looking at mount Fuji in Holland

is there ever an end to a trip to Japan?

a recent trip to the city of Leiden learned me that my Japan trip is not finished yet …

for more (mount Fuji) photos please see:
looking for mount Fuji in Holland

mount Fuji as not seen by Hokusai


a – to – early conclusion


Is there a conclusion to ten days Japan (Kyoto and Tokyo) well of course not, or perhaps this one:
Kyoto, being old Japan with it’s quiet temples, sublime gardens and colorful geisha, give me a lot of energy,
while Tokyo, being new Japan, the world largest metropolis and Japans pulsating capital, coasted me a lot of energy,
I enjoyed both equally, as I enjoyed my stay in Japan tremendously.

During our stay Vera shot a lot of film footage for a short movie. So perhaps we will be back her one more time to add that movie or for one final blog to add everything up.

The making of this blog was very much our pleasure, hope you enjoyed it too.

see you 😉

If you like to see some more photos from our Japan – or any other – trip, please check my page on google+

For a prose poem about my stay in Japan please see; the meaning of the nonsense of meaning, both in English and in Dutch.

enjoy 😉



the thunder and wind trade

the Sensõ-ji temple

The guardian gods of thunder and wind(Raijin and Fûjin) watch over Asakusa and her temple. The Sensõ-ji – or Asakusa Kannon – temple in Asakusa/ Tokyo is a religious place, giant tourist market and fairground all in one. It is just this infectious carnival atmosphere that makes Asakusa so appealing.

A very cute and tasty – yes really – panda coffee finished up everything very nicely.

For more photo’s please see Japan2015Tokyo

 panda coffee


the meaning of the nonsense of meaning

Takashi Murakami ‘The 500 Arhats’

‘Imi no muimi no imi’ or the meaning of the nonsense of meaning is a famous quote from the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. Judging by his work I should say that the nonsense of meaning is just a little different than no(n)-sense to meaning.

In his work Murakami gives a modern interpretation to ancient myths and religion. In his magnum opus The 500 Arhats he gives a new meaning to the work of Kano Kazunobu (1816 – 1863) Murakami also gives a new understanding to the Japanese symbol of the Enso (circle) In fact he takes the word Pop-art to a whole new level. In 2008 Time magazine counted Murakami among The 100 Most Influental People’.

For more photo’s please see Japan2015Tokyo

Checkout the exhibition of Takashi Murakami at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo!

Takashi Murakami’s different interpretations of the Enso

Mount Fuji as not seen by Hokusai

Mount Fuji seen from the Tokyo Sky Tree

If the artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) should draw his ‘Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji’ today he certainly should include the Tokyo Sky Tree or better the view on Mount Fuji as seen from the Tokyo Sky Tree in one of his prints. When we entered the panorama deck of Tokyo Sky Tree in the late afternoon we had a magnificent view on Mount Fuji. More over in Japan Mount Fuji and especially Hokusai’s interpretation of Mount Fuji is all-around.

Mount Fuji is a popular subject for Japanese art due to its cultural and religious significance. While Hokusai’s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is the most famous ukiyo-e series to focus on Mount Fuji, there are several other series with the same subject, including Hiroshige’s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and Hokusai’s own later series One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji.

for more photos please see:
mount Fuji as not seen by Hokusai

looking for mount Fuji in Holland

Mount Fuji in popular culture

Vermeer loves Doritos chips

Vermeer Young Woman with a Water Pitcher
Johannes Vermeer (Delft 1632–1675 Delft) Young Woman with a Water Pitcher

Vermeer loves Doritos chips
(or pop-art in Tokyo)

In the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art I saw the painting ‘Young Woman with a Water Pitcher’ by Johannes Vermeer for the first time and spent a few very lucky minutes watching this painting.

In the Seven-Eleven my daughter Vera finds a new Japanese taste of Doritos chips and spends a few very happy minutes studying the package.

In Zen there are a few ancient myths and legends of different masters reaching enlightenment after forty years of meditating facing the wall others just by working in the kitchen of the monastery for a few months. So far I still prefer Vermeer above Doritos chips, but I do understand the pop-art just a little better.

For more photos please see; Japan2015 Kyoto

Doritos chips


riding the dragon



If riding the dragon is one of your childhood whishes try the Shinkansen, or bullet train, these smooth flowing monsters take you easily to any destination in Japan.

They are also painstakingly punctual, so if your childhood which also includes adventure, detours and perhaps even rescuing a young maiden, you better go hiking.



shouting in a Zen garden


 my garden of Zen

For the Jõdo Shû (pure land sect) Buddhism, everybody can be saved, regardless status or gender, who wholeheartedly chants the name of ‘Amitabha or Amida Buddha’. Leaves me only wondering when chanting is ‘wholeheartedly’, in the Chion-In temple it sounded as a lot of noise to my western ears.

Later in the pond of the temple garden I found rest and peace in my garden of Zen, showing in the simplest way possible the four dimensions of our life.

For more photos please see; garden of Zen, Chion-In temple Kyoto Japan2015 and Chion-In temple Kyoto Japan2015

my garden of Zen

I learn only to be contented

Zen garden of the Ryoanji temple

“I learn only to be contented” If Zen has a spirit this could very well be it. He who learns only to be contented is spiritually rich. Next to being grateful and thankful this could very well be the three pillars of my way of Zen. In Kyoto it is easy to practice them; perhaps in Utrecht it will be a little more difficult.

A simple, not to be mistaken by a naïve, way of life is key. Perhaps this is also the key to experiencing the famous Zen-garden of the Ryoanji temple which I visited today. Fifteen stones and some off white gravel that’s all. Next to the Ryoanji temple I also visited the Ninnaji temple with the five store pagoda and the golden Kinkaku-ji temple.

For more photos please see; Japan2015 Kyoto

Kinkaku-ji temple

Ninnaji temple