gallery - japan
Seven young girls on a Saturday stroll to a festival with their chaperone keeping a watchful eye from behind.
The bicycle shop owner was closing the doors when I asked for just a minute for this photo. His puzzled expression was, "a photo of what?".
One of Japan's "big three" gardens, Koraku-en uses expansive lawns to create solitude.
Philosopher's Walk, a mile-long road along a Kyoto canal, lined with cherry trees. The philosopher Kitaro Nishida used the path to meditate.
Daibutsu-den Great Buddha is an enormous 52-foot figure. It was originally cast in 746, and consists of 437 tons of bronze and 286 pounds of gold.
In old rural Japan, a Buddhist god looks over the gardens of Sanzen-in temple in the mountains outside of Kyoto.
Dating from the 1600s, this garden took a century to complete. With 130 acres, it takes a day to see it.

Kenroku-en is another one of Japan's top three most beautiful gardens, where seclusion, abundant water, and wide prospects are the expressions of beauty.
These are coins in a pool at Kinkakuji temple, where visitors ritually toss in a few yen when saying a prayer.
Kyoto in the background has more than 2,000 temples and shrines. It was home to the Japanese Imperial family from 794 to 1868, when they moved to Tokyo.

Another water scene at the famous Ritsurin garden.
You can escape the crowds in Japan, especially on weekdays, on the pathways of the Ritsurin-koen garden. It is said Frank Lloyd Wright visited this garden 7 times.

It is said that 600 of the 1,200 varieties of bamboo grow in Japan. This stand is Timber Bamboo.