Thursday, November 30, 2006

Autumn in Tokyo University

While the temple gardens turn red due to the maple leaves, our university turns yellow during the autumn, due to the large number of ginko trees.










More photos of some other colored and fallen leaves










Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Autumn Leaves

Maple leaves have turned red, and people are going places to see them. I will just post a few photos for now.












There are hundreds of places in Japan for seeing colored leaves. Depending on where you are, it is possible to select where to go. For me, I like the Higashiyama (Eastern Mountains) region of Kyoto.

Sorry about the short post this time, mainly because I am writing my thesis :-p. More about Autumn leaves in my next post.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shichi-Go-San (seven-five-three)

Shichi-go-san is a Japanese festival for praying for the healthy growth of young children. Girls attend the festival at the ages 3 and 7, boys at the ages of 5 and 7. The festival is held on the 15th of November every year. However, most people celebrate it on the nearest weekend since it is not a national holiday.

On the festival day, the kids come to a shinto shrine accompanied by family members, dressed in kimono. However, a few children dress in western style.









The priests take the children and the family members in to the shrine and conduct prayers, usually 2-3 families at a time. A praying session takes about 30 minutes.

Chitose-ame (candy for longevity) are given to the kids by both the parents and the shrine. At this particular shrine, they got ballons too.










Every kid climbs on to the "big stage", after the prayers.








They take loads of photos with family members. Later, each of the kids goes for a studio photo with the costume and candy.




A few random photos. More photos at my niece's blog






These photos were taken at Hie shrine in Akasaka, Tokyo. Any large shrine will have quite a few children coming in, if you are in Japan during the week that includes the 15th of November.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Santa Barbara Court House



Located in downtown Santa Barbara, The County Court House is known as one of the most beautiful buildings in the USA. While still functioning as a court, it allows sightseers to visit the most of the premises.





The court house has been built in 1929 based on the Spanish-Moorish architecture. The tiled walls and floors, and the ceilings with patterns, are quite colorful.












Visitors can go to the top of "El Mirador", the clock tower of the building. Although only 85 feet tall, the tower gives a nice view of the city, due to its location between the coastline and the mountain ranges.








The mural room is not so well lit, but just enough to enjoy the murals.








These curtains are really old




The old-styled furniture




A few random photos



Thursday, November 02, 2006

La Arcada, Santa Barbara

La Arcada is a nice courtyard located by State Street, the main street of Santa Barbara. It houses several art galleries and famous restaurants, and is famous for its life-like bronze statues.




La Arcada was constructed in 1926, and preserves the old architecture despite new shops and galleries being added. The place is quite colorful with the flags, tiled pavement, and shop windows.












Some of the statues








The Mozart Trio