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The first chapter of Living Life in Kyoto came to a sweet conclusion yesterday.  Upon returning home after too many hours of travel, I immediately hit my bed.  Hours later, the sweet voice of my youngest granddaughter shook me out of my stupor to regain a few hours of daylight consciousness. Sleep called again as soon as it turned dark.

When I’m happy, I tend to gush.  My husband is typically more restrained unless he’s got a fishing rod in his hand with a big struggling fish on the end of it.  I held back from telling him how successful I felt our trial run in Kyoto had been because he rarely “feels it” like I do.  However, my need to share my delight got the best of me.

me:  Wasn’t it any amazing two weeks? him: Yeah, it was fun.

emotional options

Ok, that’s what you get when you marry two people whose emotional responses to events are on opposite ends of the spectrum. But, I’ll take it. From my point of view,  our Kyoto trial was a great success and the truth was, my husband seemed happy too.

kaiseki 2

kaiseki, the Ultimate in Japanese haute cuisine.

izakaya, Japanese pub cusisine.

izakaya, Japanese pub cuisine.

Dan takes his restaurant hunts and discoveries very seriously and I happily relied on him to find a place for us to eat each night.  With literally dozens and dozens of wonderful options right our our front door, he relished the task of checking out every restaurant entry we passed that looked intriguing. He made lists and even a map. That to me says, Engagement.

Kyoto is a gourmand’s heaven and our apartment is at ground central.  From tofu to soba to kaiseki to izakaya to french pastries, pizza and home made green tea soft serve, it’s all there at our eager fingertips.

Japanese French bakery

Japanese French bakery

Of course, enthusiastic indulging does have it’s downside.  blowfish

We did have a few challenges but nothing that wasn’t overcome with the help of some  very dear friends who remained close by to speak and translate Japanese and explain the system to us as needed.

Physically, my biggest challenge is the development of painful blisters on my feet that begin to plague me after a few days of heavy duty walking.  This unfortunate situation happens a lot to me.  This trip, I broke down and bought myself a pair of crocs, but even that didn’t prevent the blisters from getting worse.  I’m going to have to find a solution for that somehow, because by the end of these last two weeks I was walking  like a VERY old woman.  I’ve got about one month to heal and locate a better pair of walking shoes until my feet will be put to the test on a return visit yo Japan in mid-June!  Bring it on.old woman walking

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Fabulous, what a webpage it is! This blog presents useful
    facts to us, keep it up.

  • Sheri Overall says:

    Welcome home Dianne and Dan! Thanks for the wonderful stories during your adventures. XO Sheri

  • Carol Kosterka says:

    I would love to meet fora coffee and share the love of Kyoto! Are you free any day next week?

  • Irene says:

    I love the concept of a Japanese French bakery… Welcome home and hope that you find that perfect pair of walking shoes.

  • Manel Ratnayaka says:

    Nice to have you back! What are you doing or where are you the week end after July 4 th?

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