Hiraizumi – temples and gardens representing the Buddhist Pure Land

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The women in the tourist information are delighted to try their English: You are visiting the Golden Hall of Chusonji? It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and has such a great history! The patterns for the textile coaster they present me with can be traced back to the trade routes of the Silk Road in the 11th or 12th century, when Hiraizumi – this off-the-beaten-track region in the North of Japan – was an important cultural centre. At that time the local ruling clan of the Oshu Fujiwara held their own against the central government in Kyoto. But not only cloth patterns came along the Silk Road, also new ideas and concepts, like Buddhism and new concepts of garden architecture. Hiraizumi is one of the first examples where this new ideas harmoniously mixed with the older ideas of Nature worship.

A Week in the Life

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I go back and forth sometimes on whether to share links here each Friday. I know some people love them, and other people hate them. Since you can't please everyone ever, I've decided to go week by week with the...

Tape Your Plates

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As we mentioned it was cold and blustery day for Meatopia. I was thankful to have the chefs from Charcoal BYOB braving the weather to lend multiple hands and minds to the cause. We were given paper plates to use...