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…

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…

rain dance

Before I moved to CA where the sun shines most of the time (Neil Diamond circa 1971) and the ground is green for a brief few months a year, I generally thought of rain as a spoiler.  I grew up with the children’s refrain “rain rain go away,” and never found a lot to appreciate…

Amen.

Who’s to say why I feel such a deep connection to Japanese places of worship, be they temples or shrines?  Is it the setting?  The architecture?  The gardens?  The rituals?  The air of mystery surrounding something I don’t understand very well? I can’t say for sure, but what I can say is that I am consistently…

Must be Seen (again and again)

You are familiar with the statement, “Must be seen to be believed.” In the case of cherry blossom season, this is not an exaggeration.  It is truly a take – your – breath – away experience to be ingested and savored. The attachment the Japanese and I have to sakura cannot be overemphasized.  Weeks before…

The Butterflies of Arashiyama

When we arrived in Arashiyama, the Kyoto landscape was still wearing its early spring colors, which is to say, mostly subdued monochrome gray.  Arashiyama (嵐山) is a pleasant, touristy district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama…