Tuesday, 21 September 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 21 September 2021 - T for Tuesday - T for temples, geisha's, a guzheng and a hike

 Hello lovely ladies, It's Tuesday again and time to meet over a nice drink (or two). While we're sipping our beverage, I would like to show you two postcards from Japan. The first one was sent by Riel (Little Flower) and it features the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple in Kyoto.
Riel mentions it's one of the most popular, famous and crowded temples in Japan and that it is included in the UNESCO WHS list.

Wikipedia writes: Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period.[2] The temple was founded in 778 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu.[3] There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.[4][5]

It was originally affiliated with the old and influential Hossō sect dating from Nara times.[6] However, in 1965 it severed that affiliation, and its present custodians call themselves members of the "Kitahossō" sect.[7]

The main hall has a large veranda, supported by tall pillars, that juts out over the hillside and offers impressive views of the city. Large verandas and main halls were constructed at many popular sites during the Edo period to accommodate large numbers of pilgrims.[8]

The popular expression "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" is the Japanese translation of the English expression "to take the plunge".[5] This refers to an Edo-period tradition that held that if one were to survive a 13-meter (43-foot) jump from the stage, one's wish would be granted. During the Edo period, 234 jumps were recorded, and of those, 85.4% survived.[5] The practice was prohibited in 1872.[5]

Beneath the main hall is the Otowa waterfall, where three channels of water fall into a pond. Visitors can catch and drink the water, which is believed to have wish-granting powers.

The temple complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi, a god of love and "good matches".[4] Jishu Shrine possesses a pair of "love stones" placed 10 meters (30 feet) apart,[9] which lonely visitors can try to walk between with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other stone with their eyes closed implies that the pilgrim will find love, or true love.[10] One can be assisted in the crossing, but this is taken to mean that a go-between will be needed. The person's romantic interest can assist them as well.

 The site is particularly popular during festivals (especially at New Year's and during obon in the summer) when additional booths fill the grounds selling traditional holiday foodstuffs and souvenirs to throngs of visitors.[11]

In 2007, Kiyomizu-dera was one of 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World.,[12] but was not picked as one of the seven winning sites.

The stamp on the left is (I think) a mandarin duck, and down the side are the words International Letter Writing Week.
October 9 is World Post Day, commemorating the date in 1874 that the Universal Postal Union was established. The week surrounding this date is also marked as International Letter Writing Week.
The whole series for that year looks like this:

The stamp on the right (on my postcard) is a woman playing a guzheng. This is a guzheng:

It's a Japanese zither.
Here is a Youtube video to hear the sound of this instrument
This stamp series (of musical instruments) looks like this:

My second postcard is also from Japan and it features the Miyako Odon dances  of the Gion geisha, held during April. This annual event is the first sign of the coming spring in Kyoto.

Japan’s geisha are famous the world over, but as they usually perform only at small private gatherings in the teahouses of the geisha districts, it’s not often that visitors from overseas get to see them. Even having deep enough pockets to pay for a private geisha party isn’t good enough – you need an introduction from an existing client in order to gain admittance to the private and exclusive world of the geisha. Fortunately, Kyoto’s geisha communities put on annual public shows, which provide an opportunity for less-privileged ordinary people to see the geisha perform their arts. The most famous of these performances is the Miyako Odori, at which the geisha of the Gion Kobu geisha community perform.

Geiko and Maiko

Geiko are women trained in dance and music, with an emphasis on grace, beauty and dignity. (Kyoto geisha prefer to be called ‘geiko’ meaning ‘arts child’, rather than ‘geisha’, which means ‘arts person’.) Geiko communities are very traditional, and are governed by strict rules, and the Gion Kobu community is perhaps the most conservative of all. Geiko begin their careers as apprentices called ‘maiko’, usually aged fifteen. From then on, they move into a geiko house, and dedicate their lives to the geiko world. First they are trained in conduct becoming of a geiko – bowing deeply to show respect to their seniors, and undertaking everyday tasks with grace and elegance. They then move on to training in the geiko’s arts, such as music, dance and calligraphy, and they begin to join the geiko in entertaining clients in Kyoto’s teahouses. Around the age of twenty, maiko graduate from their apprenticeship, and become fully-fledged geiko.

The stamps are very pretty. 
The man on the brown stamp is the founder of the Japanese Postal System. 
Baron Maejima Hisoka (前島 密, January 24, 1835 – April 27, 1919), born Ueno Fusagorō (上野 房五郎), was a Japanese statesman, politician, and businessman in Meiji-period Japan. Maejima founded the Japanese postal service, and is known as Yūbin Seido no Chichi (郵便制度の父), or "Father of the Postal System".

Then there is another Letter Writing Week stamp. This time from 2020.

After having 'been' to Japan, we travel back with the intention of visiting Elizabeth and Bluebeard's T-Party. 

My qualifier for this T-Party is my Kombucha. I still make it regularly. Here are some bottles I did this week. They have to stay sealed like this for at least two weeks for their second fermentation.
Sometimes there is a duff bottle, and then we hear a loud 'Bang! and then we know another bottle has exploded. It happened a few times last year. This year only once (last week).

It makes a lot of mess. And the glass shards fly everywhere.

Here is a bottle that definitely didn't explode. We have finished drinking it and I am keeping the bottle so I can buy the same one again as we both like it.

It is Port of course.

On Friday I showed pictures of our excursion to the Alhambra in Granada, and today I will show some pictures of the mountain hike I did on Sunday.

I am wearing the pink top.

Most participants were young people, and there were a few families with children.  Apart from my gym teacher and me, there was nobody over 50.
This is a very old and tall pine.
The mountain was called La Sagra.

Standing on top of the world!
I like walking with my sticks.

That wraps it up for me. 
Happy T-Day all!


  1. Beautiful photos of your hike. Enjoying nature, socializing and getting exercise is a great way to stay young.
    I loved seeing all the Japanese themed postcards and stamps this week. The zither is a beautiful instrument and one that I would love to learn if I had extra time.
    It has still been ages since I make Kombucha. it is on my to-do list now that the children are back in school. Yours must be so fizzy to explode. The more fizz the better!
    Happy Tea Day,

  2. Your hike looks like fun!
    I love kombucha but have been scared to make my own. I was even gifted a SCOBY once. I started the process but was afraid to drink what I made. What a mess the exploding bottle made! I wonder if you set the bottle in a box while fermenting so if it exploded the glass would be contained.
    Happy T day

  3. This is a beautiful post. I have been to Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. I was there is 2009 and was fortunate to be the guest of the Toho bead company. They treated us like royalty. There were 4 of us. Anyway after spending 2 weeks with them we ventured off for another 2 weeks on our own. I fell in love with Japan and had I not been married I would have packed up and moved there. We did see the geisha during the day walking the streets and shopping. They were highly protected. Beyond beautiful including the younger girls training. Thank you for bringing back some nice memories for me. So glad you went on a hike.

  4. I loved the visit to the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple in your write-up, which reminded me of my own visit there, which was in autumn when the leaves were changing, so very special. We were once treated to an amazing kai-seki dinner with an attendant Maiko as a hostess.

    The walk in Spain is also beautiful. I love the Alhambra!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  5. I loved reading about the geishas Lisca. When I went with school to Japan we visited Kyoto. Unfortunately not that shrine but we did manage to catch a view of a couple of geishas. We were the first school trip to have actually seen any in all the years they visited as part of the sister city exchange program. And boy, that explosion sure makes a mess. I'm going off to read last FRiday's post because I one would like to visit the Alhambra, so I am curious. Your hike looks pretty and like a little workout too. I hope you have a wonderful T day Lisca. Hugs-Erika

  6. I am in awe of those two postcards from Japan. As soon as I started reading about them, I thought of Erika who got to visit Japan a few years ago. I had never heard of that temple, but it is obvious others have.

    I enjoyed seeing your hike, but was surprised there wasn't a single person wearing a mask.

    Just my luck if I ever tried to make kombucha, it would definitely blow up on me. I'm glad you are brave, dear. Thanks for sharing the two postcards from Japan, the stamps, your hike, and your kombucha with us for T this Tuesday, Lisca.

  7. Interesting facts again, another history-lesson :-)
    Oh, boy, such a bottle would give me a heart attack!
    Nice hike, and it seems to be warm!
    Have a happy T-Day!

  8. Hi Lisca, you got 2 beautiful postcards again. In Düsseldorf we have a very large Japanese community, complete with temple, gardens and many social activities. Sorry the bottle exploded, what a mess. But combucha is good, I used to make it back in the 90s. Your hike on the top of the world looks wonderful. Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

  9. Wow - yur walk looks amazing - the country is beautiful!!! Fun to see pictures of you too. Great drink pictures - happy T-day!
    So much informatio to be learned from your postcards and stamps! I alway learn so much and they are so interesting. Thanks for sharing them.

  10. Lisca what a lovely walk it must have been, gorgeous scenery too.
    I enjoyed reading about Japan, I wouldn’t be brave enough to jump off the stage, ha,ha, beautiful stamps too.
    My husband used to make beer and sometimes that would explode, not a pretty sight coming home to dark beer running down the walls on the stairs.
    I’m trying to remember what you made the drink from
    Happy T day
    Jan S

  11. Such a beautiful temple and I love all the postage stamps! Your hike looks amazing, nice to walk amongst nature with friends 😁. Wishing you a Happy T Day! Hugs Jo x

  12. I've never had Kombucha, but making it sounds exciting. I used to have walking poles like yours and am not sure what happened to them. They just didn't make one of the moves, that's my guess. If I could commit to walking I'd get more. That's a beautiful view!

    Happy T Tuesday!

  13. Beautiful post Lisca, your hike looks like allot of fun too. Didn't know your kombucha would explode-this drink was very popular back in the late 80's and early 90's I tried it but my body didn't like it at all. I see now they have many flavors. Happy T and wishing you a good week hugs Kathy

  14. You are in the older ones, and you are leading the whole pack! Kudos to you for keeping in such great shape! It looks like a great hike.
    This is the second blog about something in Japan! I didn't get the memo. Great post cards and stamps. Great post. Happy T Day!

  15. Yikes what a mess the exploding bottle makes. Gorgeous views from your hike and you in the lead. You go, girl! Happy T Day

  16. The Kiyomizu-dera temple looks lovely, that would definitely be a place I'd like to visit if I ever find myself in Kyoto. I have never had kombucha - wow, I hope those bottles don't explode when someone is standing right next to them! Lovely hike, it looks like a rather rough terrian which I like.

  17. These Japanese stamps are just lovely, aren't they. Thanks for your visit, to answer your question, yes I have done a lot of sewing, but not lately, but over the years, so I have a lot of saved tweed pieces. They are still sitting where they were last Tuesday lol, I haven't got very far with my project yet unfortunately. Happy T Day! Elle/EOTC xx