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A look into the soul of traditional Japan

The casual visitor to Japan may be forgiven to think that the essence of traditional Japan lies in grand temples like Tokyo's Sensō-ji, Nara's Tōdai-ji, Kyoto's Kiyomizu-dera or other tourist magnets, although these places are spectacular and well worth seeing. This page attempts to provide a few rare glimpses to the quieter, hidden facets of traditional Japan, be it through rural villages, remote festivals, off the beaten track temples and shrines, or less visited corners of Kyoto.

Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks) in Futami near Ise City, Mie Prefecture

Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks) in Futami near Ise City, Mie Prefecture (© SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com)


Jizō statuettes in the moss garden of Sanzen-in Temple, Kyoto

Jizo statue in the moss garden of Sanzen-in Temple, Kyoto (© oben901 - Fotolia.com)


Yanaka Mizu no Komichi canal in Gujō Hachiman, Gifu Prefecture

Yanaka Mizu no Komichi canal in Gujō Hachiman, Gifu Prefecture (© oben901 - Fotolia.com)


Illuminated samurai lantern at the Nebuta Festival in Aomori, Aomori Prefecture

Illuminated samurai lantern at the Nebuta Festival in Aomori, Aomori Prefecture (© smoke - Fotolia.com)


Tunnel of torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine in Kyoto

Tunnel of torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine in Kyoto (© picturecorrect - Fotolia.com)


Bushes of azaleas surrounding the Shisendō Hall, Kyoto

Bushes of azaleas surrounding the Shisendo Hall in Kyoto (© oben901 - Fotolia.com)


Suya no Saka (Vinegar Makers' Hill) in Kitsuki, Ōita Prefecture

Suya no Saka (Vinegar Makers' Hill) in Kitsuki, Ōita Prefecture (© TOMO - Fotolia.com)


Maiko (apprentice geisha) walking in a traditional alley in Gion, Kyoto

Maiko (apprentice geisha) walking in a traditional alley in Gion, Kyoto (© yotty% - Fotolia.com)


Statue of Buddha in the gardens of Konkaikōmyō-ji Temple in autumn, Kyoto

Statue of Buddha in the gardens of Konkaikōmyō-ji Temple in autumn, Kyoto (© katomangan - Fotolia.com)


Historic Village of Shirakawa-gō, Gifu Prefecture

Historic Village of Shirakawa-gō, Gifu Prefecture (© eyetronic - Fotolia.com)


Kamiiso-no-torii at the Isosaki Shrine in Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture

Isosaki-jinja Shrine in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture (© SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com)


Zen rock garden in autumn at the Kennin-ji Temple, Kyoto

Zen rock garden in autumn at the Kennin-ji Temple, Kyoto (© 安ちゃん - Fotolia.com)


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