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Zoned Out – Day 6

Zoned Out – Day 6

Today in Kyoto we had cloudy humid weather, light traffic around town and a radiation reading of — oh, wait, Kyoto isn’t even in the “zone”.   Every day in the Japan Times, on the second page I think, there is a map of about 1/2 of Japan with concentric circles radiating out (ha!) from Fukushima.  Today’s reading for Tokyo was .064 microseiverts per hour.   Today’s reading for Sendai was .074.   Today’s reading for Nagano was .041.    Today’s reading for Shizuoka was .040.   And that’s as far west as the circles go...
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Festive Kyoto – Day 5

Festive Kyoto – Day 5

Today was an unusual confluence of festival events, with the annual Aoi Matsuri and the Mifune Matsuri both falling on the same day.   Matsuri is basically the Japanese word for Festival and Kyoto’s festivals are some of the most elaborate in Japan, with spectacular costumes, floats, horses, drums, and more.   They’re not festivals in the sense of all day eating. carnival booths, fireworks, etc.   The festival activities are, like much of Japan, quite structured and predictable.  We took in both in a whirlwind day. Starting at promptly 10:30, the first...
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Cultural Immersion Visits: Gold Leaf Artist

Cultural Immersion Visits: Gold Leaf Art...

This is the first video we did, and still one of my favorites. This work is so amazing…
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Cultural Immersion Visits: Yuzen Dyer

The series of videos that we’ve been working on is starting to come together.  Here is the one from the November 2010 trip to Kyoto about a Yuzen dyer who is creating some amazingly contemporary pieces using traditional techniques.
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Stones out the Window

Stones out the Window

One of the really wonderful things about traveling in Japan is the sudden bursts of the Japanese aesthetic when you least expect it.   Because I needed to inspect a large number of hotels on a recent trip to Japan, I found myself going in and out of a wide variety of places, some of them quite simple and even some that westerners would consider tacky.  Not all the hotels in Japan are minimalist escapes from the day-to-day.   But there is one thing that I noticed on many of my inspections that I found quite charming – which is the unexpected and hidden gems that...