Entrance.

The Museum houses Monet’s Waterlily collection. Just like any other museum taking pictures inside is prohibited but taking pictures of the outside garden from the inside is not and thus:

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Japanese garden , from one of the glass doors.

On the top floor of the museum is a cafe with a veranda and a view of Yawata city
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I wanted to stay here , relax and enjoy the view unfortunately a group old folks where occupying the whole place and chatting their hearts away.
So on I go with my tour.
I decided to enjoy the view of the garden, and it was a better decision.

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The garden and the pond from another angle.

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A rabbit sculpture. I think its really out of place in a very zen garden and it’s huge too.

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The view of the Villa’s veranda cafe from the garden.

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The green Sakura and the Museum.

You can reach the museum by taking JR or Hankyu Line and stop at Yamazak Station or Oyamazaki station respectively. Free shuttle bus is also available for guest from both station, check the schedule here.

I hope you enjoy the tour and please give it a quick visit when you visit Kyoto.

Categories: Buildings, Structures, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Myanmar Adventure : Touring Yangon ( Botataung Paya)

Yangon, the former capital , is the largest city in Burma or Myanmar .

After our long trip from Osaka and restless night in the guesthouse, it was time to explore the city.

The weather in Yangon in December is just perfect. Warm but not humid. We decided to walk around the city instead of hiring a cab or trike. We got a map from our guesthouse and found out that Botataung Paya is just about 30 minutes walk away.

Walking around the streets of Yangon is like walking around Cebu. The crowded buses and streets, the street dogs just lazing around and the local street vendors, uncovered hole in the street, uncovered construction site  just reminds me of home :).

When we got to Botataung Paya(Pagoda), I found out that ( for the first time) that entering a Buddhist Temple in Myanmar requires you to not only remove your shoes but your socks as well. Foreigners are required to pay $3 each which allows them to take pictures, and use the toilet facilities.

Botataung Paya is located at a spacious river front location. It’s most original feature is a dazzling zigzag corridor, gilded floor to ceiling that snakes its way around to the hollow interior of the 131ft golden zedi(stupa). This is the second one after the original was directly hit during an air raid in November 1943. Unlike any other zedi, which are solid, Botataung is hollow and you walk through it.

Let’s start the tour.

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Buddha, sitting underneath a Cobra? This is the first time I’ve seen a Buddha is this way.

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A small shrine(?) at the side, where people bring their gifts to Buddha.

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The Buddha inside the small shrine.

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Botataung Paya.

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The gilded corridors.

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Another corner.

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The nearby Port.

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Kyoto Autumn Walk 2014

I joined an autumn walk around Kyoto last year and we saw some really nice places. We all met first in Arashiyama and walk all the way central Kyoto.

We passed by several temples and shrine but unfortunately, I lost the list of names that I made. So please enjoy the tour.

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The mountain and river in Arashiyama Kyoto.

On our way to the Golden Temple, we passed by this area

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The sun and the maple leaves

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I think this is the Saga-Arashiyama railroad.

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The maple tree and the train station.

Near the Golden Temple , we passed by a parking area and the trees are around it were very beautiful.

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Yellow !!

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Red!!

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More red maple leaves!

We stopped at nearby local park for lunch

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Ginko Tree.

After lunch we continue our walk to the next shrine. It was a small one , mostly local tourist but it was beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can remember how to get there too.

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The entrance to the temple or shrine(?). Unless you get inside the main hall , you don’t need to pay to enjoy the lovely trees outside.

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A close up.

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Another close up.

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The fallen leaves.

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The maple tree and the gate.

We continued our walk and on our way we passed by another big temple.

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Let’s check it out.

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This area is not open to the public but they opened the door, to allow visitor to glimpse at the garden.

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It would be nice to have a picnic under these trees.

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A small treat while walking along the Kamo River.

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The Sunset.

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Attempted night shot using iPhone.

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Another one.

We walked more or less 20 km around Kyoto that day. The weather was great, the company was great. It was an amazing day.

Categories: Landscape, Life In Japan, Temples, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Kamo Adventure

Kamo was the the capital of Japan from 740-744.  It’s not really a major tourist destination in Kyoto but a really nice place to see some old cultural heritage and a good place to maybe get lost 🙂

Last Autumn 2014, I missed the first walking event organized by Mr.RB but he was very nice to do it again. Some of the leaves were gone already but we got the place to ourselves. We don’t have to compete with local tourist to see the places. It was cold but the walk warmed us and we saw some really interesting stone carvings along the way.

Our first destination is Gansenji(岩船寺). From Kamo Station, we took the community bus bound for 加茂山の家行き. It was the last stop and the temple was just 1 minute walk from the bus stop. It’s 600 yen to get inside.

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The Pagoda.

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The Pagoda again with the remaining maple leaves.

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The temple ground.

You can go inside the main temple of Gansenji and see old Buddhist relic or ring the small metal bowl for good fortune.

After we left Gansenji, we went to another temple but this one is free unless you go inside the main hall.
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The panoramic view of the temple.

But before that we found a pottery store and the two girls who were with got so excited and started shopping 🙂

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Pottery ?

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More?

We walked around as saw some really cool stone sculpture/statues which no ones really knows when it was made

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Like this Buddha statue carved at the side of the mountain. We could not get any closer so this was taken across from it.

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The Laughing Buddha. I guess these carvers or stone masons just randomly start to carve whenever they saw a big stone.

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This one has seen better days. But the outline is still there.

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Can you see the little statues on top of the rocks?

Another thing I like about places like Kamo, is that you can find small unmanned vegetable store. You buy local produce but instead of paying the owners, you put your payment in the box.

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Local farm store. The lady here is really nice, when saw me kept looking this:

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She gave me one. It’s called “Fox Face”. Its not edible and is only used for decoration.

When I came home, my backpack was really heavy. And this is one of the reason.
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In the Philippines, we call it Sayote and yes I made some really nice Chicken Tinola(Stew) with it.

It was a really nice walk. Thanks to RB the whole group had an amazing time at Kamo.

Categories: Landscape, Life In Japan, Temples, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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