Sunday, 22 June 2014

Onigawara: The Gargoyles of Japan

I am a big fan of the kind of gargoyles that you get on old churches, cathedrals and medieval architecture in general. As far as I’m aware, gargoyles are generally a typically European thing – maybe with some appearing in American and Canadian architecture (but they probably got it from Britain and France anyway!). But when I visited Japan, in April, I discovered that they have something very similar within their traditional architecture.

“Onigawara, literally ‘goblin tile’, are decorative roof tiles typically placed at the ends of the main ridge on temple structures, shrines, and residences. […] The term is also used for decorative roof tiles in the shape of flowers or animals. The goblin-faced Onigawara is one of many decorative elements found in Japanese religious architecture. Other examples include the magical shishi (lion dog), the elephant-like Baku creature (thought to devour nightmares) and the dragon. […] Today Onigawara are found most frequently on temple structures.”Onigawara

Saturday, 21 June 2014


I will get back into proper blogging at some point… soon. I have just been really busy with moving house/town and popping over to Northern Ireland for a mini holiday, as well. Plus, I am generally trying to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts and explore my new home location – Bedford – rather than sitting at my computer!

So anyway, here’s a cool poster of Godzilla by Andy Fielding.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Northern [and, briefly, Southern] Ireland

Yep, I’d been living in my new home in Bedford for less than a week – just about settled in – before I was off travelling somewhere else. Somewhere new, in fact. Northern Ireland.

On Saturday morning I left Bedford and drove to Luton Airport where I hopped on a plane to Belfast – shortest and easiest flight I’ve ever taken. There I met Emma, a friend from Falmouth, and spent a few days with her as my guide around Belfast, the north coast and countryside, plus we also took a brief trip across the border into Ireland, to visit Dublin.

It was a wonderful weekend full of amazingly sunny weather, stunning surroundings, all manner of Game of Thrones related things and the odd leprechaun.

Saturday: Belfast
Wandering around town, The Big Fish and the Game of Thrones exhibition.

Sunday: The North Coast
The Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede, Ballintoy Harbour and the Dark Hedges.

Monday: Dublin & Armagh
General wanderings and the Leprechaun Museum in Dublin, followed by Armagh on the way home.

Tuesday: Belfast
Stormont, Titanic Belfast for the “Brick City’ Lego exhibition and City Hall.