Revisited: Katsuo-ji temple

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Once again, we visit this temple of course with different people, I mean visitor. The temple was done renovating. This is the new place they built.

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Look at my little princess staring those Daruma Dolls. Those dolls are scattered in this temple.

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The Daruma doll (達磨daruma), also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist. Though considered an omocha, meaning toy, by some, Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. The doll has also been commercialized by many Buddhist temples to use alongside goal setting.

When purchased, the eyes are white so a person can decide on a goal or wish and paint one eye in. Once the goal is achieved, the second eye is filled in.

History and commercialization

The current popular symbolism associated with Daruma as a good luck charm in part originated with the Daruma-dera (Temple of Daruma) in the city of Takasaki (Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo). Josef Kyburz, author of “Omocha”: Things to Play (Or Not to Play) with, explained that the founder of Daruma-Dera would draw New Year’s charms depicting Bodhidharma. The parishioners would keep these charms to “bring happiness and prosperity and ward off accidents and misfortune”.

It is believed that the Daruma figurine then originated from this region when the ninth priest, Togaku, found a solution to handle the constant requests of the parishioners for new charms. The charms were always given with an effectiveness of one year, so the people required new ones every year. He solved this by entrusting them with the making of their own Daruma charms near the beginning of the Meiwa period (1764–72). The temple made wooden block molds for the people to use. The peasants then used these molds to make three-dimensional papier-mâché charms.

Kyburz notes that though it is unknown when the Daruma figurine combined with the tumbler doll; the two were well recognized as synonymous by the mid-19th century. The doll quickly grew in popularity, becoming a mascot of the region. This was due greatly in part to fact that the majority of the families were silk farmers, a crop which requires a great deal of luck for success.

There is an annual Daruma Doll Festival (達磨市daruma-ichi) held by the city of Takasaki in celebration of being the proclaimed birthplace of the Daruma doll. The celebration is held at the Shorinzan, the name of Takasaki’s “Daruma-Dera”. According to the Takasaki city website, “Over 400,000 people from all over the Kanto Plain come to buy new good-luck dolls for the year. Takasaki produces 80% of Japan’s Daruma dolls.” The festival also features a 24-hour reading of sutras by the Shorinzan monks for world peace.

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This is nice, had been for a while they closed this section. Now it’s open. Totally nice.

Of course, I have video which i uploaded in my channel.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great day!

♥lovelots♥

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Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

We do really enjoy coming back here, especially when spring time or let say cherry blossoms sightseeing. But, sad to say we are too early so, we didn’t see any cherry blossoms in the street (few only) and in the mountain.

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We just took a train going Arashiyama, Kyoto for about 1hr & 15mins. And, we decided to eat first from the stall we walk by.

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This is the only cherry blossom we saw

Arashiyama (嵐山 Storm Mountain) is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. It also refers to the mountain across the Ōi River, which forms a backdrop to the district. Arashiyama is a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty.

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Look our little princess, she so cute. Even the tourist in the street they took a pictures of her. And, she’s not shy to smile in the stranger camera.
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our friends also tried the japanese traditional dress which is “Kimono”

The kimono (着物, きもの) is a Japanese traditional garment. The word “kimono”, which actually means a “thing to wear” (ki “wear” and mono “thing”),[2] has come to denote these full-length robes. The standard plural of the word kimono in English is kimonos, but the unmarked Japanese plural kimono is also sometimes used. The kimono is always used in important festival or formal moments, it is the representative of polite and a very formal clothing.

Kimono has T-shaped, straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial)andsecured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. Kimono are generally worn with traditional footwear (especially zōri or geta) and split-toe socks (tabi).

Today, kimono are most often worn by women and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.

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I loved their store here, old and vintage.
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Bamboo Groove

Notable tourist sites

  • The Iwatayama Monkey Park on the slopes of Arashiyama. Over 170 monkeys live at the park. While the monkeys are wild, they have become accustomed to humans. The park is on a small mountain not far from the Saga-Arashiyama rail station. Visitors can approach and photograph the monkeys. At the summit is a fenced enclosure where visitors can feed the monkeys.
  • The “Moon Crossing Bridge” (渡月橋, Togetsukyō), notable for its views of cherry blossoms and autumn colors on the slopes of Arashiyama.
  • The tombstone of the Heike courtesan Kogo of Sagano.
  • Tenryū-ji, the main temple of one of the 15 branches of the Rinzai school, one of the two main sects of Zen Buddhism in Japan.
  • The hamlet of Kiyotaki, a small scenic village at the base of Mt. Atago, the home to a notable Shinto shrine.
  • Matsunoo-taisha, a shrine half a mile south of the area, is home to a blessed spring. It is one of the oldest shrines in the Kyoto area, founded in 700. The alleged restorative properties of the spring bring many local sake and miso companies for prayers that their product will be blessed.
  • Kameyama koen has a stone commemorating Zhou Enlai‘s visit to Arashiyama. He was moved by the cherry blossoms and mountain greenery. The four poems he wrote about his visit are engraved on a stone monument: “Arashiyama in the Rain.”
  • Ōkōchi Sansō, the Japanese-style home and gardens of the film actor Denjirō Ōkōchi.
  • Cherry trees bloom in spring and leaves turns red in autumn.

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Our first time to try this Owl’s Forest. Stumbled upon this place while walking through a the train station and we saw this sign Cats Cafe and Owl Forest. Unfortunately, the Cat’s Cafe is closed. Worth it to go here in Owl Forest so fluffy and so cute. There were about 10 different cute fluffy owls that you can pet! They even had owls that looked like the ones from Harry Potter!

We do really enjoy going here because we didn’t have decent lunc,so we decided to eat in Kin no Buta (shabu-shabu)

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Eat-All-You-Can Pork and reasonable price

But of course, I also took a video check below.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great day!

♥lovelots♥

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Friends Arrived

Before the end of the month (March) our friends visited us here in Japan. As usual, we have to show them the place and teach them also how to go to where they want to go. But, they arrived in different date as well :(. Anyway, if we have time we will show them around. Basically, kids still in vacation school will start on the 2nd week of April. Busiest mother, I am, as my little princess will be in school and I have to send her and pick her up everyday.Because the school bus is not in the route to our house. They say is still near to do service bus. Alright, let’s stop here. I’ll be posting that thing in different date. Let’s get started.

One of our friends went to Narra, which we cannot able to join her. She met her long distance neighborhood in the Philippines long time ago.But, now they are staying in Nara, south area. Then, the next day one of our friends will come. Evening, we had time to eat in our one of our favorite ramen restaurant near by.

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The next day, we planned to go Banpakoen (Banpako Park) to see the cherry blossoms. But, the weather didn’t cooperate at all. Raining all day so, we ended to go inside the Mall (Lalaport Expo City) and stroll around.

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I already had a video as well. Check below.

 

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Osaka Castle, Japan

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Every time, we have visitors, they intend to check this castle one of the tourist spots in Osaka. Fascinating, as they still maintain the look of this castle. But, to think I didn’t have a chance to go inside because the line is so long take our time. Anyway, outside is a better view and see the rock fence beside it and those trees (Cherry Blossom) but, sad to say the flower of the cherry blossom are not blooming yet, too early.

Osaka Castle (大坂城 or 大阪城,Ōsaka-jō?) is a Japanese castle in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan. The castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks and it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.

The main tower of Osaka Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one square kilometer. It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.

History

In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced construction on the site of the Ikkō-ikki temple of Ishiyama Hongan-ji. The basic plan was modeled after Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. Toyotomi wanted to build a castle that mirrored Oda’s, but surpassed it in every way: the plan featured a five-story main tower, with three extra stories underground, and gold leaf on the sides of the tower to impress visitors. In 1585 the Inner donjon was completed. Toyotomi continued to extend and expand the castle, making it more and more formidable to attackers. In 1597 construction was completed and Hideyoshi died. Osaka Castle passed to his son, Toyotomi Hideyori.
In 1600 Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated his opponents at the Battle of Sekigahara, and started his own bakufu (i.e., shogunate) in Edo. In 1614 Tokugawa attacked Toyotomi in the winter, starting the Siege of Osaka.[4] Although the Toyotomi forces were outnumbered approximately two to one, they managed to fight off Tokugawa’s 200,000-man army and protect the castle’s outer walls. Ieyasu had the castle’s outer moat filled, negating one of the castle’s main outer defenses.
During the summer of 1615, Hideyori began to restore the outer moat. Tokugawa, in outrage, sent his armies to Osaka Castle again, and routed the Toyotomi men inside the outer walls on June 4. Osaka Castle fell to Tokugawa, and the Toyotomi clan perished.
In 1620, the new heir to the shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetada, began to reconstruct and re-arm Osaka Castle. He built a new elevated main tower, five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and assigned the task of constructing new walls to individual samurai clans. The walls built in the 1620s still stand today, and are made out of interlocked granite boulders without mortar. Many of the stones were brought from rock quarries near the Seto Inland Sea, and bear inscribed crests of the various families who contributed them.
In 1660, lightning ignited the gunpowder warehouse and the resulting explosion set the castle on fire. In 1665, lightning struck and burnt down the main tower. In 1843, after decades of neglect, the castle got much-needed repairs when the bakufu collected money from the people of the region to rebuild several of the turrets.
In 1868, Osaka Castle fell and was surrendered to anti-bakufu imperial loyalists. Much of the castle was burned in the civil conflicts surrounding the Meiji Restoration.
Under the Meiji government, Osaka Castle became part of the Osaka Army Arsenal (Osaka Hohei Kosho) manufacturing guns, ammunition, and explosives for Japan’s rapidly expanding Western-style military.[5]
In 1928, the main tower was restored after the mayor of Osaka concluded a highly successful fund-raising drive.
During World War II, the arsenal became one of the largest military armories, employing 60,000 workers.[5] Bombing raids targeting the arsenal damaged the reconstructed main castle tower and, on August 14, 1945, destroyed 90% of the arsenal and killed 382 people working there.
In 1995, Osaka’s government approved yet another restoration project, with the intent of restoring the main tower to its Edo-era splendor. In 1997, restoration was completed. The castle is a concrete reproduction (including elevators) of the original and the interior is intended as a modern, functioning museum.

We got our friend to take us the pictures, ’cause every time our family will go here I don’t have my decent picture unless I will take a selfie.
I had a chance to take video with my daughter with her new playmates. Please check below.

 

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♥lovelots♥

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Kidzania, Kobe, Japan

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Our first time to go here and we didn’t know that we need to reserve before we go inside. At first, we didn’t know luckily the Kidzania beside it was a mall (Lalaport) so, we just look around and kids play in the mini park for awhile. Well, my husband need to reserve slot on Monday and Monday is a holiday so good. But, we had a reservation on the 2nd shift (4pm-9pm) the 1st shift was (9am-3pm) but they can still stay there until they like.

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This is their first job in the Printing Press. Not so lucky we didn’t get a slot to Sushi Restaurant, Pizza, Ambulance and Fire Fighter job. Maybe next time we need to get the first shift.

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And he just wanted to be policeman in a real life as well, luckily still have slot to do this job.

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Soft Ice Cream for my little princess, in real life she loves ice cream so much.

They exprience to do the Cabin Attendant (daughter) and Pilot (son).

And their favorite job they like both of them in the Train. My daughter as a train driver and my son as an attendant/announcer.

My kids, really hada great time here in this place, but we have short time to explore more. It’s educating and know what they want when they get old. But, of course my little princess we still don’t know. Their’s a lot of things to do here. Maybe next time we I‘ll post again for more job they applied.

I uploaded video from my channel in youtube kindly check below:

 

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great day!

♥lovelots♥

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Shirahama Energy Land

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This is our first time to go here. It just in front of the Shirahama Beach. At first, looks like it was just boring place, but when you get inside all the rooms it’s getting amazed.

Map&Fee Energy Land

Map Gallery

It just a small area but every corner is brilliant ideas.

Trick room

This is the Trick Art House, kids got lots of fun. Then, after we went to the Mystery Zone we got dizzy because of the structure of the house in sideways. Below I posted video in my youtube channel.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great day!

♥lovelots♥

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Adventure World

Yeah, sorry for the late post. We have been busy for the past days, now is the time.

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This is our first time to go here. Suprisingly huge and more rides. It’s a Combo! in a one Place:  Zoo, Marine and Park, that’s great right.

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Not that bad for the fees right… as I told you is a COMBO! What we are looking forward was the Pandas. They are so cute and adorable.

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But, we are a bit late to have a ticket to up close encounter of the dolphin and sea lion feeding them, Sold out ticket oh that was a separate fee for that special encounter. So, we just look around what else we can see we try the Safari by train because is free. But, seems it will be fun by walking, so we also tried.Map

It was a really huge place one day is not enought, we didn’t even ride the park rides like roller coaster, ferries wheel, etc. But, for us animals are enough for now, learning stage for my little princess to know the animals and see in person than in the tv or books.

We tried the free train for the Safari, but much more fun in walking at least you can stop and take a selfies with them hehehe…

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We didn’t see any of the shows, but only the dolphin show.

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I also post video on my channel. For more information of this place, you can visit their website. Click Here!

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great day!

♥lovelots♥

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Shirahama, Beach

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After we reach from the hotel we have time to check the nearest beach in our hotel. They said it has white sand. Yes, Indeed, it has white sand. As you all know my country (The Philippines) has a lot of beaches from white, pink and black. Better yet, I will try to post it if I have time too, because Summer is around the corner. So, that you can have an idea where to go this coming summer.

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Shirahama (白浜町Shirahama-chō?) is a town in Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Shirahama is a resort town on the south coast of Wakayama Prefecture. Its beaches are white sand, imported from Australia.[citation needed] Shirahama is known for its hot springs. During the summer (July and August), there are fireworks every night on the beach.[citation needed]

Shirahama is about two and a half hours from Osaka by JR West‘s Ocean Arrow train service. There are daily flights from Nanki-Shirahama Airport to Tokyo’s Tokyo International Airport (Haneda).

On March 1, 2006 the town of Hikigawa, from Nishimuro District, was merged into Shirahama.[citation needed]

As of January 31, 2012, the town has an estimated population of 23,325, with 11,149 households, and a population density of 116.02 persons per km. The total area is 201.04 km.

Wow, the white sand was imported from Australia, that’s awesome.  Anyway, the hotel staff told us, when summer they are fully booked and the beach is crowded.We want to experience the kids to go on the beach and swim. They didn’t experience yet. So, if ever this is their first time. (on summer plan) Anyway, they can’t even touch the water because is waving to fast and the water is freezing cold.

Look at the pictures, they way they smile and play the water. Definitely, we have to plan a trip to the beach this coming summer. It’s also about time I need to get serious in dieting so that I can wear bathing suits with confidence.

We got the chance to see the “Engetsu Island”

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Engetsu Island (円月島Engetsu-tō) is a small island off the coast of Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. It includes a natural arch through which seawater passes. Its official name is Takashima (高嶋), and it is approximately 35 metres (115 ft) east-to-west, 130 metres (430 ft) north-to-south, and 25 metres (82 ft) high at the tallest.

The island is largely formed of sandstone and has become less stable over time. Since July 2009, the Shirahama town government has cautioned against approaching the island because of the risk of collapse of the arch.

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We will surely plan this coming summer to visit this island. There’s a lot to see, now my daughter can walk longer I think she’ll be okay on a long walk.

here’s the video:

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great day!

♥lovelots♥

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Long Drive trip

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This is the hotel lobby that we have gone far from our home. 2hours 30mins if you just drive you don’t stop in the Service Area.

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But us, we eat breakfast at McDo then drive for 2hours then stop ove in Service Area but Wakayama Prefecture.

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And, we reach in the hotel around 2PM, check in and drop our luggage and suprise room is huge. 3Rooms, 1 Massage Room, Sauna, 2 Toilet and Bathroom.

You can actually, have atleast 3 family in this room. Is a huge and also huge key. you won’t forget it as big as this.

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We have time to go around the hotel before we go out and explore the vicinity.

Here’s the Lobby, we had dinner and breakfast, their foods mixed cuisine. I didn’t have time to take photo the arrangement of the buffet and the set of tables. 😦

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The hoteltheme is like Egypt style. but, I don’t understand the Rabbit in the roof of the building.

Here’s site of the hotelKawakyu Hotel, Wakayama

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This is the lobby that is huge and in the side and front outside of the hotel.

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Of course in this hotel their is a Onsen, which we also tried it. (right picture) our front door room

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This is the best part of the hotel, In our floor (8th floor) only can have spend time in the Imperial Lounge where you can drink all you can (Alcohol or non-alcohol)

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Swimming pool area and the Jacuzzi, outdoor my daughter we just finished our hotspring (onsen).

Below are the foods (breakfast and dinner)

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My Little Princess Birthday

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Oh my, time flies so fast, this coming April she will go to the school I will miss my little rascal in the house. But, I’m still worried she might cry and scream. And of course looking for me. Well, I hope she will be enjoying the school here. I got still one problem she’s still wearing diapers, they told us she needed to practice going to the toilet or asking permission to pee or poo. Anyway, I need to work big time for her to train.

Anyway, we have to talk about her birthday. On his birthday, we still have this superstitious belief that: “on your birthday never travel, because accident will occur” oh that’s my great great grandmother told us when we are so little. And my mom, always reminds us. In the Philippines, our grandmother has a lot of superstitious belief, but no hurt feeling if you don’t believe, but following it is not that difficult for us even though we are outside our country. We still believe in “Feng Shui” wherever we go even the house. Like don’t buy or rent a house that your house is dead end meaning the family will never be happy and sometimes dead to the family/relatives, etc. And there are also, don’t put stairs align in the door or door facing door alignment they said your wealth will go out. We also have this Filipino movie “Feng Shui 2004” & “Feng Shui 2014” is a horror movie. Alright, let stop here, today is my little princess birthday. The whole day we go out and eat in buffet.

She enjoyed the dessert after we eat, have time to play in the amusement area.

But, she blow the candle after our trip in Wakayama.

Here’s the video:

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♥lovelots♥

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