Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Osakajo (Osaka Castle)

The exquisite Osaka Castle.

The detail of the gold floral designs on the edges of the roof are amazing.

A storehouse above the moat, not sure what its original use was, but unlike the imperial feel of the Osaka Castle, there is the structure and colour of this building generate a sense of peace and calm.

The fish tail detail of the roof ends.

A relatively "clean" shot of the Castle. Somehow the white/gold/black/moss colour combination just works.

The fence around the garden of Osaka Castle. They look like wood but are actually made with stone.

The ramp leading up to the main gate of Osaka Castle

Gate of Osaka Castle

The moat around the castle, part of it is dry and taken over by lush plants. I wonder what was used to layer the huge stones into place to make this moat back in ancient time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Japan trip: Osaka - Shitenno-ji

Shitennji in Osaka

The roof spines of temples and castles in Japan usually end with wing like structures.

At first I thought these were Egyptian influenced designs, but later we were informed that these are meant to symbolise fish tails which is a charm against fire. Temples and castles in Japan are often built mainly in wood.

A bronze dragon guardian, his head is shiny from all the rubbing he gets from visitors :)

The roof tiles of various temples in Japan usually end with different flowers. For Shitennoji it seems to be the lotus. The ends of the wood beams are also decorated extravagantly.

Lanterns offered to the temple by devotees hung in the walkways. What a beautiful sight it would be to see them all alight at night.

The Shitennoji Pagoda - 5 levels. Each floor is filled with small and large bronze Buddha statues offered to the temple by devotees.

One of the gates into the Prince's Chamber - the sign apparently translates to "the cat's door to Prince's Chamber"....a huge door for the cat... @_@

The pagoda is still visible from further away. The nine rings symbolise royalty and high status of buddhism.

The gravel zen garden is raked each morning by the temple's monks, unfortunately I was not able to capture its full beauty on the day.