Kansai 2008 - Day 9




Takanobu, one of our students had just returned to Japan from study in the U.S. for the past four years, came to join us in Osaka and share in our exploration of the area. Nothing like a long trip to start. We travelled by two different trains for 2 hours to Yoshino, then by ropeway gondola to Yoshino Shrine. Specifically we went to see two thirty foot statues at the shrine.




We each had to spin the lucky stone wheel before entering the shrine gate. John was a bit fast to catch in the spin.


Here we are at the shrine gate. This 30 foot guardian




Beautiful plum tree blossums!


A lovely place to have an udon lunch.

The following pictures are of a traditional ryokan, Japanese inn, in Yoshino.


The ryokan would cost roughly $300 per person or more. The following is a youth hostel just down the hill. It is less costly at $100 a night.

You must have noticed that making tasty treats is an art in Japan. The following pictures are of a artistan and merchant making a gren tea confection pressed into molds.

Now this is a luck frog! It was about the size of an ottoman! Frog talismans eat the bad luck or deeds others would do to you.

This man played a traditional conch shell horn tha the priests at the Yoshino Shrine play during ceremonies. It is similar to playing a sax or a blowing horn; hence, both we were successful at making the correct horn sounds. The man was so thrilled he showed us his collection of pictures of himself travelling the U.S. demostrating this style of playing, including a picture of him with President Reagan.

The vendor we passed was selling grilled fish on a stick.

You will see the grilled fish on the other side of the fish tank. I believe these little guys know the fate in their near future. They are huddled on the this side of the tank. Nothing like seeing your fate up close.

We decided to walk back down instead of taking the ropeway.

The trains do not awlays run in our favor when we are outside of the metro areas. It was a six train journey back to Osaka.

I believe we wore out Taka!