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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.IMG_2794


Respect for and tolerance of others are a commonly agreed upon bond that is shared by almost everyone. Kindness prevails. People seem to smile more often than at home. I awaken earlier.  Singing too!  Rereading this, it sounds like I’ve fallen in love!


schoolgirls in the bamboo forest.


For those of you who have come along for the recent ride, thank you so much for your interest and enthusiastic responses to my blog. I have discovered that I truly enjoy writing and taking photos as well. Blogging makes my own experience richer and more considered. The iPhone allows me to take hundreds and hundreds of photos with nary a thought about wasting money on film and development costs. What a luxury!

During our stay, the days grew shorter giving me a perfect excuse to light a Japanese candle during sake hour ( a daily event.) The leaves changed colors a little earlier than anticipated.  The temperature lowered and people out and about wrapped themselves in warm scarves and warm coats. End of year decorations began to be displayed.  The month was up.

japanese ornament

My final week in Kyoto, thoughts turned towards reuniting with my family while consoling myself that I’ll be returning in the spring.  I’m so grateful to be able to continue our visits to Japan. It’s providing continual nourishment for my aesthetic sense, reignited my sense of wonder and discovery and in ways that I cannot explain, enhanced my spirituality.  Just like love!IMG_1040

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.


  • devapnek says:

    So glad you’ve enjoyed it, David!

  • dbsite33 says:

    Beautifully expressed, visually and written!!

  • devapnek says:

    So glad to be of help! Hope you get to return.

  • Linda Mason says:

    A visit to Japan goes all the way in. I am so grateful I got to spend 2 weeks there several years ago and the experience has remained with me like no other place. Thanks for the reconnection.

  • Judi Miller Wallner says:

    I can understand this kind of love…the one that has so much beauty that you walk around it again and again and each time it thrills you…yes this is Japan and some other special moments. Thanks for taking me back to them Dianne.

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