Imperial Pilgrimage Route tour Autumn 2016
Approaching Oyunohara, site of Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine before it was badly damaged by the Kumano river flooding in 1889.
Hozuki, physalis or Chinese lantern cherry.
Mount Koya in autumn colours
Imperial Pilgrimage Route tour 2016
Roadside stall selling satsumas, persimmon, pickled plums, and dried strips of daikon radish.
Along the Nakaheji trail, one of the old routes to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano.
Cosmos in bloom along the path.
Deer in Nara Park.
The tunnel to the Miho Museum. Architecture based on the Chinese folk tale Peach Valley.
Ryoko blends in with autumn on Mount Koya.
The Miho Museum in Shigaraki.
Bamboo forest near Arashiyama in Kyoto suburbs.
Yaeyama Island & Kyoto tour 2016
Knives made by clients at sword-smith's forge.
Sharpening knife made in Gifu sword-smith's forge.
Traditionally forged Japanese knives.
Sword-smith in Gifu.
Ryokan dinner. First of ten courses!
Day learning how to forge a knife with a sword-smith in Gifu.
Heading for the maiko dance at the Miyagawa Kaburenjo theatre in Kyoto.
In a Japanese garden. The Silver Pavilion in Kyoto.
At the Miyagawa Kaburenjo theatre in Kyoto.
Two-person electric vehicle for sightseeing.
In a Japanese garden. Nara.
Roof top with traditional tiles and shisa.
A little lesson in how to play the sanshin.
Beach on Miyakojima.
View from Higashi Hennazaki lighthouse. The extensive shallow lagoons here, surrounded by coral reefs, are an environmentally important marine zone.
Our lodging on Miyakojima.
Hibiscus, found everywhere on the Southwestern Islands.
Taking dinner to Kobo Daishi, believed to be in eternal meditation in the Okunoin inner sanctuary on Mount Koya.
Garden sculpture at a potters house on Taketomi Island.
The Kii Mountains from Mount Koya.
Kongobuji Temple rock garden, Mount Koya.
Fresh, delicious ingredients for breakfast. A Japanese - Western fusion!
Vegetarian Japanese dinner.
At the start of the Kumano Kodo trail.
Hiking the Kumano Kodo, one of the old pilgrimage trails to the Grand Shrines of Kumano.