Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Why don’t you visit Kasuga Grand Shrine especially on the day when the luckiest day falls on Sunday or a national holiday, so you will have more chances to see happy ceremonies.
Those days are March 14th and May 4th in spring 2010.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Next year is the year of the tiger,so we have come to see ornaments of tigers here and there.
In Nara, there is a temple known for its papier-mache tigers. A lot of people go to this temple during the New Year holidays.
In addition, the tiger is very popular among peple in Osaka.
If you have Japanese friends who love baseball, please ask the reason！
(posted by proxy)
Monday, December 7, 2009
This year it was warmer in autumn and colors were not so impressive as I had expected.
But when I walked in the park last week the last glow of the autumn colors were gorgeous.
I tried to capture them with my cell-phone camera.
The view is from the roof of governor’s office building.
This spot will be included in one of our walking tours.
(posted by proxy)
(posted by proxy)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
"The world of "My Neighbour Totoro" is realized in Oga's paintings" once said Hayao Miyazaki. Kazuo Oga is the art director of "My Neighbour Totoro". In recent "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" and most of Studio Ghibli animations, he painted the background arts - yes that comfy backgrounds making us somehow feel at home.
In Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, there will be about 600 pieces of Oga's arts in display. Get warmed, relaxed and soaked in Oga's world. Afterwards come to Nara, you might find a glimpse of Totoro's forest in the primeval forest of Kasuga (forest surrounding Kasuga Taisha Shrine where we go during our daily walking tour!).
Duration: 2009.12.8 ~ 2010.2.7
closed on Mondays(Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday), Dec. 31, Jan. 1
Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Fridays and Saturdays till 20:00 except for Jan. 2)
Admission: Adult 1400yen, Grade 9 - college students 1000yen, Grade 1-9 500yen
*advance tickets sold at major train stations of Kintetsu line and other are 200-100yen cheaper.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
During winter time probably you won't get thirsty during our walking tour, but hot drinks will certainly warm you up! (If you are joining us during summer, we strongly recommend you to carry a bottle or two of cool drink.)
Friday, November 27, 2009
An exhibition held in Nara Prefectural Museum of Art is a good chance to get to know them! Titled "Myth: Imagination of Japanese Art", this exhibition exhibits paintings depicting a scene from Japanese mythologies, folk tales, and history.
Duration: ~ 2009.12.24
(closed on Mondays)
Admission: Adult 1000yen, Grade10-college student 700yen, Grade1-9 400yen
Hours:9:00~17:00 (Fridays and Saturdays till 21:00)
Nara Prefectural Museum of Art is located behind the prefectural office building of Nara. You can see (and we can point to you) the office building during our daily walking tour.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Ganrinin-town is just a street or so away from Sarusawa pond which is part of our daily walking tour.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I like the lessons, for I can be in a completely different atmosphere from my daily life.
Another pleasure is of course “sweets”.
We can get seasonal sweets at shops and each sweet has a name.
I enjoy guessing the name of the sweet at each lesson.
Can you guess the name for the sweet in the picture?
Yellow and red are the colors of the leaves and it has a whole chestnut inside.
You can enjoy autumn colors in Nara Park until the middle of December.
(posted by proxy)
Monday, November 16, 2009
They seem to be Omikuji (fortune) paper but why did peple tie them on this tree?
It is standing more than 200 meters away from the main building where Omikuji are sold.
(posted by proxy)
One of the 25 regrets is this...
"I regret that I didn't travel to the places where I wanted to visit."
Are you travelling?
(The book is only available in Japanese.)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Attention~ if you like going to museums and want to save on admission fees! November in Kansai region (that is Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo etc) is especially good time for you to come! Many of the museums in Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Shiga, Mie, Fukui, Wakayama, Tokushima, Tottori prefectures are admission free throughout or on certain days of November. This month long event is known as Kansai Culture Day.
Most of museums scheduled their free day on Nov. 14 & 15.
Here is a list of museums free on those two days. (not complete one. There are just too many to list all...)
Nara National Museum
Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography(JPN link only)
Insho-Domoto Museum of Fine Arts
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (special exhibition not free)
Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum(JPN link only)
Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum (special exhibition not free)
The Tale of Genji Museum
National Museum of Ethnology
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics
Osaka Castle (only on Nov. 14)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Nov. 7-8, 14-15, 21-23
10:00 ~ 17:00
will be held in rain too!
Ukigumo Park in Nara Park
(It's near Todaiji Temple. If you're going to the temple, you'll notice. It is also along our regular tour's route. If your are joining our tour on those days, you'll be sure to know where the event is held!)
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I already had my ticket so I didn't needed to buy one. If you need to buy tickets, get them from a temporary ticket counter at JR or Kintetsu Nara Station. They have cheaper tickets than the ones sold at the museum.
At the museum entrance, personal voice guidance machines (500 yen, available in English) are available. There might be English volunteer guides available, too. Hearing explanation doubles the enjoyment of any exhibition (at least for me).
Among the numerous exhibits - beautiful in form or in craftsmanship, and interesting in its history - my favorite exhibit is exhibit no. 48 "Kingin-no-kaban." It is a silver plate ornamented with a imaginary deer "Hana-shika," a deer with antlers of flowering branches. The look of it reminds me of the deer like god "Shishi-gami" from Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke"!
"Hana-shika" was a popular motif in T'ang Dynasty symbolizing happiness. It looks like a Princess Mononoke's deer like god. Deer is also symbolic in Nara (you'll hear why during our tour). History, Nara and even animation, just fused in this single exhibit - exhibit no. 48.
What will your favorite exhibit be?
*Find dates and admission of this exhibition in our former article: Sosho-in exhibition is COMING SOON!
Well, they are bundles of rice straws being dried for their own harvest. Yes, as well as grain, straw is harvested. During our tour, you will see at least one example of how rice straw is utilized in Japan.
Monday, October 26, 2009
You can try on Kimono for free in Nara.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
In Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara Park, they hold "Mandoro" festival in February and August.
On the night of festival, more than 2000 stone and bronze lanterns in the precinct are lit by candle light.
You can actually take part in lighting ceremony like I do in this photo.
Monday, October 19, 2009
The beautiful 52 stone steps leading the way from Sarusawa pond to Kofukuji Temple is now under repair. 52 is one of the symbolic number in Buddhism. I usually tell its meaning to guests while walking up the steps .... well, now I need to find something else to talk about!
The repair work is scheduled to complete by March 26, 2010.
Have you ever seen mochi(rice cake) pounding? Here in Nara, they pound mochi several times a day at the mochi shop named 'Nakatani-do.' They won the first prize of making mochi at the TV show, 'TV Champion,' which has brought crowds of customers to this shop. They pound steamed sticky rice with wooden mortar and pestle at very high speed, and all by man-power.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Every year in March, Nara Deer Preservation Foundtion holds this daily event starting 9a.m.
It is amazing to see many deer run out of woods and gather together around the horn player.
Deer in Nara Park is wild and well-preserved.
You'll meet them everywhere, when you visit famous Todaiji temple in Nara Park.
In this video clip, you can see the scene of deer-herding in Tobihino field in Nara Park with the sound of horn (and my son's giggle ;-)
You can find out more about deer in Nara in NARAWALK tours.
Shoso-in is a repository of Todaiji Temple. Its treasures are composed of fine art objects which belonged to Emperor Shomu, who ordered the erection of Todaiji Temple, and temple's treasures used at the consecration of Great Buddha in 752. You can understand Nara is a terminal of 'Silk Road' to see some treasures from China and Persia.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
"Kofukuji Temple: Special Exhibition of National Treasure 2009" has begun! The main attraction of this exhibition is Ashura statue (top right picture in the poster above) and thirteen other National Treasure statues. These statues are usually shown behind glass cases in National Treasure Museum in Kofukuji Temple, but this time they are out of museum glass cases and back in a temple hall. Enjoy this rare occasion to appreciate them in a temple hall setting!
Duration: Oct 17, 2009 - Nov 23, 2009
Admission: 1500yen(adult) 1000yen(grade 7-12) 500yen(grade1-6)
Hours: Mon-Thur 9:00am ~ 5:00pm Fri-Sun&Holidays 9:00am ~ 6:00pm
Friday, October 16, 2009
Well, in Nara you can see historical and National Treasure "あ(Ah)" and "うん(UN)"! When you're visiting Todaiji Temple just pay close attention to statues at the entrance gate. Read the lips of the statues...
By the way, these two words "あ(Ah)" and "うん(UN)" are found at the entrance gate for very good reasons. You can discover the deep meaning behind "あ(Ah)" and "うん(UN)" in our tour!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
As a member of NARAWALK - best sightseeing walking tours in Nara, I'm happy to announce our guide member blog has started!
Don't know about NARAWALK? Then, visit our brand new web site at http://www.narawalk.com/
Our daily tour runs everyday and we welcome guests from all over the world.
If you are planning a trip to Japan, don't forget to include NARAWALK in your itinerary!
Our guide members will start writing posts to this blog soon.
Tommy - NARAWALK web site admin