Wuhou shrine with its fragrant incense

Walking through Wuhou Shrine and kissing a Sacred Lion.

The next stop on our big China Oddyssey was the beatiful city of Chengdu in Southwest China. Our speed train from Chongqing to Chengdu reached the speed of 199km per hour! This was definitely the fastest moving train that I have ever been on. The countryside zoomed past through the windows along with the countless…

The Prayer Wheels I got to turn all the way to the top!!

Fortune sticks and Prayer wheels in shrine filled Miyajima

Miyajima is a small island close to Hiroshima that I visited when things at the memorial service got to emotional; for me. This island’s real name is Itsukushima , and Miyajima is just a popular nickname meaning “Shrine Island”. While at the floating shrine, Itsukushima I really wanted to do the Chinese fortune telling sticks but unfortunately…

Great Buddha Statue was bigger that I expected

Great Buddha and thousands of Jizo statues

Kamakura was Japan’s capital for more than 100 years beginning in 1192 and is filled with shrines and temples. It is also here that the Great Buddha statue is found. My friend Yvonne and I walked around the Kamakura area one sunny Saturday and on our way to the Great Buddha we stopped of at Hase-Dera…

The blessing circle in front of Hetsunomiya Shrine

Blessing circle on Japans’ Enoshima Island

  I loved living in Japan and exploring all the wonderful places it has to offer. One of my favourite weekend destinations outside of Tokyo was the small island of Enoshima. Enoshima is very small, about 4 km in circumference, linked to the mainland shore of Fujisawa city by two 600-meter bridges. As I cross one…

Fushimi Shrine

Walking through thousands of Red Torii in Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most famous of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari across Japan. This shrine ended up being my favourite one in Kyoto.  It had a very peaceful and spiritual atmosphere. Fushimi Inari Shrine is also famous for the countless torii gates, offerings by worshippers, which cover the hiking trails of…

This temple is covered in Gold leaf

Temples of gold and singing floors in Kyoto

Kyoto is a shrine and temple filled city and it was quite difficult to decide which ones to see and which ones to skip. My friend Michael and my first site for the day, while exploring Kyoto was Nijo Castle. Trust me it sounds better than what it looks. It looked more like a stately…

Kiyomizudera ("Pure Water Temple")

Healing water and Lucky love rocks in shrine filled KYOTO

Kyoto is a city filled with countless temples, shrines and other historically significant buildings. It was Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868. Over the centuries, many wars and fires destroyed Kyoto, but due to its historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb…

The 5 level pagoda at entrance to Tōshō-gū.

Mist shrouded Nikko, shrines and hot springs.

Nikko is a small city situated about 135km North of Tokyo between picturesque mountains and waterfalls surrounded by lakes, wild monkeys, hot springs and hiking trails. It’s a 3-4 hour journey by train from Shinjuku station on the Tobu-Nikko line and cost me about ¥1320 one-way, ideal for a long weekend get away from the…

Maruyama Inari Shrine with its lane of red torii.

Shrines, good fortune and happiness in Kamakura!

Kamakura is a great destination for a day-trip from Tokyo.  It was less than one hour south of where I lived. The most attractive feature of Kamakura is that there are numerous temples and shrines which gives it an atmosphere of old Japan. Kamakura was Japan’s capital for more than 100 years beginning in 1192…

Getting to experience Japanese cultures first hand is such a great privilege

Hand Washing custom before entering Japans Meiji Jingo Shrine

Meiji Shrine located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. Michael, one of my co-workers in Japan, and I went walking around the park and through the shrine one lovely sunny day. I lived in a very small place so spent most of my time outside if the…