Wednesday, April 19, 2006


There is a really amazing little temple called Toganji that is about a 10 minute walk from campus. It is about 500 years old and is this quite, peaceful little garden sanctuary tucked right into this dense urban environment. But first a few shots along the walk there... This is just a regular house in traditional Japanese style that's in the neighborhood--I thought it was neat contrasted against the newer apartment building.
This is a giant monkey climbing on a building a few blocks up from Toganji--I thought Dad especially would appretiate this one!
This is basically a dollar-store that is directly across the street from the gate to Toganji. It's not just convenient--it's hyper-convenient! I'm not sure why this photo came out a wierd color, we're still figuring out our camera.
This is looking back out the main gate down the path towards the street, which already seems miles away. That's Caitlin.
This is one of the inner gates--the stone on the right is about 10 feet tall.
After you go through the inner gate (above) you get a glimpse of this daibutsu (giant Buddha) through the trees. It was quite startling the first time when you didn't know it was going to be there. It's down the hill from here and stands about 15 meters tall!
Standing at the base of the Toganji daibutsu. It is actually quite new, being completed in 1988.
These are some of the gravestones (sort of family memorial plots) that are behind the temple area.
In this shot you can see the tools neatly arranged that people use to clean their family gravestone areas. We've taken walks here in the evenings a few times and you always see at least one or two people here cleaning their family graves.
Here's an old pruned pine tree at Toganji. For a really complete description and history of Toganji with tons more pictures click here. It is part of a web page prepared by Kikuko-san--one of the YWCA ladies who hosted a welcome tea for us at the Nagoya YWCA and who also helped Caitlin fill out her alien registration paperwork when she first got here. Click the "Top" button at the very bottom of her web-page to see the incredible depth and breadth of info on Nagoya that she has put together to help international students like us! She is just one of the many people who have been really great and helped us out just to be nice and be helping some one. For instance, the local Lion's Club donated the textbooks for my "Family of International Students Japanese Language Class." I thought that was neat because the Lion's Club in Willard, Missouri helped sponsor my little league baseball!