By no means off the beaten path, the fact that so many people from all walks of life and every age, make the pilgrimage to hike up Kurama mountain makes it even more beautiful. Not only is it naturally beautiful with rambling tree roots, moss and views, but it happens to be a magical mountain where legendary spirits dwell, dotted with shrines for them along the way. A very interesting hike. We wanted to walk from Kibune town over the mountain to Kurama to end with a soak at Kurama onsen as our reward for a 2 hour or so hike. < Continue reading “Taking the path well traveled in Kurama”
Jazz Music … born in New Orleans, matured in Chicago and in NYC, and absolutely killing it into adulthood in Japan !
Traveling in Japan through the lense of tea is deeply rewarding, like a delicious bowl of matcha prepared by a gracious host. But this is not just any tea. They say “the taste of tea and zen – are one.” Drinking matcha (frothy, whisked green tea), tea ceremony and practicing Zen are inseparable philosophical and spiritual experiences. You can say the culture of tea and Japanese culture are also inseparable. Continue reading “Memoirs of a tea pilgrimage”
My first experience with fire towers in the Adirondacks was probably on Ampersand Mt. This was also my very first hike (October 1996) and maybe also one of my favorites. Little did I know then that it would take almost 20 years to see another. < Continue reading “Fire-Tower On The Mountain”
They say that Geishas are one of the most misunderstood aspects of Japanese culture. But despite what you understand or do not, there is no denying the excitement you feel when you happen to finally see a real one (and I don’t mean one of those tourists that have paid to dress up like one for a day) but a real, true to life Geisha on her own turf. Continue reading “Geisha spotting in Kyoto”
Japan has perfected many things in life, but one of the best is the art of taking a bath. Taking a bath in Japan is very different than in the United States. In the U.S. we bathe to clean ourselves but in Japan you take a bath to cleanse your soul. First you take a seated shower to use soap and shampoo your hair. Once you are washed and clean – thennnn – you get into the bath for soaking your cares away. Ahhhhh…heaven. Continue reading “In hot (onsen) water”
Itadakimasu, loosely translated, means “I receive this food” and is customarily said to someone who cooks or serves your food. In a country full of rigid customs and the utmost politeness, you hear this phrase quite often. You also hear this phrase often because in Japan, food is EVERYWHERE.
Jennifer and I have shown a very picturesque side of Japan. Geishas, delicious bowls of Ramen noodles, stories of meticulously executed tea ceremony and others. Experiences and accounts that portray this country as a perfectly buffed nugget of gold. While all very accurate and true, there are some aspects of Japan we have yet to report on. In my experience these can be found in one place; Kyoto. Continue reading “Lost Kyoto “
We spent 4 nights in Kanazawa in the Teramachi temple district. When we opened our window we realized our backyard was actually a temple and could hear the temple bells ring in the morning and at night – a wonderful sound. Continue reading “Kanazawa – garden of samurais, geishas and tea”