A collection of all my study abroad pictures in semi-chronological order. Older pictures are at the end of the post.
武田尾のトンネル — Takedao’s Tunnels 5/29/15
星のブランコ — The Star Swing 5/17/15
The largest suspension bridge in Osaka: the Star Swing
Follow the arrows…
The entrance to cave exploration adventures!!
“yahoo” point — We all yelled “yahoooooo” and got lots of people yelling back from all different directions!
Carp for Children’s Day
Hiroshima Day one — 5/10/15
I was able to get a 1￥ coin to land with the rest, but when I tried for 5￥ it bounced away…
View of the torii gate from the Daisho-in hiking trail
A very photogenic deer who hung around me and Candice for a while as we were resting
A gate on Mt. Misen on Miyajima.
This is the torii gate entrance to a super old shrine I saw on the top of Mt. Misen. I can’t find it’s name, but I think it’s the Miyama-jinja shrine.
The view was gorgeous! It felt like I was on top of the world!
This building, the Reikado, houses the flame that was used to light the flame that burns in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is said that Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, lit this flame.
On clear days, you’re supposed to be able to see the mountains of Shikoku!!! I don’t think you can see them in this picture though
Ok, calm down ropeway people. I don’t think many people want to “run a little” to get there.
You could dress up like a samurai or a ninja and take pictures fighting with someone else!
Day two — 5/9/15
The Children’s Peace Monument
These paper cranes were sent to Hiroshima by children from all over the world
原爆ドーム The A-Bomb Dome
No, we did not go inside the castle. Actually, this is the closest we got! Figuring the inside would be boring and wanting to take some cool pictures at Miyajima of the torii gate, we headed there instead.
No deer, you may NOT eat my momiji-shaped snack!
The view from Miyajima
The floating torii gate just before low tide
Pagoda on Miyajima
The entrance to the Daisho-in Temple on Miyajima.
The floating torii gate of Miyajima at low tide
1￥ coin on the base of the torii gate
The 原爆ドーム at night
武田尾のトンネル — Takedao’s Tunnels 5/6/16
比叡山 — Mt. Hiei 4/18/15
USJ — Universal Studios Japan
Emergency rations for the Survey Corps
Models of two titans fighting from Attack on Titan
You could get your picture taken to make it look like you were getting eaten!!
A dragon from the game Monster Hunter
Is THIS the way to Harry Potter?
着物 — Kimono
From left to right: Minae, Katharina, Candice, me, and Aya
View of my hairstyle from the back
飛鳥 — Asuka 2/28/15
This is a possible resting site of the Emperor Kinmei, who lived during the sixth century.
This rock is called the “Devil’s Chopping Board.” There are horizontal lines cut into the rock where people probably tried to break it into smaller pieces, but locals believe that if you come here when it’s misty and generally spooky, demons will chop you up for their meal! It was most likely the site of an old tomb.
Continuing with the theme from the last picture, this is the “Devil’s Privy;” apparently the demons would come here after eating someone. However, the shape and dimensions suggest that it could be the top half of the “cutting board.”
This is the “Turtle Stone.” While it currently faces the south, legend says it once faced the east, and if it ever faces west, Japan will sink into the ocean.
Pagoda! We didn’t end up going to see it, but there’s always next time, right?
Foundations of an old temple
This is the Ishibutai. It was possibly the tomb of Soga no Umako, a powerful member of the Soga clan during the sixth and seventh centuries. There were rumors that the Soga clan were going to try and usurp the throne, and one of the indications of this is the Ishibutai which was built on an imperial scale for a member not of the royal family.
Inside of the Ishibutai; that’s my teacher explaining what the tomb would have looked like when it was first built
The Ishibutai from afar
When this temple was excavated years ago, they decided to cover the ruins back up when they were finished and put stones where the borders of the buildings were. That way, we can see what it looks like and walk all over it without damaging anything.
I really like this tree… I’m not sure why exactly 😀
That square in the center would have been an old temple well
The Asukadera Shrine
This is the Asuka Daibutsu. While much smaller than the Daibutsu in the Todaiji, it is much older (built in the early seventh century). Also unlike the Todaiji Daibutsu, this one is the same statue. It has never been broken or repaired. The guide told us all about this statue and said that it has been in the exact same location for over 1000 years! The building hasn’t always been there and so for a time the Great Buddha was battered by the elements, but it has always been worshiped.
Climbed a hill and got some great views of the area!!
東大寺 — Todaiji 2/22/15
There were lots of people selling deer crackers along this road
THIS deer is going to tell us how to get to the Todaiji
Nara National Museum We walked through here (students get a discounted price) and saw lots of old and famous sculptures, text, and paintings. I was really excited for the bronze statue gallery, but unfortunately it was closed for construction.
The Nandaimon Gate
The massive gate leading to the Todai-ji in Nara.
Another view of the Todai-ji gate.
Guardian statue underneath the gate
Guardian statue number 2
A warning sign telling us not to get too friendly with the wild deer; we saw one deer bite a woman’s clothes because she was holding crackers in her hand, as if to make her pay attention to him!
Is that it??? Nope, another gate, this time attached to a wall that surrounds the compound.
There it is! One of the biggest wooden structures in the world — Daibutsuden! Can you believe that the current building is actually smaller than it used to be? It has been destroyed and rebuilt due to fires and earthquakes many times!
Again, look how small the people are compared to the building; it should give you at least some idea how big it is. Also, see the giant lantern? It is one of the only truly original items of the complex, dating back to the 8th century!
The giant Buddha (Daibutsu) housed inside the Daibutsuden
How big is the Buddha statue? Well, this is one of the lotus petals that make up the foundation….
This kind of shows how big he is next to a person, but not really
… and this is a replica of the Buddha’s hand
This is what the back of the statue looks like
The Bodhisattva on the Buddha’s left, Nyoirin-kannon.
The Bodhisattva on the Buddha’s right, Kokuuzo-bosatsu.
Statue of Koumokuten
Statue of Tamonten
One of the pillars that holds the place up
Ok, so it has been said that if you can fit through this hole, about the size of the great Buddha’s nostril, you will obtain enlightenment in your next life
Pretty popular with the kids; not many older people tried it haha
This is a statue of Binzuru; it is said that if you rub a part of his body that matches where you hurt, you will be healed.
This huge pillar used to stand on top of a pagoda. The Todaiji originally had two pagodas, one on either side of the Daibutsuden, but they have long since been destroyed.
The Tamukeyama Hachiman Shrine
The Nigatsudo; an annual ceremony is held here at the beginning of March called Omizutori
Great views of Nara!
That’s a big bell! It’s probably only rung for important things, judging both by the size and how the hanging log is above the reach of most people. There were signs all around it, but they were all in Japanese.
Deer want a cracker?
These are some spoiled deer! This one got like 10 crackers from us because he was the only one around.
錦市場 — Nishiki Market 2/11/15
四天王寺 — Shitennoji 2/8/15
Gate at the Shitenno-ji in Osaka.
The two statues in this picture are called Nio statues, are entirely made out of wood, and protect the temple.
This rock garden and wall were actually part of a different temple located right next to the Shitennoji, which was surrounded by other temples and shrines.
Pagoda at the Shitenno-ji in Osaka
八坂神社 — Yasaka Shrine
This is the Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto, right at the end of the main street in Gion.
大阪城 — Osaka Castle 2/8/15
The castle is allllll the way over there.
This wall is massive! It’s really hard to tell from these pictures, but it is.
Hey, look! We’re thiiiiis far away from the castle!
Story time: there were a few women nearby who were taking turns taking pictures of each other right here. So, we asked if they wanted us to take a group picture, in both English and Japanese, and ended up getting our picture taken instead… We think they may have been Chinese haha.
his well is the Kinmeisui Well. It is probably the only original part of the castle still intact; the rest has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. As a side note, the two guys in the picture started posing right after I took this and really wanted to be in the picture haha
View from the top! Kind of a cloudy day, but still really cool!
This is a “butamon,” a steamed pork bun.
This is probably very pretty in the spring time when all of these trees begin to flower!
伏見稲荷退社 — Fushimi Inari Taisha 1/30/15
At the train station
Rockin’ the ear muffs
The beginning of the torii trail at Fushimi Inari
Still rockin’ the ear muffs
清水寺 — Kiyomizu-dera 1/30/15
There’s a pagoda waaaaaaay over there
八坂神社 — Yasaka Jinja 1/30/15
祇園 — Gion 1/30/15
枚方市駅 — Hirakata City Station
Entrance to the station
関西外大 — Kansai Gaidai
You can’t actually see, but it’s snowing!
Yes, this is a Cup Noodle vending machine and yes, I have eaten from it already…
In front of the CIE
The view from the fourth floor of the CIE building
難波 — Namba
Yes, that’s a giant crab and yes, it moves
Us international kids!
Candice and Saori
THAT is a fish head
The tonkatsu restaurant we went to!
Giant octopus that has steam come out of it every oncei in a while
Pierre eating Baskin Robbins; another example of weird globalization