Koyasan and Kobe

Koyasan and Kobe

Saturday 16th July 2005

A morning spent in Koyasan followed by an evening somewhere between Osaka and Kobe, where Chie's cousin lives.

> Maison de Stuff
> John
> John's Pictures
> Japanese
> Japan 2005 Part I
> Japan 2005 Part II

06:07:32 First thing in the morning, the view from our shukuhboh room window again. We'd got up early so we could goa nd sit with the monks as they did their morning prayers.

06:15:17 Just wanted to show another aspect of the many faceted rooms you get in traditional ryokan or shukuboh.

07:18:28 Naturally we weren't going to take any pictures of the monks doing their morning prayers, so here's one of Chie on the way back - this is the little cloistered bit in the courtyard you could see from our room.

07:27:56 Breakfast, served in our room.

07:30:19 Me digging into breakfast.

07:32:52 A close-up - this was really superb, if anything better than the dinner of the previous evening... and everything 100% vegetarian! Clockwise, from top left, we have some fresh raw tofu in a very gentle and slightly sweet seaweed stock with mustard on; some nori; a green vegetable - a bit like the stems from spinach leaves with sesame; miso soup; some daikon; rice; pickles (takoan and umeboshi) and in the middle there was a kind of seasoned yuba with a strong soy sauce flavour.

07:56:46 Another picture of our room, after breakfast had been cleared away.

08:36:45 I'd been downstairs to brave the communal baths, and this is actually a picture Chie took of me on the way back to our room, although you can hardly see me!

08:36:57 ...a bit of zoom helps though!

09:24:27 After checking out of our shukuboh. Chie making a phonecall.

09:35:55 There follows quite a lot of pictures of temples, which I am not going to be able to do commentary justice to!

09:39:11 Looks like a bit of thatching going on there...

09:40:27 We made a number of attempts to get a decent picture of this pagoda...

09:40:43 ...but none of them were composed quite right...

09:41:06 ...probably should have used the screen rather than the optical viewfinder.

09:42:57 Nice tree.

10:02:50 A very concrete looking temple!

10:12:54 This guy on the bridge here was feeding the fish. If I'd have taken this a couple of seconds later, you'd have seen about a hundred fish sticking their heads out of the water!

10:14:33 I think the people with the hats here got on the same train as us later on.

10:16:27 This is Konpon Daito, apparently completed in 1937. It was interesting in Koyasan to see this blend of ancient and (fairly) modern.

10:18:40 I think this building is called Kondo, originally built in 815, and now on its 7th incarnation dating from 1932.

10:23:56 Chie was interested by the use of the tori - normally a piece of Shinto symbolism - within the grounds of a Buddhist temple here.

10:33:58 This is the Daimon - the gatehouse guarding the west entrance to Koyasan.

10:41:19 Just opposite the Daimon - another indulgence of my love of Japanese signs - presumably this sign was warning about the presence of bears.

10:42:02 A view of the mountains across the road from the Daimon.

10:42:39 The Daimon again, seen from the other side.

10:57:29 On the walk back into the centre of Koyasan, we took a slightly different route and passed another load of temples which I'm going to fail to be able to say anything intelligent about...

11:01:19 Just out of shot to the left here some construction work was taking place, so this had to be carefully composed!

11:02:20 Chie liked this carving here.

11:57:50 Back at the cable car station in Koyasan, waiting for the next cable car in this waiting room with some rather magnificent views!

11:58:05 Lots of forest covered mountains.

11:58:23 Unfortunately the constrasting light levels meant this was never going to work with my camera...

11:58:41 use trying again!

12:02:18 The top of the cable car track.

12:03:49 ...look here comes the cable car!

12:04:12 Yep there it is.

12:04:56 Chie about to get on...

12:08:50 Chie on the cable car - we got a great position right at the front this time.

12:09:02 I have to admit I found the slope a little unnerving here!

12:10:01 Chie in the cable car.

12:10:12 This reminds me of a picture of me sat on a train when I was a young boy. I still don't seem to have lost that sense of fascination!

12:19:49 Going down the mountain...

12:20:29 Me crouching down at the front, so as not to obscure anyone else's view - I wasn't afraid, honest!

12:27:44 After changing onto a normal train, we thought it appropriate to start lunch which, as has now become a ritual for me in Japan, is to be accompanied by some Asahi Aqua Blue.

12:28:12 Chie with some kind of Omasubi.

12:35:00 Chie, clearly embarassed to hold my beer for me!

14:20:00 A rocket in a station, somewhere in the centre of Osaka.

14:20:20 Me and the rocket.

14:25:21 We fancied a waffle, so we had a waffle...

14:56:24 Then we fancied a beer, so we had a beer too! Chie thought this beer stand in the middle of a station was a bit strange - but typical of the people of Osaka!

16:01:27 A view out over Osaka (or is it Kobe?) from Chie's cousin's flat.

21:04:10 For dinner we went to a restaurant called Ygrec, which Chie et al believed to be Italian - it was of course French. This is Chie's starter - a kind of risotto.

21:04:24 My starter, an assiette des legumes.

21:05:16 Me, Chie and Aiyasan.

21:05:35 Misan, Ryokosan and Konnishisan.

21:27:19 Chie's main course.

21:27:31 My main course - actually very nice - although the fried egg seemed a bit out of place!

21:27:41 A random picture of the table.

22:19:20 Outside, after dinner, unfortunately a bit blurred.

22:19:38 Less blurred this time!

22:20:27 Me and Chie - a "twoshot" as the Japanese call it.

22:21:07 An attempt to take a picture of the "Wedding Villa" across the water from our restaurant...

22:21:29 ...and again...

22:21:55 ...and again...

22:22:04 ...and again.

22:53:14 Back at Chie's cousin's flat, a night time view out over either Kobe and Osaka. Unforunately the horizon is not very straight!

22:54:20 ...again with different settings...

22:55:08 ...and again.