Near the end of the path to Okunoin, just prior to crossing the last bridge before going up to Kukai's mausoleum, there is a line of statues with water troughs in front of them. Vistors pour water over the statues as an act of devotion. This ritual action shares something both with the cleansing of the mouth prior to entering a Shinto shrine, where the same sort of ladle and trough is used, as well as the cleansing of ancestral gravestones that is practiced in August during the Obon season.
In front of the Jizo is an offering box in which faithful can place coins to be used to maintain various features of the Okunoin area.
Ranks of red banners flank the CCP insignia over the entry to the National Museum complex on the east side of tiananmen Square.
Across the bridge and down the path we can see visitors gathered at the foot of the stairs to Kobo Daishi's mausoleum.
tiananmen Square, including the Mao Mausoleum and Monument to the People's Heroes, seen looking south across Chang An avenue.
Street in northwest Beijing's Haidian district during autumn afternoon.
Bicycle commuters stream past the entrance to a Beijing subway station during afternoon rush hour.
Day trippers climb the Western Hills (Xishan) northwest of Beijing.
Weather-beaten sign on a Haidian district wall asking passersby not to spit. Expectoration was the target of public health authorities in the 1980s and beyond.
A family of three enjoys a chairlift ride in the Fragrant Hills northwest of Beijing on an autumn weekend.
Billboard for Beijing's Da Li Machine works (formerly Beijing Parts and Equipment Plant) depicts the cabled arm of a giant red machine spiraling towards the sun, touting the virtues of Da Li products for pipeline maintenance and breach occlusion.
Workers hawk an orange soda drink on a sidewalk in Shanhaiguan, northeast of Beijing.
A small child in fur jacket and hat sits on the railing lining the Long Corridor (Changlang) at the Summer Palace in northwest Beijing
Worker watches a train at a railway station. 1988 was a peak year for an overtaxed rail system.
Barber shop offering r S"&qucontemporary fashions" and "warm service."
Inner tubes lie piled on the eaves of a humble Beijing bicycle repair shop
Hat peddler appraises the look of his ware on a potential client.
Designed in 1531 (by the Ming Emperor Shizong, it is said), the Temple of Heaven's Hall of Prayer for a Prosperous Year known to modern tourists is the result of a 1751 renovation. The circular roof signifies Heaven, the square base earth.
Looking southeast from White Dagoba hill in Beijing's Beihai park, one sees the northwest corner of the Imperial Palace complex and the skyscrapers of modern Beijing in the distance.
The subject of a blackboard urging "resolute implementation," "prevention as the mainstay" and "total annihilation" was probably a public health campaign; it now serves as a window to a Beijing apartment.
Northwest Beijing lies under a thick layer of early winter smog generated in part by the widespread use of coal for residential heating and cooking.