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Archive for the ‘Shinto Shrines’ Category

Photo #61 – Japanese Chairs & Stools, Kyoto Flea Market

Japanese chairs and stools for sale at Kyoto flea market
As I struggle with completing episode 5 of the podcast, which is likely to be the most difficult episode to finish in the entire series, I decided to get ahead a little with the photos by uploading some images correlating to upcoming episode 6.


These handcrafted 3-legged chairs in a carpenter’s booth at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine’s monthly flea market were quite comfortable, but a little pricey. The chairs were offered at around $330 to $550 US depending on wood choice.

These are the chairs discussed briefly in upcoming episode 6 of the podcast as we stroll through the giant flea market underway at the shrine this day.

I don’t know that the front of these 3-legged stools are intended to look like torii gates, but there is a resemblance.

The Kinkakuji golden pavilion and Ryoanji rock garden, a couple of the most touristy spots in Kyoto, are within very reasonable walking distances of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine as you can see on the map below. Kinkakuji and Ryoanji are identified just northwest of Kitano Tenmangu.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #60 – Kitano Tenmangu Shinto Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

Kitano Tenmangu Shinto Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

As I struggle with completing episode 5 of the podcast, which is likely to be the most difficult episode to finish in the entire series, I decided to get ahead a little with the photos by uploading some images correlating to upcoming episode 6.


Though much of the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine grounds were obscured by flea market vendors and the thousands of visitors that attend the giant flea market held here on the 25th of each month, there was still some tranquility to be found at the back of the shrine complex.

I was surprised to stumble upon this quiet area deep within the the shrine during our visit to the Kitano Tenmangu flea market. Only a handful of people ended up back here where no vendors could be found.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #59 – Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Monthly Flea Market

Entrance to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine during monthly flea market event

As I struggle with completing episode 5 of the podcast, which is likely to be the most difficult episode to finish in the entire series, I decided to get ahead a little with the photos by uploading some images correlating to upcoming episode 6.


My friend Hiro surprised me after one of our regular lunch meetings in Kyoto by leading me on a short bike ride to the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine for a monthly event held there. The sounds of this excursion with our conversation and the added insights of my friend Hiro can be heard in upcoming episode 6 of the podcast.

This large Kyoto shrine site, located a couple of intersections north and west of Nijo Castle (see map below), hosts a flea market on its grounds on the 25th of each month. As you enter Kitano-Tenmangu on the 25th, there is a carnival-like atmosphere with concessions and games. Within the shrine, unusual junk dealers are alongside artisans selling all sorts of unimaginable items.

I was tempted but restrained myself from buying anything. I’m determined to avoid behaving as a tourist on this trip, buying knickknacks I really should not. My objective now is to begin thinking of Japan as an alternative environment for living, not a place to visit for vacations. If I find something that could be of substantial benefit to me, then I will consider it as I might consider a new purchase in the US and perhaps look for it again later during this visit or during my next 3 month visit to Japan.

Photo Details: I snapped this quick crowd shot while walking up the approach to the main shrine area. I didn’t take many photos at Kitano Tenmangu this day, but I’ll certainly visit on the 25th again in the future for more flea market photos, and I’ll return to the shrine on a quiet day to photograph many of the interesting elements within.

Coincidentally, the most recent satellite imagery in use as I posted this geotagged photo was apparently generated on the 25th of some preceding month as the flea market was taking place. At least until the satellite imagery is updated, you can see colorful roofs below belonging to temporary vendor stands alongside the southern approach path in the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

By scrolling north or zooming out on the map you can quickly bring the main shrine area into view.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #57 – Yasaka Jinja Entrance at Shijo-dori in Gion, Kyoto

Yasaka Jinja Shinto Shrine at Night in Kyoto, Japan

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly before this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


After a Japanese person affiliated with a Kyoto Muslim group told me I had the wrong color eyeballs, hair, and skin to be allowed to participate in their International Food Festival at the Kyoto city-owned International Community Center (irony of ironies), I then headed south on a whim to look for adventures elsewhere in Kyoto. That particular encounter with Japanese and Islamic racism along with another story of Japanese racism can be heard in episode 5 of the podcast coming soon.

Just roaming around on my bicycle with no particular destination in mind, I stumbled upon this famous spot that I’ve been to years before on previous short trips to Kyoto. Yasaka Jinja is a Shinto shrine with its main entrance on the eastern edge of Gion. Shijo-dori, one of Kyoto’s main shopping streets, ends in Gion at this Yasaka Jinja entrance. Maruyama Park, famous for cherry blossom viewing in the spring, is located behind Yasaka Jinja and can be found simply by walking straight through the shrine area in an easterly direction.

Photo Details: The taxis pile up here at night to carry patrons to and from the hundreds of bars, clubs, restaurants and other nightlife squeezed into the relatively small Gion entertainment district of Kyoto, which is also known for its concentration of geisha (technically geiko and maiko – there are no geisha in Kyoto). I snapped this image handheld while still straddling my bicycle before heading up Shijo street to work my way back home towards Nijo Castle. I’m sure I”ll end up back here again at night with a tripod at some point. I need to pick up a highly portable real tripod sometime soon and carry it with me whenever I expect to be out at night. As I knew would be the case, the mini tripod I squeezed into my luggage for this trip is less than ideal for most situations.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #56 – Heian Jingu Shrine Entrance, Kyoto, Japan

Heian Jingu Shrine Entrance, Kyoto, Japan

This photo was taken on the day I attended a kyudo examination at the Kyoto Budo Center just around the corner from the Heain Jingu Shrine. Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


After catching the rickshaw driver coming my way with the giant Heian Jingu torii gate in the background, I turned around and snapped this quick photo of the entrance to Heian Jingu shrine before heading back towards the torii gate and my eventual destination, the Kyoto International Community House.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #55 – Approach to Heian Shrine, Heian Jingu’s Torii Gate

Female rickshaw driver approaches Heian Jingu Shrine in Kyoto, Japan Heian Jingu torii gate in background.

This photo was taken on the day I attended a kyudo examination at the Kyoto Budo Center just around the corner from the Heain Jingu Shrine. Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


After rounding the corner from the Kyoto Budo Center on my way to my first visit to the Kyoto International Community House, with the entrance to Heian Jingu behind me, I spotted this female rickshaw driver heading my way.

I had a relatively clear road, the giant Heian Jingu torii gate in my sights for the first time ever, and this rickshaw driver unknowingly doing her best to set up an iconic Kyoto photo for me. You can probably imagine how frantically I was digging into my little backpack trying to get my camera out before the moment slipped away. :-)

I think it’s pretty cool that this photo represents my first few seconds ever in this vicinity of Kyoto, and I also really like the fact that the rickshaw driver is a girl. I think she is the only female rickshaw driver I’ve ever seen in Japan.

I’m getting more accustomed to seeing this giant Kyoto landmark since taking this photo. I’ve biked through this part of town a few times now, but the Heian Jingu torii gate is still new enough to me for it to command a moment of acknowledgment every time I pass by. Often, I comment out loud how freakin’ huge it is. This torii gate’s size is even more shocking when you are very close to it.

The Heian Jingu shrine is one of the newer shrines in 1200 year old Kyoto, with the main structure having been built in 1894 or 1895 (the official Heian Jingu website cryptically references both years). The pictured torii gate was constructed much more recently in 1929. I will venture inside the shrine area (behind me in this photo) and photograph the main Heian site in the future.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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