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.
The graceful curves of a Geisha wearing a kimono. The rotund shape of a groaning sumo wrestler. The stately orange beams of a torii gate. An artistic plate of freshly caught sushi. The large eyes of a manga cartoon charter. The serenity of a perfectly raked gravel rock garden. I don’t know if there is another country that has so many single identifiable images associated with its culture. All of these images speak the word Japan as clearly as if it were yelled from the mountain tops. But if there is one iconic image that stands high above the rest when it comes to symbolizing the soul of Japan, it is Mt. Fuji.
The shrines and temples of Nikko, one of Japan’s 21 UNESCO listed sites, are an easy day trip from Tokyo. You can do a day in Nikko 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 trip experience.
The centerpiece and most visited attraction of the Nikko UNESCO World Heritage site is the Toshogu shrine. This final resting place for Tokugawa Ieyasu is like a peacock among the pigeons, an extravagant and elaborately colorful showpiece dedicated to the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for almost 300 years.
The setting sun glows off the gold leaf on Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, aptly named the Golden Pavilion. Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion – Kinkaku-Ji Temple”
The Island of Miyajima is best known for the large floating tori gate in its harbor and for the Itsikushima shrine which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the buildings that make up the Itsikushima compels is the Toyokuni Shrine which has the nick name “Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats” because of its large size.
“The best care killing scenery on the continent” is what naturalist John Muir wrote about Glacier National Park in the US and the adjoining Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. A visit to Waterton Lakes NP is an easy day trip from the US side and provides a different perspective on the mountain scenery and lakes that straddle the border between the two countries. Continue reading “A Day In Waterton Lakes National Park – Where the Prairie Meets the Mountains”
On a recent visit to London, my husband and I took a whirlwind tour through time, experiencing 5000 years of British Isles history in one day. Our tour took us to the prehistoric ruins of Stonehenge, the Roman baths in Bath, and the (relatively) modern royal residence of Windsor Castle. Continue reading “A Day with Royals, Romans and Ruins”
Exploring the Arts in Paducah , KY – A UNESCO Creativity City – Part 1
It may seem odd that the subject of an inaugural post would be about traveling to Paducah, but to a quilter this is near to being a pilgrimage to Mecca. I visited Paducah for my first Quilt Week experience this spring, and found lots of creativity besides just the quilting kind.