It is definitely one of the best known sights of Kyoto, with its stage on the half of the mountain dating back to 798. (as wikipedia say) The popular Japanese expression "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" is the equivalent of the English expression "to take the plunge". I think the height here is pretty high for everyone, thus it must be difficult to build. This site is also the longest duration we visit in Kyoto, about almost 3 hours.
After arriving the san-nen-zaka, we have to climb through a village filled with slopes and stairs. Then we could see the the main gate in front of us, and pay the ticket about 400 yen for entrance fee. Here firstly we could see the famous site, Torii of Jishu-jinja, a matchmaking shrine. We could see the lovestones and make a wish for matchmaking.
And the we could go through this huge stage step by step to see its various faces in different directions and distances.
Finally, we could see the Otowa-no-taki, the waterfall where visitors drink for health, longevity, and success in studies.

With Prof. Tsuhan Chen (CMU)

Prof. Tsuhan Chen (from CMU, also graduated from NTU since 1987) gives the first Keynote Speech titled "Unsupervised Discovery of Objects and Object Hierarchy in Video: Content Extraction Made Easy" at MMM 2008. After that, we three members from NTU talk with him.

Finally, we reference the abstract from his talk here:

Based on the bag-of-words representation, statistical models have recently become a popular approach to object discovery, i.e., extracting the "object of interest" from a set of images in a completely unsupervised manner. In this talk, we will outline this approach and extend it from still images to motion videos. We will propose a novel spatial-temporal framework that applies statistical models to both appearance modeling and motion modeling. The spatial and temporal models are integrated so that motion ambiguities can be resolved by appearance, and appearance ambiguities can be resolved by motion. In addition, with statistical modeling we can extract hierarchical relationships among objects, completely driven by data without any manual labeling. This framework finds application in video retrieval (e.g., for YouTube or Google Video) and video surveillance.


Just Asking The Girl Where to Go

I think it may be my personal habit to ask cute girl where I should head for even the target is just presented. That's the cleverest way to socialize with them and could be well treated as a foreigner. Besides, you could always see tiny and special local product everywhere you go in Japan, for saving money and space, I always buy them in the last minutes.

Back of Geisha

When I was naive to see this world, I always think Geisha is just a dancing girl with thick make-up. However, since I really contact with them in the MMM 2008's banquet, I found that Japanese tradition has its own splendid, just like other traditions, Sumo, Gagaku, and Tea ceremony.

Today, the traditional make-up of the apprentice geisha is one of their most recognizable characteristics, though established geisha generally only wear full white face makeup characteristic of maiko during special performances.

The traditional makeup of an apprentice geisha features a thick white base with red lipstick and red and black accents around the eyes and eyebrows. Originally the white base mask was made with lead, but after the discovery that it poisoned the skin and caused terrible skin and back problems for the older geisha towards the end of the Meiji Era, it was replaced with rice powder.

The application of makeup is hard to perfect and is a time-consuming process. Makeup is applied before dressing to avoid dirtying the kimono. First, a wax or oil substance, called bintsuke-abura, is applied to the skin. Next, white powder is mixed with water into a paste and applied with a bamboo brush starting from the neck, up. The white makeup covers the face, neck, and chest, with two or three unwhitened areas (forming a "W" or "V" shape, usually a traditional "W" shape) left on the nape, to accentuate this traditionally erotic area, and a line of bare skin around the hairline, which creates the illusion of a mask.