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  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 015, detail of Haiden
    Muroji, 015, detail of Haiden

    Detail of the Haiden, hall for worship, directly to the east of the Mirokudo and south of the Golden Hall.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 014,  Haiden, hall for worship, seen from veranda of the Golden Hall.
    Muroji, 014, Haiden, hall for worship, seen from veranda of the Golden Hall.

    Directly in front of the Golden Hall, on the south side, is an open area, which is used for ceremonies. The Mirokudo is on the western side of the open area, facing to the east. The small building in this image is on the eastern side of the open area. It is a building for worship, used to honor the dragon of Ryuketsu Shrine, which is directly to the east of Muroji. One of two straw dragons constructed as part of the Autumn Ryuketsu Shrine Festival is hung from a tree in the open area here at Muroji, while the other is hung by the river in front of the shrine, part of an interesting intermingling of rituals between the temple and the shrine.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  Peace Park --  Memorial to children who perished  in the blast, 02
    Hiroshima: Peace Park -- Memorial to children who perished in the blast, 02

    View looking up at the memorial silhouetted against the sky. The doves are bronze statues.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Frozen Shrimp
  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Fish
    Grocery Store Display: Fish

    More fish for sale.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Purin aka "Jello"
    Grocery Store Display: Purin aka "Jello"

    There are many different kinds of jello (purin) in Japan, from apple to coffee-flavored.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Kinoko
    Grocery Store Display: Kinoko

    Various roots, mushrooms, and vegetables.

  • Thumbnail for Cleaning Time
    Cleaning Time

    These girls aren't too busy cleaning to cheese it up for the camera.

  • Thumbnail for Nap Time
    Nap Time

    A number of middle-schoolers have trouble staying awake in class.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office: Jihan 2
    Post Office: Jihan 2

    A closer look at a post-card/stamp machine.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office: Jihan 1
    Post Office: Jihan 1

    A post-card and stamp machine in Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office Drop Box
    Post Office Drop Box

    PO Boxes wait for mail in Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for Mail Box
    Mail Box

    A mail-drop box at the Hokkaido Post Office

  • Thumbnail for Exit Sign
    Exit Sign

    An exit sign warns cars not to enter.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Cheeses, Close-up
    Grocery Store Display: Cheeses, Close-up

    A close-up of some cheeses in a Japanese grocery store.

  • Thumbnail for Inari
    Inari

    Ingredients 2 cups prepared sushi rice 3 Tbs. Mirin 3 Tbs. Sugar 4 Tbs. Soy sauce 1-1/4 cup Dashi (fish stock) 1/4 cup Shredded par-boiled carrot Salt 4 Deep-fried tofu cakes (aburage)* or 8 Canned tofu pouches *Aburage can be bought canned or frozen at many Asian food markets. The canned variety are already seasoned and sliced; if using these, plan on three or four pouches per person. Method Bring the prepared sushi rice to room temperature. (If using canned aburage, skip this next step) Pour boiling water over the deep-fried tofu cakes to remove oil. Cool, then slice each tofu cake in half lengthwise to make eight tofu pouches. In a small saucepan, combine the mirin, sugar, soy sauce and dashi together. Simmer over low heat until hot. Drain gourd strips, then add the gourd strips and tofu pouches into the stock. Heat to boil. Cover, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Squeeze the tofu pouches and gourd strips dry. Set aside.

  • Thumbnail for Christmas cakes
    Christmas cakes

    Although the percentage of Christians in Japan is miniscule, most Japanese still get into the spirit. These cakes are just one way to celebrate.

  • Thumbnail for Counter
    Counter

    Text: Go-jiyuu ni otori kudasai

  • Thumbnail for Fruit Stand
    Fruit Stand

    A fruit stand is set up on the sidewalk for people to browse as they shop.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Fish
    Grocery Store Display: Fish

    Different kinds of fresh fish ready to be prepared.

  • Thumbnail for Mukkuri
    Mukkuri

    Traditional instrument of the Ainu people of Hokkaido. Sound is made by pulling on strings attached to a thin bamboo board. The mouth is used to add resonance.

  • Thumbnail for Manga
    Manga

    A close up on Inu Yasha and Ranma 1/2 manga at a bookstore.

  • Thumbnail for Shinto Falls
    Shinto Falls

    A clear waterfall at a shrine in Nagasaki.

  • Thumbnail for Subway system store
    Subway system store

    A store in the subway system in Tokyo selling "creme puffs".

  • Thumbnail for Nagasaki Shrine
    Nagasaki Shrine

    A building at a shrine in Nagasaki. Note the traditional rice-rope decoration hanging above the doorway.