A Weekend in Kyoto

We wanted to take a weekend trip while my mom was visiting, partly to get out and do something fun but also to help her experience more of Japan than just Nagoya. After briefly considering a few options, the decision to take her to Kyoto was a relatively easy one. Kyoto served as the capital of Japan for nearly 1,000 years and, even though it no longer holds the political role, it still retains its place as the cultural nerve center of Japan. After all, it’s not easy to shake off 1,000 years of history.
Continue reading

Cherry blossoms and a samurai battle (just another weekend in Japan)

Whew, am I behind on updates or what? The past few weeks have been busy busy busy, what with my mom in town and all sorts of traveling and sightseeing to attend to. This time of year has more festivals than you can shake a samurai sword at, so my time has been spent doing “blog research” (nothing but the best for you) instead of on the laptop. Now that I’ve taken a nap and had a chance to sort through some photos, it’s time to work through some recent history.
Continue reading

It’s the little things

I never leave home without a camera, since I never know when I’m going to run across something that makes me smile. As a result, I’ve built quite a collection of candid photos that capture tiny aspects of our experience here. I thought I’d share some with you from the past few weeks to give you a glimpse into the little things that make life here such a unique experience. No common theme here, just a bunch of random observations to share. Without further ado…
Continue reading

In search of ume and other signs of spring

Yesterday’s temperature was nearly 10 degrees C, which was a wonderful change from the cool, rainy days of the past week or so. I’m trying not to do mental conversions and just take the temperature scale for what it is, but for the sake of understanding, that works out to about 50 degrees F. It is definitely starting to feel like spring is in the air.

The ultimate signs of spring in Japan are the famous cherry blossoms that turn the country pink and fill every square inch of park space with revelers. While it’s not quite time for the sakura to make their appearance yet, we are approaching ume (plum) blossom season. I set out on my bike towards Meijo Koen in hopes of finding some early ume flowers.
Continue reading