Saturday, May 26, 2007

One Week's Journey- Nikko, Kyoto & Matsumoto

Sunday, May 20th, we took a bus tour northeast of Tokyo to Nikko- Shogun country. The Toshogu Shrine and Pagoda are set in an old growth cedar forest. We enjoyed the scenary of Lake Chuzenzi.
Monday, I took the Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto and stayed in a traditional ryokan with tatami mat flooring and a futon for sleeping. I loved the ryokan's NE neighborhood with the Kamo Rivier walk with its local use for cycling, walking, practicing musical insturments, relaxing, jasmine and bird watching. Bicycles are a major mode of transportation in local communities.

A few sight seeing highlights of Kyoto- Kinkaku-ji or Golden Temple, the Heain Shrine garden and the bamboo forest at Shoren-in. Upon opening the door of Saiun-Do, a traditional Japanese painting supply store, I felt like I walked into Old World Kyoto. The Fujimoto family has owned the store since 1863 and has sold art supplies for Japanese painting to artists all over the world. The selection of brushes, inks, paints, etc. was amazing and a feast for the eyes and imagination.
Saturday, we visited 16th century Matsumoto Castle. On the way, we got our first glimpse of Mt. Fuji and Japan Alps. Today, we're off on the subway to Design Festa at Tokyo Big Sight Convention and Exhibition Center with 6,000 artists displaying their work. Tomorrow, Memorial Day, we go to Hakone and Mt Fuji. It may be another week before you get a travel update. This next week I go to Koyason and Takayama- to the mountains. Sayonara for now.

1 comment:

Judy Wise said...

Oh Paula, your photographs are so wonderful. They take me back to that beautiful country that seems so far away and so exotic now. But you are there; imagine that! You must be having the most amazing experiences. Thank you for sharing them with us who are temporarily earthbound here in Oregon; it lifts the heart to see where you are and to hear about your travels.