Japan : Beauty

Japan has swept me off my feet. I am blown away by the infinite beauty I sense everywhere.

We have traveled through the country from town to town, saving the big cities Tokyo and Kyoto for the last part of the trip. When finally arriving in Kyoto it was the culmination of everything and beauty especially. Aesthetics and visual arts are definitely worth studying in Japan, however they are not my primary focus in this post. Watch the slideshow at the bottom of the post or go directly to the flickr set (in progress).Itsukushima-jinja

I feel the japanese culture is permeated with what in essence is beauty. Beauty in the shape of loving care, consideration and attentive humbleness, flowing through everything. Like a thread from the spirituality of the countless temples and shrines all through to the careful way money is exchanged in a shop.

Our purpose of the trip to Japan is to experience Sakura, the blossoming of cherry trees, and the festive Hanami when all japanese go and sit in the parks under the cherry blossoms.
In lack of language we quickly learned the word for thank you ‘Arigato’ and used it repeatedly in all situations, in an almost excusing way to cover our rude western behavior and missing knowledge of japanese culture and manners.

The Shinkansen train being one of our first japanese experiences, we were affected by the respectful bows of the train crew each time they entered and left the train carriage. Continuing on our trip I soon tried to incorporate little respectful bows myself when moving around and interacting amongst people in Japan.
See also post Shining Shinkansen

And then we were introduced to the phenomenon of Wabi-Sabi.
In short this speaks about the beauty in the imperfection and impermanence of all things. An example is about a tea cup that has gotten a little crack. In stead of throwing the cup away, a little gold is added to the crack, enhancing the flaw and making the whole cup more beautiful. Wauw!

This made the beauty of Japan make sense in another inexplicable way. And adding another little brick of understanding the intriguing japanese culture.
It was confirming my feeling of beauty interweaved with a deeper universal meaning.
Beauty with a spiritual dimension, sensing the spirit that permeates through the japanese culture, and the deep respect and care for people, the world and all actions.
All adding to the beautiful whole.

The spirit of beauty. Full of meaning. Very beautiful.
[ultimate-photo source=”flickr” type=”set” set=”72157631053447928″ uid=”70387739@N00″ display_link=”1″ size=”640″ style=”slideshow” num=”20″ slideshow_style=”2″ fixed_height=”1″ remove_np=”1″ align=”center” ]

Shining Shinkansen

First impressions: A fine and strange country. We have only been here a few days on a trip lasting several weeks. One of our first encounters with japanese life was the bullet train Shinkansen. It came quietly rolling in at the platform and I loved it immediately. The cool shiny appearance and beautifully shaped long white nose made my heart beat faster. Certainly different from the flat-nosed or rather nose-less danish trains.
These photos are from our second Shinkansen trip, at the train station in Okayama on the way to Hiroshima.
Okayama Shinkansen platformAbove: Getting the last snacks and provisions for the trip.
Below: See how perfectly the japanese line up in an orderly row in good time before the train arrives.

Then at the end of the trip I had a little incident leaving the train. Because of our big luggage and not yet understanding the ‘rules’ for getting on and off the train, we didn’t make it getting out in time with the rest of the descending passengers. People started entering, making it impossible for us to move closer to the exit with our large suitcases.

When we finally arrived at the door, it was about to close. We hurried out but my suitcase got stuck in the door after I just managed to get out. I pulled the suitcase as hard as I could and pushed on the door.
A western couple behind me inside the train also wanted to get out and together we somehow forced the train doors open. Phew! I got my suitcase and they got out

We learned a lesson: to prepare and be ready to get off the train before the other passengers. Because when all passengers have boarded the train, the doors close!

But it IS beautiful: Just look at that nose ♥

Get a colour boost in Århus

your rainbow panorama
ARoS rainbow changes the view on the town of Århus.

The luminous circle on top of the ARoS art museum in Århus works as an energizer for me. Experiencing the world completely immersed in brightly coloured light is remarkably wonderful and vitalizing.

The rainbow on top of the AROS Art Museum in Århus is a new landmark for the town of Århus as well as for the art museum. It is itself an artwork by the artist Olafur Eliasson, called Your rainbow panorama, and allows you a walk round and look out over the town through coloured glass.

Nothing like it

I haven’t seen anything like it before. The consistent use of colours is really a unique experience, and not only from the inside of it. Århus is a hilly town so you can see the bright colours of the circle from far away and in unexpected angles. I often get pleasantly surprised when it emerges around a corner somewhere in town; it makes a strong impression and I have to stop for a little and take it in.

ARoS Art Museum
The rainbow on top of the art museum is visible from many angles around Århus. Here from Vester Allé.

 Energizing colours

There is something both very calming and energizing about visiting the rainbow. The mix of colours, light and the position high above the ground all together has a magic effect on me. When I look at the other visitors they are looking just as amazed and especially the young and old seem to find their inner playful child, awe and wonder.

your rainbow panorama
Access from the rooftop.

Colour science

The rainbow is a whole study in colour. In this circle the contrasting colour is in the opposite side of the circle. Red facing green, blue facing orange and so on.

your rainbow panorama

Learn more about the Raibow and Aros here