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”
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.
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It is the largest quilt show in the world. Hundreds of exquisitely crafted quilts made by Japanese artists, any one of which would take home a blue ribbon in a major US quilt show. Visit the Tokyo Quilt Festival at the end of January to see the masterpieces of Japan’s best textile artists on display. Even as a non-quilter you will marvel at the detailed and delicate craftsmanship.
Ever since I watched the PBS Nature episode about Japanese snow monkeys, I hoped that one day I might be able to see them in person. When I had the chance to visit Japan in winter with my husband, we took the opportunity for a visit the Jigokudani Monkey Park from Tokyo The experience with the snow monkeys was as engaging and entertaining as anything I could have wished for. In many ways, it was like looking in a mirror.
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. Read on to find out about what to do in Miyajima as I spent a day exploring its photogenic treasures.
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. As an adult many years later, I visited the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, and encountered present day Japanese teenagers learning their history in this living classroom for peace.
I love taking reflection photos. There is something about the symmetry of a perfect mirror image that never gets old for me. Or the juxtaposition of the inside and the outside of a window reflection. As a result I am always drawn to photographing reflections. Sometimes the reflections make up the whole photo and sometimes they are just a small element, but with each trip, I always come back with a few more.
Here are my favorites from 2017, at the same time, chronicling my travels for this year.
During my trip to Japan this November, I was surprised at how many Christmas decorations I saw throughout my travels. I did not expect to find Christmas in Japan.
I was on a mission. I was in Japan again for the third time in two years, and I wanted to see – and photograph – the perfect cone shape of Mt. Fuji. I hoped that on my planned one day Kawaguchiko itinerary, I would get my wish.
The shrines and temples of Nikko, one of Japan’s 21 UNESCO listed sites, are one of the many easy options for Tokyo day trips. You can do a Nikko day trip either as a tour from Tokyo, or you can go there independently. Either option has its pros and cons. Read my recommendations for a complete Nikko day trip experience.