Anonymous (29/3/11) Types of Japanese Art (internet) Arts and Entertainment, unknown, http://www.typesofeverything.com/types-of-japanese-art/ (17/3/15)
Wikipedia Contributors (24/12/14) Sapporo Snow Festival (internet) Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, unknown, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapporo_Snow_Festival (20/3/15)
Tillack, F (16/5/14) OSAKA FASHION SHOW(internet)Where Next Japan, Japan, http://wherenextjapan.com/2014/05/16/osaka-fashion-show/ (21/3/15)
Wikipedia Contributors (22/3/15) Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (internet) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, unknown http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki (23/3/15)
Anonymous (31/5/08) Buddhist Temples (internet) japan-guide, Japan http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2058.html (24/5/15)
Traditional Religions and Temples.
There are two main religions in Japan; Shinto and Buddhism. Today we took a tour of temples in Kyoto. Kyoto is known as “the city of a thousand temples,” but astonishingly it has more. 1,600 Buddhist temples, plus 400 Shinto shrines, 3 palaces, and heaps of gardens and museums! It is so amazing. Kyoto has more heritage sights than any other city in the world.
One of the most famous temples in Kyoto (and probably one of my favourites) is Kinkaku-ji (or ‘the temple of the gold pavilion) The temple has been around since 1397 as a very wealthy families villa. It was then turned into a temple and opened to the public. It was burnt down in the 1950’s, but was then rebuilt and covered in gold leaf based paint.
It is more intricate then any church or temple in Australia and truly an amazing sight.
Kinkaku-ji is not used anymore for religious practices, but instead remains open for the public and is one of the most visited buildings in japan.
I don’t really know how to compare it to anything in Australia, except it is like a church on steroids. Three stories high and surrounded by traditional gardens I can’t imagine how much work must have gone into it.
We go to experience a traditional tea ceremony at one of the temples. There are lots of different styles of tea ceremony. The one that we attended was led by a visiting geisha in training. We kneeled on thin mats while she said some things and poured us some green tea. The tea wasn’t very nice though. We also ate some Japanese biscuits as part of the ceremony.
After the tea ceremony we ate Kaiseki Ryori. Kaiseki Ryori started as an elaborate tea ceremony, but as time went on it evolved into a dining style. A kaiseki meal has a set order of courses decided by the cooking method of each dish. Or meal was a vegetarian kaiseki. It was so fresh and light, but I still felt so full after it.
Nagasaki was by far the saddest destination on our trip. We spent a whole day learning about the atomic bombing. Nagasaki was bombed shortly after Hiroshima by the Americans, killing between 39,000 and 80,000 people within the first 4 months of the bombs landing. People didn’t just die from the initial blast, but also from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries and illnesses. Most of the people who died were innocent civilians.
We visited the peace park first. It had so many moving artworks. We also saw the peace bell and the peace fountain. I was moved to tears a few times while reading about what happened.
We also visited the atomic bomb museum, where once again I was brought to tears.
I feel so lucky to have never have had to live through anything as horrible as war. These people suffered so much. Australia’s worst ever attack (the Darwin Bombings) was nowhere near as bad as this and it makes me so grateful to live in such a privileged country.
We had Shippoku for dinner. Shippoku is Japans first fusion dish, it is a mixture of both Japanese and western cuisine. It is a traditional, Nagasaki style of cuisine that is basically just a round table with heaps of different dishes. The table was almost overflowing with food that everyone shared. It is a very social meal.
Osaka Fashion show
Today I watched the Creatuous magazine fashion show at Osaka City hall. It was so cool to see what Japanese high fashion was like. Though to be honest it wasn’t too different from western fashion. There seemed to be a lot of neutral colours and it was a lot of dresses and skirts. One model even rocked it with a flu mask.
It was a really informal fashion show but all the clothes were really interesting. I was kind of surprised at how similar it was to Australian fashion, though I don’t know what I expected. However the clothes all had a little traditional twist, some had patterns that were traditional and some of the styles were traditional-ish.
After the show I had a few hours to spare and I decided that I would go shopping. After visiting a few shopping centres and markets I came to a department store called kintestu. It was the biggest store I have ever seen in my life. It had anything you could ever want to buy in one store, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I spent way too much money there.
Osaka is known for its vibrant food culture with “kuidaore” (“eat until you drop”) being used to describe it. There is so much food everywhere and i found it hard to pick were to go for dinner. I ended up settling on a teppanyaki restaurant. Like all teppanyaki places my chef cooked my meal in front of me. He was so skilled and the food was delicious, there is no way that I could ever do that.
Snow and ice sculpture festival
It is so cold in Sapporo! Like seriously freezing. It is so different to Australia in February. We spent all day walking around. It was the 66th annual snow festival and it has to be one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. It definitely made up for it being so cold. There were star wars themed sculptures and replicas of traditional temples and dragons made of ice.
But nothing compared to when the sun went down and the sculptures lit up.
We had intended to not spend the whole day at the festival and to go and explore Sapporo a bit more but after an hour it became apparent that the sculptures were to beautiful and I couldn’t cut this once an a lifetime experience short.
But walking around in the cold all day made us very hungry and we stopped multiple times to experience some authentic Japanese street food. First we had Gyoza which are fried dumplings. They originated in china but are now eaten all through eastern Asia. Next we had Yaki-Tori which are like chicken kebabs, there were so many different types (like chicken liver!) and I wasn’t brave enough to try many of them, so I stuck to the ones made from chicken breast. Finally we had okonomiyaki which is a vegetable pancake. All of the food was so good. It was so different to the oily street food I am used to in Australia. And unlike most Aussie street food this wasn’t completely tasteless.
Art Museum tour
We started out trip in Tokyo today on an organised art tour. We saw many different styles of art ranging from the intricate traditional art to abstract modern art. Probably my favourite museum was the ‘Amuse Museum’ it showcased many different graphics, products and textile arts that are traditionally part of the Japanese culture.
The art in Japan was so different from the art in Australia.
There were a lot of oil paintings of nature and they use a lot of natural colours (like brown, green and blue). The Japanese style of art also focuses less on being realistic and more on being aesthetic.
Japanese Style Tree Painting
Australian Style Tree Painting
At one of the museums we had a choice of a painting class or a weaving class. I chose the weaving class because I am a terrible painter. So I got to take a class in the traditional weaving techniques called Karamiori. I wasn’t too bad at it but it took a long time for me to get the hang of it, and my fabric did end up looking a little bit like a fishing net. But I was told that that was ok and that traditional weaving sometimes looked a little bit like a very pretty birds net.
After a long day of touring art museums we went to a small restaurant and had a dish called Tonkatsu, which is like a crumbed pork cutlet, served with shredded cabbage, tonkatsu sauce (like a soy sauce) and karashi (mustard). It also came with rice and miso soup. I have used chopsticks a little bit at home so I was already alright when it came to using them, but it still took me like 10 times longer to eat my food than any of the Japanese people I was eating with.
Hello and welcome to my Blog were I intend to blog my Japan experience. I hope you enjoy my blog. I hope to post just a little bit about what I did and a lot of photos.
Just to clarify. this is for a school assignment and i have never actually been to Japan, therefore i have never been to any of the places or events that i have described and have just researched them, so some of the information may be a little bit off.