Summer trip to Japan - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Summer trip to Japan

I finally got around to editing/uploading some photos of my trip to Japan this summer-- I did siteseeing for 2 weeks before a 4 week study abroad in Tokyo. I thought I'd share some of my photos from my site-seeing:

Ginkakkuji (Temple of the silver Pavilion):





My photos don't do this place justice, as I swear it must be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. While Kinkakkuji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) is more famous, Ginkakkuji is an older temple. The people of Kyoto revear the designer of Ginkaukkuji as a genius. Both temples were chartered by former Emperors, father and son actually. As an interesting historical tidbit, if I remember correctly, the father was the last of the emperors connected to the Fujiwara clan, which incidentally, would make him an ancient relative of mine.

Kyoto is huge and amazing-- this is just one of countless amazing shrines and temples. Though I spent 4 days there, I felt like I saw only the tiniest tidbits of the place.'

Another shot from Kyoto:




Miyajima:





Miyajima is a beautiful island south of the mainland. It's a famous tourist spot with 1 of Japan's 3 "Great Wonders," the Ootorii gate (huge torii gate). Miyajima has Deer the way California has Squirrels. XD

Nikko:





The Japanese have a saying, "Nikko wa Saiko." Literally translated, it means "Nikko is the Highest." This is a phrase with literal and figurative meaning. Literally, one should climb the huge flight of stairs to the first Shogun's grave. The Tokugawa dynasty is probably the most famous of Japan's Shogunate dynasties, and Nikko is where the very first of this famous line is burried. Figuratively, Nikko is incredibly beautiful, and reveared by many Japanese as the most beautiful place on earth.

I was surprised at how brave the red dragonflies (which are everywhere) are! They don't care if the camera is even an inch away!


Mt. Fuji/Jikku:







At the end of the trip, my friends and I ventured to climb to the top of the amazing Mt. Fuji! Highest point in Japan! Probably my favorite part though, was taking photos of the Jikku (forests at the base of Mt. Fuji). Truly amazing-- I'd never seen such a perfect sky.

Incidentally, I also collected a lot of the rocks for Naupaka Coast at Mt. Fuji!


Niigata:

What Aquascaper's trip to Japan would be complete without a trip to the Nature Aquarium Gallery?



It was nice-- my Dad was amazed. So much so that he helped finance "Naupaka Coast." Me, I thought it was nice, but a bit boring . . . really IMO, Amano's level of innovation just isn't what it was when he was writing Nature Aquarium World I . . . or at least, the aquariums at the gallery are just to "wow" the unknowledgable hobbyists IMO. Too many of the scapes (especially the smaller ones) gave me the impression of being thrown together. Ok, sorry! I'm done being negative!

My Dad's comment: "Wow!! This is SO much better than TV!!"

Hope you enjoyed! I'll try to edit more of my photos in the future-- I took around 1500 photos total on that trip.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 07:17 PM
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 08:11 PM
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Great photos! What a great time that must have been. You have seen one of the most beautiful places on earth - count yourself lucky!


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 08:32 PM
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When I look at the pictures I'm doing some deep-breathing. WOW feel like I were there. Great scenario and thanks for sharing.

Alex
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 08:46 PM
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Wow, those pictures look awesome. I would love to visit Japan one of these days. How difficult is it for an American tourist to get around Japan and see that kind of stuff without knowing a lick of Japanese?

Nice pics, hope to see more soon.

Jason
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Chinaboy-- Sure is! Since the summer counts as "transfer credits" I actually get to go again spring of 2008. Looking forward to it!

Jen-- You bet I am!

bumblebee-- Thanks! But they're even more amazing in person.

Jasonh-- Not too bad. Since english is taught at their schools, if you gesture they can probably understand you. Now, understanding them is the hard part. Their speaking skills are normally not at the same place as their comprehension, since they only care about writing/reading tests in their classes. Japanese classrooms use almost no participation or discussion. Sometimes I even asked them to just speak in Japanese because I couldn't make any sense of their English.

Especially in Miyajima, or non-city places, English will be almost completely worthless. If you're planning to go see the gallery in Niigata, I'll warn ya that it's in the middle of NO WHERE and none of the people living in those rice farms will know any English at all. Just ask for Amano Takashi-san.

I found it helped if, when I said English words, I pronounced them the way a Japanese person would. When you say "ANA hotel," instead say, "Ana (like in banana) Hoteru."
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 10:12 PM
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GMF gorgeous shots!
You captured the natural beauty very well. Thanks for sharing.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 10:22 PM
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Another place to add onto my list. Been thinking about visiting Singapore/Japan next year.

Eric


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 10:27 PM
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Ahhhhhh! I think I just melted and flowed out of my chair (You know, like when you're über relaxed?). Hubby wants to visit Japan someday, but the language and culture barrier intimidates me quite a bit. I'd definitely have to go with some sort of a structured tour.

Thank you for sharing!

Sláinte!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 10:30 PM
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Beautifal!
it's look like Plitvize national park in croatia.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all!!

I'd recommend Japan to any would-be travelers! I know the language/culture barriers can be intimidating, but I think it's workable.

I'll admit, being half Japanese, and speaking fairly well (though no-where near fluent) it fairly comfortable for me, I'll say that the people there are really helpful! Like the guy at Aquaforest Tokyo putting up with me just point at things in the ADA catalogue.


Rosehawke (and other would-be tourists)--

Don't mean to be a tour guide, but if you need a structured tour, hit Kyoto!!

Just make sure your tour/wanderings get you to these places:

Kinkakkuji
Ginkakkuji
Kiyomizu

From Kyoto, try making it to Nara to see the deer, and the Fujiwara shrine. Well, that one's just special to me because it's my family's shrine.


Ginkakkuji is the most beautiful of the shrines and temples I went to. It's also close to the "Philosopher's Trail." Which you should try walking, as it is BEAUTIFUL.

Kinkakkuji is famous, and the pavilion there really has a magnificent gold color from the leaf-printing process done to it.

Kiyomizu is a shrine famous for its holy water, which pours down into a beautiful pool. I was very tempted to dive into the pool and examine the aquatic mosses and riccia growing at the base of the holy water fall, but I refrained. XD Wash your hands, and have a drink-- the water is sweet!


Just as a general info, Shrines and Temples are different. Shrines are dedicated to the Shinto. The Japanese go to the shrines to celebrate new beginnings. The temples are buddhist, and are the main grounds for graves/funerals.

The Japanese are born Shinto, Marry Christian (40% of Japanese weddings have Christian-style service) and die Buddhist.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 03:16 AM
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If you ever come to Kyushu let me know! I can show you some awesome waterfalls and great mountains!
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 03:35 AM
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Wow! its really beautiful, i want to have that scape on my backyard, its so peaceful and quite. Ahhhhh....

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 03:44 AM
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Hey Steven, thanks for sharing some of your pics, they are awesome !

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! Gabe, I'll definitely take up that offer if I get there.
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