Search

stone and dust

travel, photography and musings on cemeteries, monuments, and other memorials

Site 124: Osaka’s Shitennōji Temple & Cemetery

Shitennōji Temple is one of the oldest temples in Japan (593 CE) and the first state one. Prince Shotoku, who supported the introduction of Buddhism in Japan, is the one that founded this temple. It’s been destroyed by fire several times since it was built, but it has always been faithfully Continue reading “Site 124: Osaka’s Shitennōji Temple & Cemetery”

Site 123: Osaka’s Mozu Kofungun

Most people are not aware that one of the largest burial tombs in the world is right here in Japan, in the southern part of Osaka. These kofun are scattered throughout Japan. Although they are referred to as keyhole tombs, they do come in a variety of other shapes, from Continue reading “Site 123: Osaka’s Mozu Kofungun”

Japan’s Day(s) of the Dead: Celebrating O-bon

Japan is no stranger to disaster: earthquakes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, plagues, flooding, and landslides have been a part of this island-nation’s landscape since the beginning. Even now, recent disasters as of June-August 2018 including the flooding and landslides in Continue reading “Japan’s Day(s) of the Dead: Celebrating O-bon”

The Art of Photographing Cemeteries: Part 3

For the final part of this series, I want to talk about some of the ethical issues surrounding photographing cemeteries. People have a lot of differing opinions when it comes to visiting cemeteries, and photography, or any other activity that is not quite related to the purpose Continue reading “The Art of Photographing Cemeteries: Part 3”

The Art of Photographing Cemeteries: Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about how light is probably the most important aspect of a successful photograph. Despite anyone’s preferences for a certain kind of light, the fact is any and all kinds of light have their disadvantages. The key is knowing how that light will work Continue reading “The Art of Photographing Cemeteries: Part 2”

The Art of Photographing Cemeteries: Part 1

I spend a lot of time on various cemetery blogs, SNS groups, and reading articles about cemeteries in general. There is usually a really large range of photographs, and while some are truly beautiful or moving, many more are not. Generally I find the photos that Continue reading “The Art of Photographing Cemeteries: Part 1”

The Cemetery Bucket List: Monumental Cemeteries

I read a lot of articles and blog posts about cemeteries, a lot of “top 10” and “top 20” (and numbers in between) lists that tend to feature mostly the same cemeteries again and again, and wrote about why I don’t like those types of lists here. One of my complaints for those Continue reading “The Cemetery Bucket List: Monumental Cemeteries”

Why Cemetery Top Ten Lists Suck

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against lists (or more accurately, listicles) at all, as I like reading them (and, as you’ll soon see, writing them) myself. But having looked at many a top ten (or twenty) cemetery list over the past few years, I have a few issues with many of them, Continue reading “Why Cemetery Top Ten Lists Suck”

Site 122: The Burial Mounds of Nara

Japan is an old country, and it’s capital has moved a few times. Of course now it’s currently in Tokyo, but before that was Kyoto, and before that was Nara. The establishment of the Heijō Palace palace in Nara in 538 is what is considered the beginning of the Asuka period Continue reading “Site 122: The Burial Mounds of Nara”

Site 121: Koyasan’s Okunoin Cemetery

If you know of any cemetery in Japan, it’s probably this one. Okunoin often features on the top 10 or 20 best/most beautiful cemeteries in the world to visit, and it definitely deserves a place on those lists. I first came here on New Years Eve 2001 with some friends, as they ring Continue reading “Site 121: Koyasan’s Okunoin Cemetery”

Site 120: Bishamondo Temple Cemetery

Ever notice that when you live close to a place, you kind of take it for granted? I guess you could say that’s the story of my life. I live in Kyoto but I rarely go out to explore what this city has to offer, something I’m sure most people understand – it’s hard to be a tourist in Continue reading “Site 120: Bishamondo Temple Cemetery”

Site 119: Kyoto’s Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple

Ah, hanami season. The cherry blossoms are in bloom, and so are the tourists. It’s Kyoto after all. I love living here, it has so many wonderful places to visit, but…during certain times of the year, namely March and April, and all of November, this can be a difficult place to get Continue reading “Site 119: Kyoto’s Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple”

Site 118: Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia

Two girls were lying on the floor when I entered the basilica. Did they do it on purpose, or were they so overcome by the beauty of the light that enveloped every square inch of the interior that they lost control of their legs? It’s probably the former but I’d like to think Continue reading “Site 118: Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia”

Site 117: Cemetery Vilafranca del Penedès

I decided to do a day trip out of Barcelona but had a hard time deciding where to go. Girona, Figueres, Montserrat, and Stiges tend to be the most popular places, but by this stage in my travels my body was like “enough!” – which meant that by the time I actually Continue reading “Site 117: Cemetery Vilafranca del Penedès”

Site 116: Barcelona’s Montjuïc Cemetery

Wow wow wow. This place is amazing. I don’t why this isn’t considered a major tourist attraction, the funerary art and architecture here is stunning. It hits you right as you enter the main gate at the bottom of the hill, and continues right to the top of the mountain, Continue reading “Site 116: Barcelona’s Montjuïc Cemetery”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑