March was even more insane than the previous 2 months before it were. Work took me to Sakai City in Osaka Prefecture a few times and then down to Kochi for a day trip. We also can’t forget about the beautiful Plum blossoms that bloom during March! I caught the tail end of them at Osaka Castle park and thought it was cloudy, I could be happier with how the pictures came out.
I attende Nipponbashi Street Festa for the 2nd year in a row as a Photographer and it was so much fun! There are still more photos to come on my Instagram soon that I will post periodically.
This is a picture of a wall made of roof tiles at Nansuji Temple in Sakai City, Osaka. It is a zen temple with a dry-landscape garden that is a national designated place of scenic beauty in Japan. A master of tea ceremony Sen no Rikyu, famous for revolutionizing chanoyu (the Japanese “way of tea”) is said to have trained here. There are no pictures allowed inside of the temple grounds, but the teahouse on the grounds is outside of that, so you can go and see it! There is also a room with a picture of dragon on it whose eyes follow you around the room, like the Mona Lisa. The walls of the temple are made of roof tiles, creating a cool piece of architecture.
A Japanese-style garden located in the middle of Daisen Park. If you didn't take a tea break at the teahouse in Daisen Park, you can have a cup of green tea and Japanese style sweets (wagashi) while overlooking the lake with ducks and koi fish. It's a great spot for photographers because of its beautiful bridges and pagodas, along with a variety of wildlife like cats and birds! I even found some bonsai trees, though most have yet to bloom yet. A great spot to wander around and get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, you will feel very calm and relaxed after leaving. Another fun fact is that part of the famous Japanese movie Ooku was filmed here!
Probably what Sakai is most famous for, this is a huge tomb in the shape of a Keyhole that was built in the 5th century during the age of “kofun”, or burial mound cultural. This is the 3rd largest tomb in the world, after the Pyramid of King Khufu in Egypt (Great Pyramid of Giza) and the tomb Qin Shi Huang in China, most famous for the terracotta warriors. This kofun tomb in Sakai is said to be the Tomb of Emperor Nintoku, but in reality there is nothing proving it to be his specifically, though it is defiantly known to be the tomb of the person in the highest seat of power at the time of it being built. As you can see, you can’t actually go inside of it, but by just standing next to it and walking around it you can feel how big it really is. To really feel the size, head up to the observatory on the 21st floor of the Sakai City Hall to see it from above, though not a full aerial view.
In the middle of Daisen park in Sakai City lays a teahouse where you can experience chadou, or the Japanese way of tea. This is a perfect way to experience tea ceremony in an informal environment and even without understanding Japanese, if you just mimic the actions of the person performing the ceremony and making the tea for you, you will be about to enjoy it perfectly fine. For only 300 yen, you receive a cup of tea and 2 sweets that are made of pure sugar that are made to be eaten in-between drinking the green tea to cancel out the bitterness of the matcha.
Just a few steps away from Sakai-higashi station, on the 21st floor of the Sakai City Hall, there is an observatory that you can look out on the entirety of Sakai city. If you are interested in seeing how big the kofun tombs are, this is a perfect place to get a real feel for the size and the numbers that surround the city, as it can be hard to understand it from the ground. It is not a perfect bird-eye view of the tombs, but even despite that you can see the traditional culture merged with the modern city, which is a pretty amazing site. This is also a great place to take a break from sight seeing, as it has a cafe with food and also a very cute latte with latte art in the shape of a keyhole (for 440 yen), which is the shape of the kofun tombs.