On the next day we visited the Suwa-Shrine. It was built in 1625 and is actually 3 shrines in one, including the Suwa-shrine, the Sumiyoshi-shrine and the Morizaki-Shrine.
There are a lot of ancient holy trees there.
and you feel very peaceful there... people often ask me "what is a Shrine?" And most think it's only a place for Shintoists, worshipping the gods. I often go there to pray, but a Shrine is far more than just a place for worship.
Shinto shrines are religios facilities, but so much more as well. They also serve as guardians of many important assets of Japanese culture and tradition. In or near a Shinto shrine, you will find not only religioes symbols, but memorials to literary and other cultural figures as well.
Therefore, shrines do not only serve only as religious places, but also as an institutional memory of the Japanese culture as a whole.
I was especially impressed by the old trees in Suwa-shrine. Here you see Yuki beside one of them... being near those trees in a shrine always gives me a feeling of peace and rest.
Now that things are calming down over here, please let me share some pictures of our trip here...
We head to Nagasaki at Friday moning, but instead of taking the highway, we drove the scenic way over the mountains.
After driving over the mountains, we reached Sasebo, where we had the famous Sasebo burger.
The very first burger made in Japan.
And it was really delicious. I especially loved the smoked ham on it ^^
One of the most awesome spots I ever saw is Kujuku Jima, which means 99 islands (actually, there are 208). A part of the Saikai national park. Most of the islands are uninhabited and protected areas to preserve nature and wildlife there.
Later, we arrived in Nagasaki and went to China town.
Here you see the entrance of China town. A lot of restaurants and small and unique shops were there.
And here is the harbor... it reminded me so much of Hakodate. Many little Cafes and restaurants... and a very relaxing and mediteranian atmosphere. I want to go there again in Summer, sitting outside and have a good beer or wine.
There is a mountain there, which is so much like Hakodate yama. I want to go there, too and enjoy the nightview over the city.
Later we had Gon-Aji, a local speciality. The Aji here has a special golden color and is caught near the 5 islands close by. It tasted delicious...
Later we had some tapa and wine at the hotel and felt refreshed and relaxed. The stress we had last week finally wore off...
Today we have our 11st Wedding anniversary and so we planned a while ago to go to Nagasaki for 2-3 days. We always wanted to go there once, because it really must be a beautiful place and we are looking so much forward to take a break from all the madness arround us.
I'm worn out and tired... After doing my housework today, I felt so tired, I could instantly fall asleep, maybe because I feel a little bit relieved today.
Since things are still looking quite good here, I will probably not post another update on the situation... so while I'm away, try to think positive, o.k ?!
Hope to be back with some good news in a few days !!!
And I'm looking forward to some mountain hikes with the kids and my hubby.
Today 3.3 is Ohina Matsuri, the Japanese festival of dolls and girls.
People build an altar/stage of dolls, normally King, Queen and servants in their houses and eat special colorful foods (Chirashi Sushi) and have sweet sake.
Here you see a Ohina Matsuri Bentou, I bought today for the kids ^^ They also got some sweets, ribbons and some other stuff. Poor Yumi needed to work on her math-homework so hard today, but she was very ambitious to finish it...
Oh and here is my "homework". My WiP I finished today. Last time I did a brown/black layer for the background trees. I continued to work on the textures on Monday.
...sprayed a layer of white airbrush over them, then added the next ground-layer of the next trees.
One day later, I worked on the textures and again sprayed a layer of airbrush over then.
My name is Julia Takagi (高木ユリア) I'm actually from Germany, my husband is Japanese and we live in Japan since 2005. One of my greatest passions is painting. I had several exhibitions (solo- and groupshows) in Germany (Wiesbaden, Hofheim), Japan (Hakodate, Fukuoka, Tokyo, Nagoya, Makurazaki), Korea (Seoul and Cheong Ju at the ICA 2010) and two in the USA (LaGrange, Georgia). The beautiful nature of Japan inspires me and I paint almost every day.
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For more of my artworks, please check also my paintings at