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A Thankful Nation

A Thankful Nation

Here’s a lovely video of the natural graciousness and gratitude of the Japanese as they are continuing to recover from last year’s earthquake.   It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 10 months, but this video shows the hope that has come out of the...
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Autumn in Kyoto

Autumn in Kyoto

We are often asked to recommend the best dates to see cherry blossoms and fall colors. and indeed, there is ample “factual” information available on the Internet on the subject.  However, nature doesn’t always co-operate with published schedules. This fall, for example, the peak of the maple colors is at least 2 weeks “late”. The hot summer is much talked about as the reason.   Whatever.  Kyoto is beautiful in any season, and one brilliant red tree at Kokedera (also known as Saihoji, the Moss Temple) today was thrilling...
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Falling Backwards into Love – Day 2

Falling Backwards into Love – Day ...

I fell back in love with Japan yesterday – on the 20 minute ride from Nagoya to Gifu, sitting backwards… Perhaps it’s the same way that you fall in love again with a spouse or a child when you almost lose them or they are going through great challenges.  Their vulnerabilities seem more tender—their idiosyncrasies seem more dear. On my last couple of trips to Japan I’d been feeling a little bit of the “I’ve seen this before” or “ok, it’s another temple”.   The delightful tile roof houses and the ubiquitous rice fields had lost their charm.  What was quintessentially...
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Travel to Beloved Japan

Travel to Beloved Japan

Right now we have been receiving outpourings of support for all of our colleagues and friends throughout Japan.  There are challenges to be faced in the north with the devastation from the earthquake, tsunami and reactor situation.  In the south, the Japanese are activity supporting their beleaguered friends and families to the north.   While travel to Japan in normal times is an opportunity to experience a culture first hand, we find comfort in knowing that the world is having an opportunity to see the Japan we know and love from afar right now.  The amazing resiliency...
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One Shot Photography

One Shot Photography

Sometimes you don’t need to take lots of shots to get the right one; sometimes it just works the first time…   Such was our day at the Great Buddha in Kamakura (Daibutsu), a place we finally got to on our last trip.  This photo was the first shot and was taken just inside the gate on an incredible fall day…
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Springtime in Matsumoto

Springtime in Matsumoto

We did manage to have a taste of spring weather and the cherry blossoms during a recent trip to Japan. One of the ways that the Japanese celebrate the cherry blossoms is by lighting up their gardens and famous places during this time. We caught the last night of the “light-up” at Matsumoto castle, where the entire castle is surrounded by rows of cherry trees and also freshly budding weeping willows (or something like a weeping willow). Matsumoto castle is one of the 12 “original” castles in Japan and it’s quite nice. We visited inside the...