Japan, "simplicity is graceful", 2015

I feel more connected to earth and simplicity every time we visit Japan and meet with the Japanese people living respectful lifes weaved with traditions. 


Tosho-Gu Shrine
The Shinto shrine was mysterious with the snow of late February. Located in Nikkō in the Tochigi Prefecture the shrine consists of more than a dozen richly decorated buildings.

Shinkyo Bridge

Further down from the Shinkyo Bridge is a path lined with a collection of Jizō statues. It is nice and quiet. Every time you count the jizo statues you end up with a different number, they say. Local women usually take care of Jizo statues and provide them with hand-knitted hats and hand-sewn bibs. Such red bibs were said to have been worn by children in earlier times. The practice of dressing Jizo statues is related to receiving merit for the afterlife, a common theme in Buddhism.


Kamakura Hachiman-gu shrine
In the city of Kamakura in the Kanagawa Prefecture is one of the most important Shinto shrines, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū.

When fish is a passion, one can sneak into the Tsukiji Fish Market outside of the visiting hours and stroll around until caught. Entering the market during the exciting auctions of the early morning hours is not allowed.

Nagano Jigokudani
In the valley of the Yokoyu River live the Japanese Macaque monkeys. The area is a paradise for the monkeys. They sit peacefully in the pools of hot spring with red faces but can occasionally get aggressive when another tries to get in to their pool. 

Zenko ji is a 7th century Buddhist temple in Nagano. The first ever Buddha statue was brought here from Korea. It is kept hidden from public inside a box behind the main altar. You can walk through a tunnel below the temple in complete darkness if you wish to experience the eerie feeling of not knowing where you go and when it will end.

Stone lantern, embraced 
by forest's leaves, now a part 
of the mountain's green 
         Haiku, Belisa


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