Party Time in Kyoto

What better time or place to throw a party than in the spring at our apartment in Kyoto?  We had friends CA friends visiting Kyoto for a few days, my more-than-able-son-in-law visiting and several Kyoto friends we were eager to see again. At the suggestion of a friend, we easily decided on a party.  We…

Fire!!

What a difference a week makes. Last week I was revelling in the grandeur of the great outdoors. This week I’m sequestered from it, seldom venturing out-of-doors because of the proximity of a fire. The streets of our city are now relatively deserted. Two weeks before Christmas. The people who are venturing out are wearing…

December Gift

December, Santa Barbara, CA, late afternoon, low low tide. I stand on the edge of North America gazing out at the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. Other creatures such as surfers, sea gulls, ibis, ecstatic dogs, photographers and ordinary strollers are there as well. We all meet just at the edge of the continent, where…

It’s Almost Like Being in Love

When I’m in Japan, people seem nicer, the landscape more beautiful, the mundane more interesting. The giggling groups of young women enjoying each other’s company help me to appreciate how fleeting youth is.  The laughs I share with new friends are more frequent. The reds are redder, the golds more golden. Respect for and tolerance…

Traveling with Robert

There’s always something wonderful waiting at the end of the drive when you’re lucky enough to join Robert Yellin on a visit to a few potters. I met Robert many years ago when he helped to guide tour groups to ceramic areas. We’ve remained friends, and each time we visit Kyoto,I look forward to meeting…

Tourists Be Gone! Children Can Stay.

After almost four weeks here, we finally tore ourselves away from the allure of Kyoto  Several Kyoto friends seemed surprised that we had never been to Hiroshima and the close by ancient and celebrated shrine on the island of Miyajima. It was a relatively simple overnight trip that easily met our expectations,  once the crowds…

I am SO Sorry.

(Note to readers:  The reality I witnessed when visiting Hiroshima today was harsh.  My reflections are harsh as well. It is not my intention to offend, rather to awaken.) There’s no way to put a soft gel on the results of dropping a nuclear bomb on a crowded civilian population. My mind instantly rejected any…

I’m Sorry, What’s Your Name??

You think you have trouble remembering names? Just try remembering the names of a few dozen of the 1600 temples that are here in Kyoto! After dozens of years of visits, I’m still often in a state of confusion when it comes to identifying which temples I’ve visited. It frequently happens that I don’t think…

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friend

The Situation By the 7th week since my last haircut, I am badly in need of one. It only gets worse as the days go on. What to do when you’re in a foreign country? I’ve had a few hair cutting experiences abroad that weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either. With short hair I…

Less than Two Miles in 4.5 Hours

When Danny suggested that we walk to an antique store we like to visit here on the opposite side of town, it seemed like a fine idea.  The weather was mild, the mid-November sun warm and inviting.  And we both could use the excercise. Taking an A to B walk in Kyoto is hypothetically an…

Meanwhile, Only in Japan at Takarazuka

Who and What is Takarazuka?? Yikes!  This really exists! (for full affect, do watch the videos.) Part of what endears Japan to me is the seemingly never-ending discoveries to be made at both ends of the spectrum from the sublime to the ridiculous.  A few days ago we travelled out of Kyoto to attend a…

Serendipity Strikes Again

A small blurb in a local magazine caught my eye and I  thought it would be worth checking out: Autumn Book Fair is held by the Used Book Society of Kyoto which consists of many of Kyoto’s used booksellers at Chion-ji Temple in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto city. Throughout the event, the usually quiet temple compound is…

In Search of Beauty

I awakened in Japan this morning to learn of the terrorist outrage in lower Manhattan.  It’s not the news any of us want to see wherever we are.  We live in times that can easily be called disheartening.  I have felt the encroaching darkness  for several months for reasons that don’t require illumination. Anyone with…