Archive for June, 2010

My Trip to Japan

June 27th, 2010 No comments

My husband and I had a wonderful time in Japan but I couldn’t ignore some interesting differences.  We stayed at a Japanese inn that was part of a Buddhist Temple up in the mountains one night.  It was a typical Japanese accomodation with tatami mats, futons to sleep on and a low table.  Our host showed us how to stay warm with the space heaters and a futon around the table.  I’m posting a picture to see how it looked.  Kerosene heaters are widespread as very few homes have central heating.  There is also a heater under the table so you can wrap yourself in the futon and stay warm.  This is quite common but one of the fire inspectors I showed the picture to was taken aback.

Japanese inn

Japanese inn

We also visited many temples and shrines.  Our guides told us that many of them are replicas of what had been there before.  Apparently many of them burn down periodically and then are rebuilt. Some temples have been replaced numerous times over the centuries (they are wooden structures).  The biggest danger of fire comes from lightning. If you look closely on the left of the picture of the temple, you can see lightning rods.

The Japanese were very advanced in earthquake technology.  We saw temples built almost 800 years ago that had withstood earthquakes because of how the foundation was built.  I was told that when a temple burns down and is rebuilt, the foundation is built to withstand earthquakes even though modern fire prevention methods e.g. sprinklers are not part of the replacement temple.

Buddhist temple

Buddhist temple

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