A Heritage Expeditions Review – Cruising in Style on the Heritage Adventurer

I love cruising, especially small ship cruising. I also love Japan – it’s one of my favorite travel destinations. So, a cruise on the Heritage Adventurer expedition ship that took me to some of Japan’s less visited sights was a dream come true.

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A Day Trip From Tokyo For a Mount Mitake Hike – Where Nature and Religion Meet

Mount Mitake National Park is not far from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo, but with its peaceful setting, it feels a world away. I enjoyed a Tokyo day trip for a Mount Mitake hike and discovered that in Japan nature and religion come together on top of a mountain.

Mount Mitake in  Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park was a green and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Tokyo. Only 90 minutes away, it was easily accessible and provided a non touristy cultural experience as I hiked with the locals past shrines, waterfalls, and a natural moss covered rock garden.

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A Visit to Japan’s Most Sacred Island – One Day In Miyajima

I’ve been to Miyajima, Japan twice in the last few years and am sharing my experiences on how I spent one day in Miyajima.

Miyajima, Japan is most famous for the photos of its floating torii gate. But this lovely little island offers up lots of gorgeous scenery, both man made and natural. I visited Miyajima twice on recent trips to Japan and this is how I spent my day on Miyajima exploring its photogenic treasures.

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My Visit To The Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park – A Continuing Classroom for Peace

A visit to the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park should be on all Japan travel itineraries. I’ve been fortunate in that I had the opportunity to visit twice, most recently during my small ship cruise with Heritage Expeditions.

The original version of this story was recognized with an Honorable Mention in the 2018 North American Travel Journalists Association Competition in the  Historical Travel-Online category.

As a teenager, I learned about the devastating effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. On my visits to the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park as an adult many years later, I encountered present day Japanese teenagers learning their history in this living classroom for peace.

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My Favorite Unique Japanese Experiences

After four trips to Japan, these are some of my favorite unique Japanese experiences and photos from one of my favorite destinations.

Japan is one of my favorite travel destinations. I’ve visited four times in the last few years and could easily go back again and again. The unique mix of east and west in this culturally rich country continues to fascinate me.

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The Faces of Laos

In a country with beautiful scenery and a deep spiritual culture, it was the people I met along the way that I remember most. Let these Laos photos inspire you to add this Southeast Asian country to your travel bucket list.

Some of the photos in this post were recognized with awards in the 2023 North America Travel Journalists Association Excellence in Travel Journalism competition. The feature photo for this story received a Bronze award in the Cover or Feature Photo Illustration category

Laos is still one of those off-the-beaten-path countries that requires some effort to get to and even more effort to tour. As a result, I found it pleasantly uncrowded and surprisingly authentic.

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The Boats Are Back In Town – The Triumphant Return of Pandaw River Cruises

Discover why Pandaw river cruises in Southeast Asia are a one of a kind experience that keeps bringing customers back to sail with this very special cruise company.

I was sipping my Pink Lady cocktail and enjoying the brilliant orange sunset across the Mekong river over the city of Vientiane, Laos’ capital. It was the last evening of my Laos Pandaw river cruise and the day had been very hot, but now a gentle breeze was slowly cooling off the open top deck lounge.

A dragon boat sped by in the evening twilight, its crew chanting loudly as they oared in perfect unison, dipping their many paddles into the water in synchronous time to their chanting beat. Not far from our docked vessel, a local fisherman squatted on the tip of his longtail boat, checking his nets. I marveled at the ease with which he maintained his balance as he twisted and twirled on his boat’s narrow tip, his gyrations worthy of an Olympic balance beam routine.

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Experience the Kyoto Shibori Museum – Keeping an Ancient Artistic Tradition Alive

The Kyoto Shibori Museum preserves and promotes a disappearing tradition for producing decorative Japanese textiles. On a visit not too long ago, I learned that the Japanese art of shibori fabric dying is to tie dying like Leonardo da Vince’s Mona Lisa is to a paint by number canvas – it’s a whole different world of artistry. I took one of the museum’s shibori dying classes where I learned all about this ancient Japanese technique and also went home with a beautiful handmade souvenir. Continue reading “Experience the Kyoto Shibori Museum – Keeping an Ancient Artistic Tradition Alive”

PhotoPOSTcard: Colorful Portrait Session in Gion

As my husband and I walked around the Gion district of Kyoto, Japan early one morning, we came upon this colorful couple posing for formal photos. There were about four or five people involved with the staging and photography, posing the couple this way and that, fixing creases on the clothes, moving the umbrella slightly to the left, changing the white umbrella to a red one. Then it was time for photos of just the young woman by herself, with the husband?, fiance?, boyfriend? hanging out in the background, looking pretty bored. I presume this was a special and happy event for the two of them, but neither one cracked a smile the whole time. I sure hope they lived happily ever after.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose