Japan & China 2017

Japan: 1-92; China: 93-300

Some of the photos here can use a bit of explanation so here it is.
  #27-29: This is a wall of sake (Japanese rice wine) barrels at a Shinto shrine. Click here for more information on this.
  #32-36: I was in the small city of Matsumoto on a Japanese holiday called Health-Sports Day, which like so many other things I'm quite sure is unique to Japan. These were taken at a street fair which included the mysterious apple foot bath and free back and hand massages.
  #185-195: In Dali, I went on a day trip with a Chinese-speaking woman from New York who I met at my hotel. This was to a nearby Muslim village of about 1,000 people. In the local mosque we saw this group of Muslim women who were learning food preparation. We were told that this was a 5-day course after which they get a certificate allowing them to work in restaurants.
  #230-232: In a park in Chengdu, there were some people writing in Chinese on the ground using large calligraphy brushes dipped in water. That was normal but then I saw a middle-aged Chinese guy writing in English, which was definitely unusual. He was writing a bunch of random sentences that had nothing to do with each other, as if he had just memorized them from a book. I tried talking to him but he couldn't actually speak English. Since I was the only foreigner around, people were looking at me as if I could make sense of what he was writing but that was impossible. As an example, he wrote "In the early days of the settlement of Australia, enterprising settlers unwisely introduced the European rabbit." I've confirmed that this is an accurate bit of Australian history!

001-Tokyo - Prada building

002-Tokyo - Prada building

003-Tokyo - former Audi building

004-Tokyo candy shop

005-Tokyo - Golden Gai bar street

006-Tokyo - Golden Gai bar street

007-Tokyo - typical tiny Golden Gai bar

008-Tokyo - Golden Gai bar

009-Tokyo - Golden Gai bar

010-Tokyo - Golden Gai bar

011-Tokyo bar

012-Tokyo shop













025-Kamakura tour guide

026-Kamakura - sake barrels at shrine

027-Kamakura - sake barrels at shrine

028-Kamakura - beer and sesame oil at shrine

029-Kamakura shrine

030-Kamakura shrine


032-Matsumoto - apple foot bath

033-Matsumoto - apple foot bath

034-Matsumoto - apple foot bath

035-Matsumoto - back massage

036-Matsumoto - hand massage






042-Matsumoto cafe waitress


044-Matsumoto Castle
















060-Kyoto - Filipino tourists

061-Kyoto shrine

062-Kyoto shrine

063-Kyoto shrine

064-Kyoto shrine

065-Kyoto restaurant





070-Kyoto cafe

071-Kyoto food market

072-Kyoto food market

073-Kyoto food market

074-Kyoto food market

075-Kyoto food market

076-Kyoto food market

077-Kyoto food market

078-Kyoto food market

079-Kyoto food market

080-Kyoto food market

081-Kyoto food market

082-Kyoto food market

083-Kyoto food market

084-Kyoto food market

085-Kyoto food market

086-Kyoto food market - Thai tourist


088-Tokyo - building changing color

089-Tokyo - building changing color

090-Tokyo - building changing color

091-Tokyo - building changing color

092-Tokyo airport restaurant

093-Kunming - Green Lake Park

094-Kunming - Green Lake Park

095-Kunming - Green Lake Park

096-Kunming - Green Lake Park

097-Kunming - Green Lake Park

098-Kunming - Green Lake Park

099-Kunming - Green Lake Park

100-Kunming - Green Lake Park

101-Kunming - Green Lake Park

102-Kunming - Green Lake Park

103-Kunming - Green Lake Park

104-Kunming - Green Lake Park

105-Kunming - Green Lake Park

106-Kunming - Green Lake Park

107-Kunming - Green Lake Park

108-Kunming - Green Lake Park

109-Kunming - Green Lake Park

110-Kunming - Green Lake Park

111-Kunming - Green Lake Park

112-Kunming - Green Lake Park

113-Kunming - Green Lake Park

114-Kunming - Green Lake Park

115-Kunming - Green Lake Park

116-Kunming - Green Lake Park

117-Kunming - Green Lake Park

118-Kunming - Green Lake Park

119-Kunming - Green Lake Park

120-Kunming - Green Lake Park

121-Kunming - Green Lake Park

122-Kunming - Green Lake Park

123-Kunming - Green Lake Park

124-Kunming - Green Lake Park

125-Kunming - Green Lake Park

126-Kunming - Green Lake Park

127-Kunming - Green Lake Park

128-Kunming - Green Lake Park

129-Kunming - electric car
























153-Dali 'Coconut family' shop





158-Dali bike shop

159-Dali hotel manager

160-Dali shopping street

161-Dali food hall

162-Dali food hall

163-Dali food hall

164-Dali food hall

165-Dali food hall

166-Dali - typical restaurant

167-Dali music shop

168-Dali music shop

169-Dali music shop

170-Dali - Erhai Lake

171-Dali - Erhai Lake

172-Dali - Erhai Lake

173-Dali - Erhai Lake

174-Dali - Erhai Lake

175-Dali - Erhai Lake

176-Dali - Erhai Lake

177-Dali - Erhai Lake

178-Dali restaurant

179-Dali restaurant

180-Dali restaurant

181-Dali restaurant

182-Dali restaurant

183-Dali restaurant

184-Muslim village

185-Muslim village - food preparation class

186-Muslim village - food preparation class

187-Muslim village - food preparation class

188-Muslim village - food preparation class

189-Muslim village - food preparation class

190-Muslim village - food preparation class

191-Muslim village - food preparation class

192-Muslim village - food preparation class

193-Muslim village - food preparation class

194-Muslim village - food preparation class

195-Muslim village - food preparation class

196-Muslim village - mosque

197-Muslim village

198-Muslim village

199-Muslim village

200-Muslim village

201-Muslim village

202-Muslim village

203-Muslim village

204-Muslim village

205-Muslim village

206-Muslim village

207-Muslim village

208-Muslim village - Chinese tourists

209-Muslim village - Chinese tourists

210-Farm near Muslim village

211-Chengdu - main square

212-Chengdu - main square

213-Chengdu - main square

214-Chengdu - main square

215-Chengdu - main square

216-Chengdu - main square

217-Chengdu - main square

218-Chengdu - main square

219-Chengdu - main square

220-Chengdu - main square

221-Chengdu - People's Park

222-Chengdu - People's Park

223-Chengdu - People's Park

224-Chengdu - People's Park

225-Chengdu - People's Park

226-Chengdu - People's Park

227-Chengdu - People's Park

228-Chengdu - People's Park

229-Chengdu - People's Park

230-Chengdu - People's Park

231-Chengdu - People's Park

232-Chengdu - People's Park

233-Chengdu - JinLi Street

234-Chengdu - JinLi Street

235-Chengdu - JinLi Street

236-Chengdu - JinLi Street

237-Chengdu - JinLi Street

238-Chengdu - JinLi Street

239-Chengdu - JinLi Street

240-Chengdu - JinLi Street

241-Chengdu - making sand art bottles

242-Chengdu - sand art bottles

243-Chengdu - sand art bottles

244-Chengdu - children's charity sale

245-Chengdu - children's charity sale

246-Chengdu - children's charity sale

247-Chengdu - children's charity sale








255-Chengdu game arcade

256-Chengdu shop

257-Chengdu - near Wenshu Monastery

258-Chengdu - near Wenshu Monastery

259-Chengdu - ear cleaning

260-Chengdu - street massage

261-Chengdu - near Wenshu Monastery

262-Chengdu - near Wenshu Monastery

263-Chengdu - near Wenshu Monastery

264-Chengdu - near Wenshu Monastery

265-Chengdu - near Wenshu Monastery

266-Chengdu noodle restaurant

267-Chengdu noodle restaurant

268-Chengdu noodle restaurant

269-Chengdu mall train

270-Chengdu crepe stand

271-Chengdu - Lotus Pond wholesale market

272-Chengdu water bottle shop

273-Chengdu sandwich shop

274-Chengdu - Chunxi Road shopping area

275-Chengdu - Chunxi Road shopping area

276-Chengdu - Chunxi Road shopping area

277-Chengdu - Chunxi Road shopping area

278-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

279-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

280-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

281-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

282-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

283-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

284-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

285-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

286-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

287-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

288-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

289-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

290-Chengdu - Sichuan opera

291-Panda reserve

292-Panda reserve

293-Panda reserve

294-Panda reserve

295-Panda reserve

296-Panda reserve

297-Panda reserve

298-Panda reserve

299-Panda reserve

300-Panda reserve
This information is from https://dinadari.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/

Visit any Shinto shrine in Japan and youíll notice barrels of rice wine on display. These wooden sake barrels known as sakedaru wrapped in straw blankets are stacked and bounded together by rope on a wooden frame.

The decoration of barrels known as kazaridaru signifies a spiritual connection and relationship between brewers and shrines for prosperity. Most brewers donate these sake barrels to shrines for Shinto ceremonies, rituals and festivals. Japanese believe that sake acts as a symbolic unification of gods and people.

The origin of sake in Japan dates back to around 300 BC as the drink of the gods. Polished rice is washed and cleaned before steamed. Yeast is later added onto the rice and allowed to ferment. The fermentation process is continued with incubation, heating and cooling before alcohol is produced. Traditional sake brewing is no longer in practice, as the production process has improved to increase yield and reduce brewing time. Today, there are over 1,500 sake manufacturers in Japan.

In some of Japan's oldest texts the word used for sake is miki, written with the characters for "god" and "wine." People would go to a shrine festival and be given rice wine to drink, and they would feel happy and closer to the gods.

These days, the word o-miki is reserved for rice wine used in Shinto rites and festivals. Sipping a cup is still a prayerful act of symbolic unification with the gods. Shinto shrines and sake manufacturers maintain a symbiotic relationship, in which the shrines conduct rites to ask the gods for the prosperity of the brewers, and ó this is where the barrels come in ó the brewers donate the sake that shrines need for ceremonies and festivals.

Smaller shrines usually get their o-miki from local sake companies, but two shrines, Meiji Jingu in Tokyo and Ise Jingu in Mie Prefecture, look after the entire national product by accepting donations from every rice-wine brewer in the country.

Rice wine is not normally stored in barrels because it picks up too much of the taste and smell of the wood. But a short stay gives the sake a pleasant woody aroma, so upon request brewers fill barrels (from a steel tank) a few days in advance of festivals and other special occasions.

One of those sake barrels, which are called komodaru, holds 72 liters.

Generally, a brewer provides just one bottle, or an empty barrel for display. The kimochi (gesture) is important, because asking for or giving more sake than is actually needed would be mottainai (wasteful).

This strikes me as an example of traditional Japanese values: Shinto gods donít make unreasonable demands of people, and people show respect for the natural world inhabited by Shinto gods by avoiding waste.