Monday, June 9, 2014


Hans & Rivian, Tennoji Temple, Yanaka, Tokyo

This was my first trip to Japan.  My Husband Hans lived there in the '60's and I have always wanted to go there with him, so in April we went.  What a thrill to once again visit a completely new culture where everything is different and exciting!  As I had read, the Japanese are extremely polite and their attention to detail is amazing. 

We landed in Haneda airport, Tokyo where we spent four days before taking the train to Kyoto for four more including a day trip to Nara where we visited Todai-Ji & saw the largest buddha in the world, Vairocanaafter feeding the deer* in the deer park which we would not have missed!
We moved around with our feet, train* and plenty of taxis, (more than we usually take)! The drivers wear white gloves, have lace doilies on the seats and the doors open electronically controlled by the driver.

The first day we went Harajuku* which is known internationally as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. The second day we were fortunate to be guided by a lovely Lady by the name of Katsuyuri Kuriyama* connected to Tokyo Free Guide. With Katsuyuri we took the train to Yanaka, one of the oldest areas of Tokyo where we were supposed to visit a Contemporary Art Gallery which unfortunately was closed! We visited Tennoji Temple* and Yanaka cemetery* which of course is very different from western cemeteries! 

We saw numerous beautiful children* in Japan, many in their school uniforms.  They seemed to me to be especially lovely! Please notice the pictures below of the children and especially the baby Girl* Ayano, with whom I fell in love on the train to Kyoto.

I was impressed with the lovely eye-pleasing presentation of food in Japan, however, I hate to admit that the Ramen, noodle soup* was a disappointment to me.  I am not accustomed to the strong fish base that they use for so much of their food and also the prevalence of pork & beef in even much of their sushi. I did enjoy some extremely fresh & great tasting sushi, yakatori,* rice noodles etc. I also took a liking to Matcha, powdered green tea.(pic of me with some sweet Ladies)*from whom I purchased the Matcha.
Sweets are to be found everywhere!  They are as beautiful as in Paris, but not always as tasty, ( to the unfamiliar tongue).  It must be said that when one is not used to a flavor such as bean paste the food is often not as delectable as it looks. I did buy some unusual and delicious candies in Gion,* an ancient entertainment district in Kyoto.* I only wish that I would have brought some home with us, I could be munching on them as I write! 

In reference to Gion, we were delighted by the exqusitie costumes and grace of Geishas,* traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance and games. We enjoyed seeing them promenade all around Gion which is known for their Geishas. They were happy to pose for me and smiled and even interacted with us as I photographed them!* 

Finally, we were so fortunate because the Sakura* (cherry blossoms) bloomed the entire time we were in Japan!  Also, the elusive and renown Fuji San,(Mt. Fuji)* made herself visible to us on three occasions, from our hotel window our very first day, and on the train going to and returning from Kyoto. 

All in all, it was an exciting and gratifying experience that I will never forget!
I hope that you get a feel of the wonderful Country Japan through seeing some of my photos!

*signifies picture below

me taking pic @ Haneda airport









train, Tokyo
Udon Man & My Man
Hans, Rivian & Katsuyuri Kuriyama

Yanaka Cemetery

Tennoji Temple

Buying Matcha

Rivian & Ayano


Gion, Kyoto

Yakatori, Gion

Gion, Kyoto

Geisha, Kyoto

Geishas, Kyoto

Hans, Geishas, Kyoto

Rivian feeding deer, Nara

Vairocana, Todai-ji, Nara


Tokyo from our hotel