Trip Information

[No Photos]
Trip Date:2009-10-26 - 2009-11-20
# Photos:159 [View]
Countries visited:Japan, Singapore
Viewed: 2549
I had some preconceived impressions of Japan before my trip to that fascinating country. Familiar to me were: Tokugawa, the Meiji restoration, Zen, geisha, samurai, Hiroshima; people like Hokusai, Kurosawa, Banana Yoshimoto, Murakami; then there was ikebana, bonsai, sushi, koto music… I had read about the changes in Japanese modern times and watched Iron Chef on TV.
But living there for a month and traveling with my friend Yoshi, who was visiting his aging parents and his friends from his school and college days, I got to stay in people’s homes and see how they live and to hear about their lives and concerns. It was a marvelous trip in a country full of natural beauty ranging from forested and snow tipped mountain ranges to endless rice paddies and vast coastal vistas, from raging rivers to intimate moss covered gardens where little brooks gurgled on their way down from their clear mountain source. I saw modern youth, dressed in latest fashion pay homage in temples and shrines while the older Japanese bemoaned the rapid changes that were altering their world and emptying towns and villages of their young.
So much to tell you and so much that space and time will not allow. Before I start I must thank my friend Yoshi for his invitation to come with him to his country and my thanks go also to his relatives and friends who showed me kindness and friendship. I met some extraordinary and unique individuals in a country which purportedly functions on conformity. Japan truly is a land of paradoxes, a place that easily touches the mind, heart and soul.