Thursday, 3 October 2013

Katsura Imperial Villa, Kyoto

My traveling companion, better half and avowed nipponophile, has been trying to see this icon for decades.
After snail mail correspondence from Australia she finally got the precious passes, one for her and one for me!
I know I have been complaining about the heat this summer of 2013 in Japan, but the heat this day was incredible. So after all don't actually get to see the interior of the villa, and only see the villa from a distance. The garden is incredible, but aren't they all? The teahouse, or moon gazing house is indicative of the villa in that despite its C17th origins looks contemporary. It was disappointing not seeing inside the villa.
Maybe a note to Prince Katsura delivered by a geisha, the note held in her mouth of course.

Tadao Ando

These are shots from the Ando Museum on Naoshima, an attractive traditional house from the street, it has a sleek concrete underground interior, and it was cool. The main Ando building on Naoshima is the spectacular Benesse House. Didn't get there, oops. Tadao Ando is the bad boy of Japanese architecture, autodidact and ex pugilist.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Rearranging The Deck Chairs

Well not quite rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, can't see us sinking in the immediate future, maybe a few hundred years from now all of this will be submerged? Would be interesting to see.
No, this is rearrangement of 'The Garden', some new pots, some potting on and then photographing it while it's still somewhat aesthetic.

Sunday, 29 September 2013


The grounds of the temple complex at Izumo are immense. This building of which I know nothing was in complete conrast to the other traditional temples and shrines. Walter Burley Griffin and Frank Lloyd Wright came to mind.


It was incredibly hot when we were there, so whilst sucking on a slurpee at a 7-11, I noticed this building opposite. The facade is all glass brick, custom made no doubt, I liked it a lot.