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Taking a Stroll

Yesterday late afternoon, the sun was still warm as I strolled/sauntered several blocks south of our apartment, to Bukko-ji, a progressive neighborhood temple, well off the tourist grid. I decided to say “saunter” because it indicates a growing self confidence and jolly spirit I have while navigating the streets of Kyoto.


Design, everywhere

While there, I met a young man who works in a store  located on the temple grounds that showcases local and regional products.  He’s studying to be a monk, while managing the store.   He was eager to speak with me; had studied photography at Long Beach State, and explained the innovative purpose of the D & Department, which has a number of branches throughout the country.  I admired the chairs they sold by Tendo, a Japanese furniture manufacturer they represent.


Drink Your Matcha

I took him up on his suggestion to try out the chair, and had a cup of matcha in the adjacent cafe outfitted with dozens of them. As I sipped my tea,  I watched local toddlers play under the watchful eyes of their moms. The kids practiced throwing stones, but thankfully not at each other or visitors.  The world seemed safe and normal. Young children are growing up strong in a protective environment here.How sad that this can seem novel.


I felt happy and almost as if I belonged in this  small, intimate and inviting piece of the Kyoto community, almost forgetting that I’m not Japanese.


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.


  • Lisa Stamm says:

    Happily I am onto your blog and it gives me such pleasure. I was thinking about next Fall but we will see what life brings. Just the thought is very satisfying. Xxx Lisa

    Sent from my iPhone


  • nagifford says:

    I loved this post. You are becoming Japanese truly… you have the soul of a Samurai…

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