Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Our April Adventure


My Rare One and I just got back from Japan. Yes, JAPAN!! We were originally supposed to go last year in the spring of 2011 but a couple of weeks before our departure date, Japan suffered its horrible earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. So our trip was postponed for a year and we went in the spring of 2012 instead. Probably no other nation on earth could have bounced back as quickly or as completely as Japan but the Japanese people have coped and moved forward with their usual dedication and efficiency.

This was truly a dream trip for us. Both My Rare One and I have long been enamored of the Japanese aesthetic principles of simplicity/minimalism, reverence for nature and wabi sabi (the beauty of age, imperfection and transience), whether in art, spirituality, poetry or gardening. I can still hardly believe we saw Japan first hand! Loved it, absolutely LOVED it!

Our guided tour took us to Tokyo and then south to Mount Fuji, Matsumoto, Takayama, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima and Miyajima. We saw many wonderful Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, art galleries, museums and Japanese gardens. I'll share some of the highlights with you over the coming months.


The first photo is of Matsumoto Castle, a feudal samurai stronghold built over 400 years ago. Often called "Crow Castle" because of its black walls, it is Japan's oldest surviving castle. The second photo is of cherry blossoms and lanterns on the island of Miyajima which is near Hiroshima.

[Photos by Debra She Who Seeks]

31 comments:

laurie said...

oh my gosh! what a great trip, your photos are wonderful and I look forward to reading more.I have also a passion for Japan, we had an exchange student from Japan live with us and she has returned twice since thenas an adult, I follow two Japnaese girls blogs (young women) and I have one in particular (Musings on my blog list) she has just returned from Japan, so now I have you both to follow, excellent!

Lois said...

You are such a dark study to be able to keep that to yourself!!! Oh my goodness, a trip of a life-time! I love the movie Lost in Translation, although husband rolls his eyes when I want to watch it...

mxtodis123 said...

What a wonderful trip. The cherry blossoms must have been magnificent and that castle. Oh, how I would love to see it.
Mary

Miss Robyn said...

well.. look what happens when I am away from blogging! looking forward to reading about your trip. I have a flowering cherry here in my garden and it amazes me at the number of Japanese tourists who stop to take a photo when it is in flower. it is brilliantly beautiful and old :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i can't wait to see more! i spent lots of time in korea but have never been to japan! glad to hear you had a wonderful time!

mermaid gallery said...

wabi sabi is a wonderful aesthetic...i love that the Japanese revere handmade pottery and that their skilled and learned potters become living legends......I hope you brought back some tea bowls.....

Elena said...

HOLY CRAPOLY!!! How awesome!! Oh I can't wait to see and hear more. Ok sitting cross legged with wide eyes waiting patiently for more...

Winter Phoebe Dawson said...

Amazing! You got to do something that many people dream of but few get to do. So glad you got to partake of a beautiful experience (from what I hear).

Workingdan said...

I have always wanted to visit Japan! I am jealous! Looks like a beautiful and fascinating place to visit! I look forward to seeing more pictures.

Sulky Kitten said...

Sounds like a thrilling trip! I've never travelled that far east, but I think it would be an amazing adventure. Can you give some info on the cuisine that you enjoyed? Look forward to seeing more pics.

Robin Larkspur said...

How truly fabulous! I can't believe you didn't tell us before hand, I would have been telling everyone. THis is exciting, and I, like the others, can not wait to see more photos and hear all about the trip. You two are totally awesome!!

Snap said...

I'm so jealous. I've always wanted to go to Japan ... for as long as I can remember. Bring on the pictures!!!!

Jeanne said...

I have always admired the Japanese and their culture. And to have visited and experienced the country and the people first hand! WOW!!! Looking forward to these trip segments! :0)
P.S. Wonderful photos!

Suzie Ridler said...

Wow Debra! OMG, what a journey you have been on. I can not wait to hear all about it. Oh the cherry blossoms, how beautiful. What an opportunity to go there after a year of recovery. I can not imagine the impact that could have on a visitor.

P.S. I missed you so much!

Southpaw said...

Wow. That is pretty cool. The trip must have been awesome.

Joyful Things said...

They are stoic nation of people for sure. They have incredible dignity and sense of order and beauty. I would love to visit there and look forward to your photos and experiences! How great that you were able to travel there.

Francie said...

So that is where you disappeared to! I am really looking forward to the srories and pictures. Japan seems to have a history with very few grey areas. Everything was either very very good or very very bad. So glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip and that the japanese people are on the rebound.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I am so excited to hear all about it..and the pictures..so glad you had a great time with your rare one and are back safe and sound..you were missed..
I am going to do a Jackie's Kitchen on Canada, and am asking my canaderian friends to send a little something purely canadian to jackie's kitchen..I think I'm making either butter tarts or nanaimo's..

Tamara said...

Japan!! Wow!!! What an amazing trip!! Very cool pics you posted too. :)

Tricky Nag said...

What a great trip to go on -- especially when the cherry blossoms are out!! We were in Japan quite a few years ago and were rather underwhelmed by the thought of going. WRONG! It was beyond terrific. I can't wait to read more about your trip!!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Aha! I knew it... I thought you might be off on some glorious adventure. And JAPAN!! Wow. That is an amazing trip. What an exotic place to visit; so full of culture, so unique. I can't wait to see photos of this beautiful place, and hear more about your trip.

submerina said...

Holy damn! That's AWESOME. Don't suppose you happened upon any labyrinths while you were there?

dbs said...

Fantastic! Looking forward to future posts. *jealous face*

Riot Kitty said...

I went there with my dad, visiting some of the same places, and we had a great time. Great pictures, btw.

SUZY8-TRACK said...

Sweet! Hope you had a fabulous time!

mistress maddie said...

WOW! I was wondering where you were going!!! Talk about the trip of a lifetime! Must have been stunning.

Laura said...

amazing! What a wonderful journey!

G. B. Miller said...

This most definitely qualifies as as a fantastic reason to chuck it all in for a month.

More than looking forward to reading more posts about your vacation from reality.

Patricia Mühlbacher said...

I'm really happy to hear that their economy and general daily life is almost back to normal. I remember following the news at work, getting bad vibes from my boss. Can't believe it's been a year already.
You were so lucky to see the cherry trees in bloom, this must have been a truly unique experience. Love the castle. Cannot wait to see more of your travelogue.
hugs
Patricia from My Season's Seasoning

Blueberry said...

How wonderful!! You lucky ducks.

Holly said...

I am looking forward to further sharings of all you saw and experienced there...it's one of the places I've always thought I'd love to see! I'm so delighted you had such a good experience.