Monday, January 02, 2006
One of the first things people assume about Japan is that it is over crowded. This is highly true about urban areas. Within the city the buildings and houses practically touch and there is barely any room to breath. Another thing one notices right away is the amount of power lines running and humming throughout the city.
But Just because it's the city doesn't mean it can't be beautiful. The sheer amount of colors and types of buildings makes Japanese urban cities appealing. Not only that, they are entirely aware of nature, and even greenery is sculpted to be asthetically pleasing.
Here is the library at my old university, Kumamoto Gakuen. It's beautiful when it's all green. And being in the middle of the city, you wouldn't think you're surrounded by ugly old concrete.
But it wouldn't be Japan without trains. Japan is definately a train culture. Pictured above is the famous JR commute train. It's slow, always pact, but gets you to where you need to be for just a few hundred yen.
Way to Mt. Aso
But Japan isn't all cities. About 89% of Japanese terrain consists of mountains. No wonder the cities are dense! But you do get beautiful scenery out of it. Contrary to the popular belief that Japan is one giant mega-city, it has nature too!
Entrance to Shrines
Shrines litter the countryside. In fact, they can be found in and out of cities. There are hundreds of shrines, both Shinto and Buddhist alike. You can find them everywhere, and sometimes the scenery surrounding them is just as beautiful as the architecture itself!
Japan wouldn't be Japan without lots and lots of rice patties. Rice grows in almost every region of Japan. Most of the flat country side is being cultivated for just this purpose, but it's hardly soar on the eyes. In fact, with the mountains in the back, the reflection of a big open sky in the shallow water of the rice patties, and the slight hum of electrical wires at sunset time give Japan a distinct flavor and charm to it. Truely a beautiful country.