Once In A Lifetime to Catch A Geisha At Famous Gion (Home of Geisha) In Old Kyoto, Japan 日本古老京都祇园花见小路，以舞妓或艺妓舞艺的 “花街” 闻名
Kyoto is famous for 300-year-old Geisha tradition. There are about 250 Geishas in Kyoto city – they are popularly called Geiko and Maiko (the apprentice Geisha) in Kyoto – and 100 of them are registered in Gion, the most prestigious geisha community.
Gion is also the district name where many houses served tea to people who visited Yasaka shrine in the old days and later they added attractions of singing and dancing to entertain those people. That is the origin of Geisha in Gion. There may have been 80,000 geisha shuffling about in the 1920s, but today, less than 2,000 remain in Japan. The odds were slim but i was hopeful. Indeed, my wish came true. This is a rare experience that you won't find anywhere else.
Geishas and Maiko alike are a cultural mystery to foreigners, and even most Japanese. Few people get to meet one or even seen a real Geisha in the flesh. I had a chance to meet some which was definitely a highlight of my recent trip to Japan. I was lucky to get a glimpse of the jewel in the crown of Japan. Maiko and Geiko are a mystery even to Japanese. However don't worry too much if you don’t, as the district’s sights, sounds and shopping are like a glimpse into old Japan that you will never forget. The Geisha sighting would just be the cherry on top.
祇园是京都繁华区的代表地段，以观赏舞妓或艺妓舞艺的 “花街” 闻名。祇园作为艺妓花街文化的发源地，而花见小路则是其中的代表，在花街全盛时期光是茶屋就高达700间舞妓、艺妓的人数将近三千人，时至今日虽已盛况不再，但此地仍然是京都最热闹的区域之一，也只有在这里才有机会碰上艺妓的身影，尤其是从四条通至建仁寺这段区间的花见小路通更是热闹非凡。
祇园是京都最着名的艺妓区，它的历史可追溯到封建时期, 也是京都市中最受欢迎的观光点之一，这区在八坂神社 前于四条大街和鸭川之间，有多间茶室、电影院、商店和餐厅, 沿着花见小路漫步，欣赏两旁的美丽古建筑甚而还可能在街上看到舞妓。
Travel Back In Time To Old Osaka, Japan - Historical Town Jinaimachi Tondabayashi 回到江户时代, 大阪富田林寺内町: 重要传统的建造物群保存地区
There are many places in Japan with historic streets and preserved architecture, but even among them, the Tondabayashi Jinaimachi in Osaka makes for a rare sight!
In accordance with the Cultural Assets Conservation Law, Tondabayashi City in Osaka has designated an area in old Jinaimachi a traditional architecture conservation zone in order to pass down these cultural relics to the next generation and also with the intention to redevelop the town into a unique one which may suit the new eras to come. Appreciating the cultural value of Tondabayashi Jinaimachi and the city's efforts to make the area what it is today, the government designated Jinaimachi an important traditional architecture conservation zone as a national cultural asset.
Jinaimachi in Tondabayashi City lies about 45 minutes from central Osaka by train. In a great contrast to the bustling city, time flows very slowly here. The town lies a group of more than 500 machiya, which remain inhabited by people today. Amongst these, the former residence of Sugiyama Family, which is a national designed important cultural asset, is a must-see. The family prospered as asake manufacturer in the 17th century, and their home is preserved to convey the prosperity and culture of the region south of Osaka. It is open to the public.
日本大阪（Osaka）观光除了大阪城，环球影城和心斋桥这些最传统的景点外，当然存在大阪港口地区的天保山，大阪综合火车站，世博公园，平野乡和堺市，近飞鸟古坟地区和岸和田花车纪念馆逛街。除此之外大阪也有一些重要的历史建筑物群，可展现另一面不一样气质的大阪。注目大阪唯一的重要历史建造物群保存地区，就是富田林市寺内町地区 (Tondabayashi Jinaimachi)。这里没有很多人听过的小郊区，其实有很重要的历史意义。
Uniquely Designed Rokkakudo Starbucks With Historical Chohoji Temple In Kyoto, Japan 日本京都赏枫之旅：六角堂星巴克
I've finally started to write travelogues regarding my recent trip to Japan, though i foresee that it would take quite a while to finish all within the next few months, due to commitments in some other ongoing local and overseas photojournalism assignments.
Sometimes it is nice to go somewhere to try to know the place well and become familiar with, especially when traveling to a country with a different culture and language. Starbucks is one of these places for most people, since it has stores all over the world. And fortunately there are many Starbucks Coffee stores in Kyoto City too. People in Japan love Starbucks in general.
Basically all the Kyoto's Starbuck stores share the same atmosphere and price. But there is one Starbucks store that has an unique feature. Inside the store at the intersection of Rokkaku and Karasuma streets, customers can see a temple called Rokkakudo. This temple is said to be the origin of Japanese traditional flower arrangement culture.
Given that the temple’s “casual” name is Rokkakudo, the Starbucks location is actually called Rokkakudo Starbucks. True Kyoto-ites might actually raise a fuss if you call the temple by its proper name, Chohoji. Rokkakudo (meaning six-sided temple) is a popular name arising from the hexagonal shape of the temple when viewed from above. People from the area also affectionately use the word Rokkaku-san, feeling a sense of local pride.
位于京都中心地带，有一间叫作 “顶法寺” 的寺庙，相传是由飞鸟时代的圣德太子所建。由于外形呈六角形，所以亦被称作“六角堂”。星巴克京都乌丸六角店，就恰好在“六角堂”的旁边，它们像老朋友一样互相依靠着。这家全玻璃幕墙的星巴克最特别之处，是无论在店内、店外、甚至对面马路，都能穿透星巴克店看到雄伟的 “六角堂”。
My Photo Of Traditional Handmade Noodles In The Fuxing Township of Taiwan Published In March 2015 Issue of Digital Camera Magazine
My photo of the Traditional Handmade Thin Noodles Factory located at Fuxing County, Changhua 福兴林记手工面线, 彰化福兴村 in Taiwan has been published in the latest March 2015 Issue of Digital Camera Magazine Malaysia, a popular leading monthly photography magazine! I submitted the photo for the "Your Mission - Best Food" category released for publication in this current magazine issue. It was really a good chance to see it in print nationwide!
My Photo Documentary Work For Picturing Chinatown Project By Singapore Heritage Society And Part Of National Library Board's Singapore Memory Project
Picturing Chinatown is a workshop-orientated community project by the Singapore Heritage Society (funded by National Library Board's Singapore Memory Project) designed to tease out some of the issues in Chinatown that are beginning to feel familiar for ordinary Singaporeans.
I was one of the participants who exhibited photo essays of Chinatown in a series of total six community workshops completed last week. The project aims at different stories told through camera lens and invite the public to take part in the conversation about our discrepant national memories, divergent social experiences and a sense of dislocation.
First and foremost, I would like to thank all other participants’ work for being a part of the “Picturing Chinatown” project. It is only through all of you that we are able to imagine, reflect and realize. I sincerely hope the photo essays would leave you some last (or is never-ending) thoughts on nostalgia.
I am always interested in documentary photography, in preserving memories and personal histories. In most of my personal projects I use photography and text to examine places and its relationship to identify, nostalgia and belonging. The personal nature of my work reflects my deep interest in the concept of place and how it impacts and informs human identity. By portraying nostalgia around place, I explored the way I choose to think about my home, my country.
I have one goal in mind for the “Picturing Chinatown” project, and that is to capture people’ lives in Chinatown. In telling other people’s life stories I am privileged to share intimate personal life narratives that allow a deeper understanding of human behavior.
Chinatown was one of the densest population quarters in old Singapore, a relatively small area, lined with double and triple story 'shophouses' - the open fronted shop below and the residences above. Frequently, independent business would be conducted on the five-foot way at the front of shophouses. Vehicle traffic would compete for road space with rickshaw drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, hampered not so much by the narrow roadway and also a barber's chair blocking most, as well as covered hawker stalls selling fruit and vegetables.
Chinatown throbbed with life from the present. It was once home to the immigrant generation. Making money, earning a living, surviving; these were the creeds of Chinatown. I took a trip down memory lane in tribute to some of these entrepreneurs who lived, worked on, and transformed our urban spaces in Chinatown through their colourful clutter and dedicated workmanship.
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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