Liou's quiet little life...or is it?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Some pictures

Put some pictures on my flickr-account I made of Maarten more than half a year ago, intended to be used for casting. Not professional by far, but actually quite nice!

Flying off for Hokkaido tomorrow, visiting a friend in Sapporo, and enjoying a very much deserved holiday! Not too much to see there, except nature parks. Hopefully I will be able to visit at least one!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Delayed: sakura

Well the cherry blossom (sakura) is by now completely gone, but here are some pictures. It actually only blossoms for about a week, and then everything starts to fall down again. The interesting thing is that they put these trees everywhere, meaning that you won't see a lot of other trees blooming around here, except for that one week. I found that kind of zen / buddhistic, as it emphasizes the frailty and vanity of beauty in specific and life in general. You appreciate the blossom because it is there only for a short time!

Traditionally, you perform hanami under the blossoms, which literally means, "watching flowers". Actually, it involves more drinking than seeing. Unfortunately, I didn't have the change to participate, but went to Kamakura with some colleagues and saw other people at it in Yoyogi park.

Following, pictures of a pedestrian road topped by cherry trees:

This is a picture of yoyogi-park denoting the "flower watching":

The weekend after this, I went to Aoyama Bochi, a famous graveyard, in the middle of the Tokyo. It is a nice open space and it is difficult to find such an area in the rest of Tokyo. Funnily enough it is just next to the fashionable Omote-sando district (with exclusive clothes shops) and the mondane Roppongi-district (a mix of business buildings, expensive housing and a earthly night district). Strangely enough, people were having "flower watching" parties there as well, that is in the middle between graves!! Although this can be considered as a profanity, I think you can not be reminded enough of the value of life and to enjoy it; a cemetery is an excellent means for that.

The more fashionable part, Omote-sando:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

More pictures Kyotos

Above a view from inside a Zen garden. It's founder, a fiercesome warlord spending his final days as a buddhist monk, is said to be buried under the lantern, as it was one of his favorites.

Below some dolls representing the ancient japanese imperial grades, such as princesses and other members of nobility.

The inevitable cherry blossom (sakura) that is now blooming everywhere, and actually already falling down. But this was he only one I could see in Kyoto.

Osaka. Close to Kyoto (half an hour by train), but completely different atmosphere. Not really nice to be honest, even though my aunt assured me that there are some nice spots. This juxtaposition of an Edo-style castle moat and the modern skyline, is maybe not nice but striking anyway.

Arashiyama, in the west of Kyoto. A lot of tourists, but walking through the bamboo forests and inside tiny, peaceful gardens was definitely worth the trip. The colours of the bamboo and the moss garden I found contained such luscious shades of green.

This guy was selling post-card reproductions of drawings he made with regular pencils. Very sympathetic guy.

Finally, a picture of one of the markets held every month, this one in Toji temple.