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Monday, February 28, 2011

H-II Rocket Nippon


Photographed at Waku Waku Grandy Science Land in Utsunomiya city, Tochigi prefecture. H-II rocket is a Japanese satellite launch system.

This rocket replica was re-painted last year. We personally prefer the previous version...



Which one do you prefer?



This is a Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday #110 entry.

            

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lime Factory Part 2


Another photo of the Lime factory in the industrial area of Tochigi city. I find this old factory beautiful in its own way and I am utterly obsessed by this industrial area! A ragged beauty, sort of?


If you are curious about this area, please click the photo below.


This is also an entry for Show Me Japan Vol 1, Issue 15. If you want to see nice photos taken in Japan, don't forget to visit!

 


And also for Sunday In My City.


Candle Light-Up In Nikko


Photographed at Kanmangafuchi Abyss (含満ガ淵) in Nikko city. On Valentine's Day, we had a candle light-up ceremony. These Jizo statues are called Bake Jizo. It is called so because whenever you count the number of statues, you are always confused and the number is not consistent...

Why??

Because numerous numbers of Jizo statues are there. Some are pretty small and you may miss them. Some are not full figured because they were flushed away by flooding that happened around 100 years ago...

This is a Black and White Weekend, Shadow Shot Sunday #145 and Scenic Sunday 136

                 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wind Turbine And A Monkey


Photographed at Waku Waku Grandy Science Land in Utsunomiya city, Tochigi prefecture...

It's sort of a science amusement park for kids who are interested in Sciences. This monkey, driven by electricity that is generated by a wind turbine, fetches water in a metal bucket when it's windy!!!


This is an entry for Sky Watch Friday.

Ameno Uzume


Daidai Kagura (太々神楽) is a traditional dance performance that is dedicated to the Shinto deities. The script is based on Japan mythology. Shinto priests wear masks to play the roles of particular gods and dance along with the traditional orchestra.

In this photo, an old male priest wore a mask called Okame (オカメ) and was playing a Shinto goddess, Ameno Uzume (or Amano Uzume /天鈿女命). Her husband is Sarutahiko (猿田彦). He is one of my favorite deities and I photographed him during the Daidai kagura performance as well.

 

If you want to know more about him and how Ame no Uzume got married him, we posted this article on our blog, Budget Trouble.
 
This is a Sepia Scenes #122, Alphabe-Thursday entry (T is for tradition), and Thursday Challenge. The theme is "MOVEMENT"

        

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"F"ierce Dragon



This fierce looking dragon was photographed at Korinji temple (広琳寺) in Utsunomiya city. Wherever I visit shrines and temples, I find myself photographing it... Probably, I am fascinated by the dragon.

This is a Outdoor Wednesday, Watery Wednesday, and ABC Wednesday entries. "F" is for "fierce" and "fascinated".


               

Monday, February 21, 2011

Old Factory in Tochigi City


The factory looks like it is covered with ash...

Well, we did have a volcano eruption at Mt. Kirishima (霧島山) but it's way too far from where I took this photo. If you are curious about the eruption, here we are.

The building shown in this photo is a lime factory in Tochigi city. It was unfortunate that the sky was fully covered with thick clouds when I was there, and because of that almost everything looks just GRAY. And a little bit red from the rust... It's not an abandoned building but it does look so exhausted...




A series of industrial factories related to the lime is located along Route 202 and I am beginning to like this bizarre looking place! I will definitely visit there once again when the sky is blue!

This is a That's my world and Ruby Tuesday entry.


           

Kagura Performance in Mibu


Daidaikagura (太々神楽) performance at Umebayashi Tenmangu (梅林天満宮) in Mibu city (壬生町). When you see that the name of the shrine ends with "Tenmangu", it means that Michizane SUGAWARA (菅原道真) is enshrined there. He is a deity of scholarship and deified as "Tenjin sama (天神さま)".

The Shinto deity holding a bow in this photo seems to be Hondawake [= Emperor Ojin (応神天皇)]. As you can guess by just looking at him ready to shoot an arrow, he is defied as the "god of war". His nickname is "Machiman sama (八幡さま)".

I have one more photo of the Kagura performance for you!




This is a Mellow Yellow Monday #109 entry.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Enmeiin Temple


Enmeiin (延命院) is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Chizan-ha branch of the Shingon school (真言宗智山派) of Buddhism. The temple was founded in 1063 in Utsunomiya city downtown by Souen Fujiwara (藤原宗円). The 18 meter tall Aesculus tree shown in the middle of the photo is believed to be 350 years old. This tree is special in Tochigi Prefecture because the genus of Aesculus is the symbol tree of the prefecture.

In general, Buddhist temple grounds include a cemetery and take care of memorial services for the deceased...

This is also an entry for Show Me Japan Vol 1, Issue 14. If you want to see nice photos taken in Japan, don't forget to visit!


And also for Scenic Sunday 135 and Best Posts of the Week.


        

Saturday, February 19, 2011

That's What Moms Are For


Photographed at Futaarasan Chugushi Shrine in Nikko city. Kids wearing traditional kimono were well-behaved and moms took good care of them.

This is a Black and White Weekend, Shadow Shot Sunday #144, Weekend Portrait #2.

                   

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shrine Trees

Photographed at Futaarayama Shrine at night. The stage to the left is called Kaguraden Hall (神楽殿) where a traditional dance performance, Kagura (神楽), is dedicated to the Shinto deities.


This is an entry for Sky Watch Friday and Thursday challenge. The theme is "trees".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monkey Business


Around a year ago in one of our blogs named Budget Trouble, we have introduced the restaurant in my town, Utsunomiya city, Tochigi prefecture, where monkeys are employed as waiters. We posted an article about this restaurant named "Kayabuki" with the video included (below).





Recently, our video went viral and have been watched over 300 thousand times in a week or so... It all started thanks to popular bloggers featuring the video. It appeared even on FOX2 in Detroit!

This video is sort of shocking and people tend to be creeped out by the appearance of the monkey. His name is Fuku-chan. He wore a girl's high school uniform and a wig when we went there.

We got numerous hysterical comments on this issue, claiming that we are animal abusers for filming the video??? Please read this if you are curious about it. Or please visit our Youtube site, if you are curious about comments we received.

Anyway, this is my world for this week. Welcome to my town, Utsunomiya!!!

This is a That's my world entry.



<Update>
Murphy's Law! As soon as I uploaded the link of our YouTube video, somebody claimed our video due to copyright claim (?). Uploaded a longer version of our video.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

White Horse and A Girl


Photographed during the 1000 Samurai warriors parade (百物揃千人行列) at the World Heritage site in Nikko city, Tochigi prefecture.

This is a Camera Critters #149, Sunday In My City, and Spiritual Sunday entry.


                    

Friday, February 11, 2011

Safe Bridge


Three days ago, I posted a photo of a damaged bridge found in Lake Chuzenji (photos below).


            
Damaged Bridge
And one more









This bridge is obviously safe and used by several boat owners.

And also for Black and White Weekend, Shadow Shot Sunday #143, Scenic Sunday 134 and Weekend Reflections #73.


                 

Have a nice weekend.