Kohfukuji, Nara


Pagoda of Kofukuji and Hananomatsu, Nara
松の花及塔重五寺福興良奈

Five-storied pagoda in the Kohfukuji Buddhist temple complex. Hananomatsu is the tree.

Google Street View

Kofukuji used to be the family temple of the Fujiwara, the most powerful aristocratic clan during much of the Nara and Heian Periods. The temple was established in Nara at the same time as the capital in 710. At the height of Fujiwara power, the temple consisted of over 150 buildings.
Japan-guide.com

Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784. During this period the framework of national government was consolidated and Nara enjoyed great prosperity, emerging as the fountainhead of Japanese culture.
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara (UNESCO)

The Five-Story Pagoda, which was completely restored in 1426, is the second tallest pagoda in Japan at 50.1m, behind the 55m-tall pagoda at Toji Temple in Kyoto. The pagoda had burnt down no less than five times before the 15th century.
Japan Visitor

From the temple website:

History of Kohfukuji
In the eighth year of the reign of Emperor Tenji (669 CE), Kagami no Okimi, consort of the statesman Nakatomi (Fujiwara) no Kamatari, founded a Buddhist chapel on the family estate in Yamashina Suehara (in modern-day Kyoto Prefecture) to pray for Kamatari’s recovery from illness. In this temple, which came to be known as Yamashinadera, Kagami no Okimi enshrined a Shaka triad (Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha, along with two attendant Bodhisattvas) that had originally been commissioned by Kamatari. In the wake of the relocation of the capital as a result of the Jinshin Rebellion of 672, the temple was disassembled and moved to Umayasaka in Nara prefecture, where it was re-erected and named Umayasakadera.

Shortly after the establishment of the Heijo Capital in 710, Yamashinadera relocated to its present location in what is now the city of Nara. The temple, now called Kohfukuji (“The Temple that Generates Blessings”), grew rapidly in size under the patronage of successive emperors and empresses, as well as continued support from members of the powerful Fujiwara family. Over time, it developed a particularly close connection with the “Northern House” of the Fujiwara clan, under whose sponsorship it accumulated sufficient wealth and power to rank as one of the “Four Great Temples” of the Nara Period (710-784) and one of the “Seven Great Temples” of the Heian Period (794-1180).
The Kohfukuji Temple Complex

THE FIVE-STORIED PAGODA
The five-storied pagoda was originally erected in 730 by Empress Komyo, the daughter of Kohfukuji’s founding patron, Fujiwara no Fuhito. Over its long history, the building burned down a total of five times, with the current reconstruction dating to around the year 1426. At a total height of 50.1 meters, it is the second tallest wooden pagoda in Japan today. Famous for its deep eaves, the structure successfully blends references to Nara-period architecture with the dynamic architectural style of the medieval period. The original Nara-period building is thought to have risen to a height of around 45 meters, making it the tallest man-made structure in Japan at the time.

The Kohfukuji Temple Complex: the Five Storied Pagoda

Hananomatsu
On the stone monument is written “Monument of Hananomatsu”.
Actually, there was a pine tree in front of the Tokondo hall.
It was called Hananomatsu.
It is said that the pine trees were planted by Kobo Daishi.
Kobo Daishi is the posthumous name of the priest called Kukai about 1,200 years ago.
Kukai is the one who opened a new sect of Buddhism called Shingon sect.
For this reason, he has a name that respects Kobo Daishi.
The pine grew big, but it withered in 1937.
In 1940, successor pine was planted.
But that pine withered in 2008.
Thereafter, pines have not been planted there.

Tourist Spots in Kyoto, Nara, Osaka

Wikipedia
Wikipedia Commons

Meiji Shrine, Tokyo


門 神 南 (神宫治明)

(That last part seems to be written backwards? I don’t know Japanese. My best guess is:)
South/Minami Gate (Meiji Jingu)

1921-1946

Google Maps.

After the emperor’s death in 1912, the Japanese Diet passed a resolution to commemorate his role in the Meiji Restoration. An iris garden in an area of Tokyo where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken had been known to visit was chosen as the building’s location.

Construction began in 1915 under Itō Chūta, and the shrine was built in the traditional nagare-zukuri style, using primarily Japanese cypress and copper. The building of the shrine was a national project, mobilizing youth groups and other civic associations from throughout Japan, who contributed labor and funding. It was formally dedicated in 1920, completed in 1921, and its grounds officially finished by 1926.

The original building was destroyed during the Tokyo air raids of World War II.
Wikipedia

Official website (uses Flash)

Seikiro Ryokan, Miyazu, Japan


Seiki Hotel, Miyazu

The Seikiro ryokan is close to Ama no Hashidate in Kyoto Prefecture, one of the three most scenic spots in Japan, and was designated a tangible cultural asset in 2010. The traditional wooden ryokan offers a unique experience of life in Japan, from traditional hot spring bathing to Wi-Fi access throughout the building. Countless artists and writers have fallen in love with it since its establishment at the end of the 17th century. Many painters visited from Kyoto during the Edo period (1603-1867), and writers and poets including Ujo Noguchi, Kan Kikuchi, Eiji Yoshikawa and Hekigoto Kawahigashi were regulars in modern times. It has been the inspiration for beautiful fusuma (paper door) paintings, fine novels and poems, many of which are on display throughout the facility, in the large hall and in all guest rooms.
Seikiro

Fujiya Hotel, Miyanoshita, Japan


Fujiya Hotel, Miyanoshita, Japan
Natural Hot Springs
Two Hours from Yokohama
Natural Tepid Water Swimming Tank
Concrete Tennis Court

Website

The hotel was constructed in 1891 and consists of different sections constructed in a mixture of traditional Japanese and western architecture that was popular during the Meiji period. Many famous guests have stayed there, including Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on his tour of Japan in 1893, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono with their son Sean in 1978.
Wikipedia.