I said at the outset we went to Japan to see beauty and beautiful things; and we did. Herewith a selection. If you double click on the image you’ll get a better look.
1. Jomon period vase, National Museum, Tokyo
2. Embroidered kimono, National Museum, Tokyo
3. The ‘lounge’ and dining room of the Sosuke ryokan, Takayama
4. A crepe myrtle at Hida No Sato (Hida folk village), Takayama
5. A collection of Buddha figurines, with beanies, in the rain at Miyajima
6. Sweets, a gift from Tsukiko and Masahiro Sasitani, Kyoto
7. Moss growing on a road siding, Yokokawa
8. The roof structure of the Iseya ryokan, Narai
There were many beautiful things in this ryokan. It was a special privilege to view this. Rafters blackened by centuries of wood smoke, the very cunning use of bent tree trunks to give the bearers extra strength. Not a nail, a screw or a bolt anywhere.
9. The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), Kyoto
Yes, post card. Yes, a million people having their photo taken in front of it. Yes, garden etc. tended by a cast of thousands. Yes, not perhaps as interesting or as beautiful as the setting at least of the Silver Pavilion. But really …
10. Drain cover, Takayama
11. Some logs on the outskirts of Tsumago
12. A chap’s garden somewhere near Homuri-sawa
Just off the track. We went for a special look. The gardener, who was pruning, saw us. I applauded and said ‘kanpeki’, intending to mean something like ‘perfection’. Probably should have been ‘tashika’. But he grinned and bowed regardless.
13. The Nakasendo track, not far from Yokokawa