Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Japan (Page 1 of 50)

Sunrise at the Summit

Please grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and settle in for the yarn I’m about to spin. It’s a pretty epic tale.

Thursday morning, I picked up our rental car at 7am. After that, I met up with Marianne and her son, Anthony. We were on the road to the Fuji Hokuroku Parking lot by 7:30am. We arrived just before 10am. So far, everything was going according to our plans. We were all a little bothered by the clouds as we approached, but choose not to acknowledge them. Before catching the bus, we changed into our climbing gear, bought our round trip bus tickets to the 5th station, and had a small lunch snack. Please notice the clouds covering Mt. Fuji in the background.

We boarded the bus by 10:30 and we were leaving 5th station to begin our ascent by 11:30. Thirty minutes ahead of our estimated schedule.

All was looking good. Until about 15 minutes into our hike, it started to rain. By the time we reached the 6th (45 minutes later) we decided we should donn our rain gear.

And so it began. The ascent to Fujisan Hotel a 4-5 hour climb in the rain. Oh, wait. I forgot to mention the wind. The wind was ridiculous. Several times I thought one of us was going to be blown off the mountain. It was intense.

The rain created another problem, too. Several of the lower stations would not stamp hiking sticks when it was raining. Talk about insult to injury! We were really bummed at the first couple stations. Fortunately, the rain let up a little and the number of hikers thinned and the stations further up would take the time to dry our sticks before stamping them. This picture was at the first station that would stamp our sticks. We were so happy!

As we climbed, the weather remained our enemy. There were several times when we were all ready to quit. We were cold, wet, and exhausted. Personally, I had to have some serious internal conversations with myself to “be cool” and “you got this” and push through step by step. I felt so badly for Marianne and Anthony. They were so excited for the climb. It’s hard to remain positives down motivated when you’re walking through clouds.

Finally, we made it to the Fujisan Hotel. We were all at a breaking point. But, there was no time for that. It was time for dinner. Curry and rice. I’m not sure I’ll ever eat Japanese curry again and not think of that meal.

After dinner, we were given instructions on where to change our clothes and then escorted to our beds. Our beds were interesting. It was like a huge slumber party with 100+ people we had never meet. But, it’s also Japan, so it was really quiet. The three of us decided to crawl into our bunks to warm up (the hut wasn’t heated). I realize now, I forgot to take pictures of the set up. Forgive me, I was in survival mode. The three of us were snuggled together with another group of hikers on either sides. We were on the lower bunk of a huge room with bunk beds on either side. There were no dividing lines between your bunk and your neighbors. Each person had a sleeping bag, heavy blanket and pillow. It was up to each individual to be respectful of your neighbor’s personal space. Marianne and I made an Anthony sandwich. My biggest surprise was how much and well I actually slept. I attribute it to the exhaustion, cold and nightcap. Marianne and I enjoyed a beer and discussed the day’s harrowing adventures before turning in. Before heading back to our bunks, we went out to check the weather. The wind was still blowing and gusting as strong as ever, but it had stopped raining!

Knowing we had a 2am wake up, we were falling asleep by 7pm. I woke up once and Anthony and I used the toilet. Oh, I haven’t mentioned this yet. The toilet is outside and adjacent to the hut. Plus, you have to pay ¥200 ($2.00) per person each time you use the toilet even with reservations! And did they ever stink! Ugh. What an experience. Anyways, I did wake several times during the night to someone snoring or talking, but each time I fell back to sleep quickly. Fortunately, I didn’t hear the person puking from altitude sickness – Marianne told me about that in the morning! By 1:30am I was awake and ready to go and so was Marianne. We began our preparations to finish the ascent to the top! Breakfast was awful. Cold rice with mystery meat. I opted instead for the yummy pancake I brought with me.

We were on our way to the summit by 2:30ish. It was not raining just very very windy. Horribly windy. I honestly thought I was going to blow away a couple times. I found myself grabbing onto the rocks for support!

But, we made it. And so, without further ado, here are my favorite sunrise pictures from the summit of Mt. Fuji. I think you’ll agree, they were worth the wait and effort.

After sunrise, I was ready to begin descending the mountain. I was yet again in survival mode and just wanted to get out of the wind. As the sun continued to come up, the day became more and more beautiful. The trek down the mountain was breathtaking.

Thursday we couldn’t even see where we were going to climb. I took this picture looking up at the trail Friday morning. From this perspective, Mt. Fuji looks pretty flat. Trust me, it’s not!

Just so we are clear on the difference between the two days. I took the same pictures on each day. Please notice the difference in weather.

Day 1

Parking Lot

Station 6

Day 2

Parking Lot

Station 6

I did suggest to Marianne and Anthony that we should walk back to the 5th station, refuel and then hike it again. Since the weather was good… they gave me a “hard” NO!

This was my third and yes, final Mt. Fuji climb. Our hiking sticks are full of stamps, I’ve climbed through all kinds of weather, with a wonderful husband and great friends. Now that I have seen sunrise from the summit, I can officially say I have no unfinished business with Mt. Fuji. This trek up Mt. Fuji was a lesson in patience, persistence and perseverance.

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” -Sir Edmund Hillary

From Fiji To Fuji

It’s true. From the Fiji Islands to the Mt. Fuji summit, this land was made for me to see.

I’m climbing Mt. Fuji for a third time tomorrow (Thursday). This time, I’m climbing it with my friend, Marianne, and her son, Anthony. To prepare, I read my post from the previous two years. Here is the link from when Dave and I climbed in 2016. Also, the link from when Sonia and I climbed in 2017. I’m glad I took the time to read through both posts again. I’m mentally preparing for rain. My fingers remain crossed for sunny skies. I also find it funny that in both posts I talk about not hiking it again. Famous last words.

Perhaps you’re thinking, why would you climb it again, Julia?!? Excellent question. I’m a sucker for a sunrise photo opportunity. I really wanted the chance to see sunrise from the summit. In order to do that, we need to climb during the day and spend the night at the Fujisan Hotel. The Fujisan Hotel is located at the original 8th Station (3360m). The summit is 3776m and about an 80 minute climb from the original 8th Station.

Here is a clear picture of the map for reference.

This could be considered the ultimate Julia Tour. We rented a car and I’m going to drive us to the base of Mt. Fuji. At the base, we have to park the car and take a bus to the 5th Station where we will start our trek. I think it should only take us about 4-5 hours to climb to the Fujisan Hotel. At the hotel, we will receive dinner and then sleep on a mat in a large room with many other climbers. From what I read, we will start hiking to the summit at 2am Friday morning! If all goes as planned, we will see a breathtaking sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji. (Fingers crossed)

I managed to squeeze all the essentials into my day pack. My hiking stick has no more room for stamps, so I’m going to carry Dave’s. Having your stick stamped is a fun part of the climb.

I’ll let you know how things go once I’m home Friday night. Please keep your fingers crossed for sunny skies! Because I’m definitely not climbing Mt. Fuji next summer!!

Fiji Continued

Let me pick up where I left off yesterday. Tuesday, 8/7, was my birthday. I love watching the sunrise any chance I get and even more so on my birthday. Dave did a quick reconnaissance mission the day before to find where on the island we could see sunrise. Turns out, it was just a short walk around the end of the island. Despite it being vacation, we set the alarm to ensure we were awake. Sunrise was at 6:30ish. The quiet of the morning and the beautiful sunrise was a perfect way to start the first day of my next trip around the sun!

By the time we returned to the resort, it was time for breakfast. Instead of my normal order of scrambled eggs, I splurged extra today and ordered the eggs Benedict with salmon. It was delicious! I still can’t get over the beautiful view we enjoyed at every meal!!

While we were waiting for our breakfast, I decided to do a little taste test. Being so close to Australia and New Zealand, Fiji has a lot of tourists arriving from those destinations. To make everyone happy, both peanut butter and vegemite were available on the buffet.

Even though vegemite looks like it might taste like chocolate, it doesn’t. It’s very salty and very 😝. I preferred the peanut butter side of my toast much more!

Fortunately, my eggs Benedict were much more delicious! And I washed it all down with a strong cup of coffee and tropical fruit juice. Ahhhhh… vacation meals are so good.

After breakfast, we set ourselves up for a great beach day. Lots of walks and lounging. I hope you’re not getting tired of this view. To me, it was like walking in paradise.

Eventually, we dragged ourselves from our beach chairs and got dressed for dinner and another beautiful sunset. That night for dinner, I ordered more reef fish!

The staff at the resort provided amazing customer service. We truly felt like VIPs. They quickly learned our room number and our first names. Dave and Julie. 🙄 I reminded myself I was on vacation and they could call me whatever they wanted. It just didn’t matter. Even my birthday cake had Julie written on it. Honestly, after the entire resort staff sang me happy birthday and then came by to shake my hand and wish me a “long life,” I wasn’t bothered in the least. I was very touched and felt very fortunate.

Wednesday morning was perhaps the lowest tide we had seen all week. We were able to walk out so far. We saw fish, sea cucumbers, sea stars, and shell fish.

Wednesday was also our final full day on this island. Of course we enjoyed more beach time. I’m pretty sure I could have stayed on this beach forever. It was so peaceful and beautiful.

For dinner this evening, the resort invited all the guests to a traditional Kava ceremony.

Here we were presented with Kava and wishes for a long healthy life. Kava is a traditional Fijian drink. It has a peculiar taste and makes your mouth a little tingly. Lucky us, we were given two servings! After the Kava ceremony, the locals performed traditional dances and songs. It was like a Fijian version of a Hawaiian luau. It was fun to experience local traditions and meet some of the other resort guests.

Thursday afternoon we headed back to Port Denarau on the Fiji mainland. We enjoyed every last minute of the beach before our boat departed.

Before leaving the resort, the staff came together to sing us a beautiful fair well song. It was so touching. I’m not really sure what they said, because they sang in Fijian, but it was so special. Then each person came and gave us hugs goodbye. Their parting phrase was “I hope to see you in the future.” Yes, I had tears in my eyes as we left. I was pleased to have my sunglasses.

The boat ride to Port Denarau was about an hour. Fortunately, it wasn’t on that tiny little boat!

In Port Denarau, we checked into our hotel, did a little shopping, and then enjoyed a nice dinner as the sun set.

Friday morning we headed to the airport to catch our flight back to Narita. I hope you enjoyed the recap of our trip. I’ll be happy to share more details with you the next time I see you / chat with you. It truly was a wonderful week. Dave did an amazing job planning this once in a lifetime holiday for us. I’m truly grateful. It was incredible to be together in paradise with no agenda. I will forever cherish our memories. Thanks for reading!

Fiji 🇫🇯 Vacation

Where do I even begin with telling you about the incredible trip Dave planned for us? Perhaps, I’ll start from the beginning. Dave planned everything about this trip. From the flights, hotels, and everything in between. He said he received an email about Fiji Airways offering nonstop flights from Narita to Nadi, Fiji. He picked an adult only resort located on an island relatively close to the mainland.

At the airport he surprised me again when he said we needed to find the Pacific Island Air check in counter. He had arranged for us to fly to our resort! At the check in counter, we had to stand on the scale with all of our bags! Originally, he thought we were going by seaplane. We actually went by a private helicopter!!

The ten-minute flight was quick and beautiful. Our pilot was very friendly and gave us details about Malolo Lailai Island where our resort, The Lomani Island Resort, was located.

We were greeted at the airstrip by the hotel porter. He drove us to the resort in a golf cart. We were welcomed with more singing and coconut water.

We were escorted to our room. It was so romantic and spacious. We had a turn down service every night. Plus, an outdoor shower!

We decided to walk around the beach and resort before enjoying lunch.

After lunch, we walked the beach some more and I took a nap!

When I woke up from my nap, I had to pinch myself. I couldn’t believe we were in Fiji! I took a screenshot of our blue dot on our tiny island.

The weather was perfect. 80s during the day with no humidity. The breeze would pick up in the afternoon. At dinner each night I actually needed a sweater! It was perfect.

The food at the resort was delicious. Breakfast was included with the stay. We would enjoy a big breakfast and then a delightful (seafood) dinner. And sometimes dessert!

After breakfast on the next day (Sunday), we enjoyed a massage. Talk about relaxing. From there, we had more beach walks and lounging. Followed by a beautiful sunset and another yummy seafood dinner.

Monday morning we woke up to clouds. As we were heading to breakfast, we were greeted by a beautiful double rainbow.

After breakfast, we went out on the snorkel trip. The water was so blue, clear, and cold!! It was some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced. The fish were everywhere and swimming all around us.

The snorkeling trip was a wonderful highlight on Monday. After we returned, there was more time on the beach before sunset and dinner.

Thanks for reading about our first three days. I’ll share the rest of our trip tomorrow. I love sharing the story and pictures with you. Helps me relive every minute of a once in a lifetime vacation!

Surprise!

Dave has been planning a surprise trip for my birthday. He has given me a variety of (non helpful) clues.

1. Bring your passport

2. Not in Japan

3. Pack for a beach vacation

4. Some place neither of us have been

It wasn’t until we arrived at the airport to check in that I finally knew where we are going. Fiji!!!

I’m beyond excited!! I had to Google Map the location! I’m such a science nerd I’m so excited to finally cross the equator. Off we go for a week. I’ll be sure to share pictures and stories of our adventures when we return.

Thanks for reading!! Dave told me to practice saying “Bula Bula” for just about everything.

Bula Bula

Illumination Festival

Miki invited Sonia and me to go with her to the Wano Akari x Hyakudome Kaidan Illumination Festival 2018. The Aesthetics of Japanese Illumination is currently being held at the Legendary Hotel Gajoen in the Meguro area of Tokyo. We met on the train Wednesday morning and rode together to Tokyo. I have visited the Hotel Gajoen each year for the Hina Doll Festival. This festival included illuminations from all over Japan. These beautiful lanterns greeted visitors at the entry.

The Illumination Festival was held on the historic 100 stairs portion of the hotel. As you climb the stairs, there are individual rooms where the illumination exhibits are set up. This picture of me on the stairs makes me smile. There is so much “Japan” about it. First, I’m in sock feet and carrying my shoes in the reusable plastic bag I was given at the entry. Second, there are small kokeshi dolls in little beds on the stairs, kawaii!! Third, the stairs are all numbered! I guess it makes inventory easier? Three words that describe Japan: Clean, cute, and organized.

Before we get to the illuminations, let me take a detour and share a few pictures of the kawaii kokeshi dolls. Well, mostly kawaii. A couple were scary.

Now on to the illuminations. The first room held a beautiful painting with many textures and colors. The painting reminded me of sand in a bottle – that changes when you flip it.

Also part of the exhibit where small igloos with kokeshi dolls inside. Their faces were very interesting.

The second room held three magnificent illuminations that filled the entire room. The floor of the exhibit was a shiny black glass. It reflected the light of the illuminations. The structures were made of wood and then covered with paper. It really created a beautiful work of art.

We continued up the stairs to the next exhibit. This exhibit was full of different illuminated sculptures. Some were made of glass and others were made from washi paper.

The next room along the stairs contained my favorite picture. I made up my own story. She is a beer princess being shot out of a cannon. She is sent to save everyone from the impeding tsunami wave. She is encouraging everyone as they run to grab their beers!

Also in the exhibit was a beautiful picture of Mt. Fuji.

Up and up we climbed. The exhibit in the next room incorporated items found in nature and light. I only took a few pictures. There were easily twenty different types of shells and flowers. The lotus flowers hanging from the ceiling were made of paper.

We made it to the very top and were rewarded with an incredible Ikebana exhibit. The arrangement was the size of the entire room. Plus, hanging from the ceiling were Japanese wind chimes. They have a dainty sound and ring summer joy into the air.

A few pictures of us, enjoying our visit!

After our visit, we headed back to Yokohama for sushi lunch. We stopped at a higher end conveyor sushi. I enjoyed tuna of course. But, I could help take a photo of the “slice” of watermelon for ¥350 ($3.50)! Can’t you buy a huge watermelon for that price in the U.S.?

Typhoon Jongdari

We have been anticipating the arrival of Typhoon Jongdari since Monday. The various paths had it hitting close to Yokosuka.

Regardless, of the actual path, we were expecting strong winds and heavy rain by 3:00 pm on Saturday.

The heavy rain actually started around 3:30 pm and is expected to continue through the night.

The storm pulled all the moisture out of the area. As a result, the weather on Friday was delightful. Less humid and lower temperatures. It was a great night for baseball. Dave and I went to the Yokosuka Baystars AAA baseball game Friday night with a group of people from his work.

Red Sox and Cubs represented.

The biggest cheering section of the game! They were hysterical!

This morning, the weather still wasn’t terrible. The humidity had returned and it was a little drizzly. Zushi Beach was deserted. The Beach cabanas were packed up in preparation for the incoming storm.

The storm doesn’t seem to be too bad. We have experienced worse. I think we will weather Typhoon Jongdari just fine!

TeamLab Planets

After the raving success TeamLab Borderless experienced during its recent opening, TeamLab had a grand re-opening of their 2016 TeamLab Planets exhibit. TeamLab Planets is also located in the Odaiba area of Tokyo. Sonia was able to reserve us two tickets for the 10-10:30 entrance slot. We arrived shortly after 10am and waited about 10 minutes to enter.

Lucky for us, the morning was overcast. The waiting area is also covered and fans had been installed to help visitors deal with the oppressive heat. As we entered the building, we were directed to stand in specific areas. During this period, we were given directions for attending the exhibit. First, we were told we would need to remove both our shoes and socks. (Honestly, in Japan, this doesn’t surprise me anymore.) Second, we were told to place all our belongs in a locker. Third, we were told we would be submerged up to our knees in water during our visit. (Wait, what?) Fourth, we were asked to use the provided smartphone cover to keep your phone dry. We followed all directions, ready to start our visit, and very curious and thoroughly confused by the water part. Until… we entered. We first walked up a long dark hallway. It was only illuminated by small blue squares on the floor. At the end of the hallway, we reached an incline that had water flowing down from a fountain at the top. (I’ll apologize now about my pictures. They are the best because of the lighting and in the beginning I had my phone in the plastic cover.)

After exiting, we were given towels to dry our feet. Only in Japan would they give each person a clean dry towel and have a return towel bin. Notice there are no towels outside of the box! I’m not sure I would want to experience this exhibit anywhere but Japan. The level of cleanliness was A+.

The second room required you to transit across bean bag cushions. It was like walking/crawling across the bead filled neck pillows. The sensory overload was really starting to get to me and make me giggle!

We transitioned through another dark hallway. This one was lined with red lights along the floor.

The next room was very similar to one of the exhibits in TeamLab Borderless. The streaming lights. They hung from the ceiling. The walls, floors and ceiling were all mirrored creating a endless amount of light.

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As we walked through, it was difficult to tell what was real and what was a reflection.

After passing through, we went down another dark passageway and came to perhaps the coolest part. It was a room filled with knee deep liquid. It was cloudy so the light wouldn’t completely scatter. Notice the liquid comes up to almost the knees of the adults in the picture.

On closer inspection, you can see koi!

The light show was pretty mind blowing and a little trippy. We stayed a good 10 minutes in the water room. Taking it all in…

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After the water room, we dried our feet with towels before entering the big color changing balloon room. This exhibit was again similar to the one at TeamLab Borderless.

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The final room was my other favorite. It was a huge room with a dome ceiling and mirrored floor. Across the ceiling, flowers were being projected. They were growing and changing and seemed to be flying past you all at the same time. I imagined I was going through space and instead of planets passing me, there were flowers. In this room, we stretched out on the floor and relaxed.

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Our time in this exhibit was much more structured than TeamLab Borderless. There was clearly a designated path to follow and workers were there to show you the way as required. We only spent about 30 minutes total in the museum. It was about an hour from the time we arrived and stood in line until we left. If I was doing this again, or planning a trip for friends, I would recommend we reserve a morning slot at TeamLab Planets, eat lunch and then visit TeamLab Borderless. It would make for a long day, but it was a long way to travel (1.5 hours one way) just for a 30 minute experience. If the thought of doing both in a day is too daunting, you could easily spend the night in Odaiba and shop in the down time. If I had to choose one over the other… hmmm. That would be tough. Probably TeamLab Borderless. More for your money (they both cost ¥2400 or $22.00). Although, I did love the crazy pool room of TeamLab Planets… either way, you won’t be disappointed.

TeamLab Borderless

TeamLab Borderless in Tokyo opened in June. Even before the opening, it generated a lot of press coverage. I had several wabisabisole readers share articles with me encouraging me to add it to my list of places to visit. Tickets were selling fast! Fortunately, I was able to purchase two tickets for Sonia and I to visit on Monday 7/23/18. The exhibit is about 1.5 hours away in the Odaiba area of Tokyo. We originally agreed to meet early and arrive at the opening. However, Sunday night I received an email encouraging us to arrive closer to 3pm due to the crowds at opening causing a wait time of 60-90 minutes to enter. We adjusted our plans and arrived around three o’clock. We were easily able to find the building and were promptly admitted to the exhibit. With the heat, we were happy we didn’t have to wait outside to enter!! Prior to entering, information was shared on the PA system in Japanese. Simultaneously, a worker held cards written in English. My favorite card was the one warning us “you will get lost.” Yes, indeed we did!

Here is an explanation of Borderless.

Basically, it is an interactive art museum that incorporates light, projection, body movement, and nature. Needless to say, my mind was blown several times throughout our visit. I will definitely add this to the next Julia tour itinerary.

At the entrance you are submerged into darkness. The only light is from the art. But, there is art everywhere and it’s being projected in every direction. The projections would change and literally seem to grow, like nature.

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There are so many different rooms with unique projections that change continuously. It is definitely easy to get turned around or lost because everything is constantly changing. No worries though, there are plenty of workers walking around who will happily point you in the right direction.

The upstairs is dedicated to the Athletic Forest. This part of the exhibit is geared towards using your body to interact with the exhibits. The floors were uneven and covered with projections.

Animal projections moved across the floor. If you stomp on the projection, it will explode into paint splatters. This was one of my favorites. I was running, stomping, and laughing like a kid.

I tried to video it… but, it was the one that got away!

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Also in this area was a huge helium float exhibit. The balloons floated up and fans in the ceiling pushed them down. The lights of the balloons changed constantly.

There was also a swinging ladder climb – in the dark!

If you needed a break from all the activity, you could sit and color your very own creature. Your creature would then be uploaded and come to life on the walls!

It was easy to see how everyone could easily spend hours wandering through. One room had an interactive projection wall. Each time you touched the kanji, it would change into something. Here is a short clip. I’ve already been touching the figures for about a minute to create the colorful background (it was black to start). Here is a short clip of my mind being blown by butterflies!

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We returned back to the main level and went to the other highlighted exhibit. The illumination room. The lamps once again were constantly changing colors. The entire room was mirrored; creating a Borderless continuation of light.

Sonia and I both really enjoyed the experience. There are even more exhibits than what I shared with you. Some were just too difficult to capture because of the lighting. Let me wrap up with one last little spot of zen in the middle of a hectic exhibit.

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Something New

My Friday English class is at a Community Center in Kamakura. Dave and I visit Kamakura frequently on weekends. Plus, Kamakura is a highlight on every Julia Tour. Until today, I thought I “knew” Kamakura. Turns out, I’ve been missing a beautiful Temple and scenic passageway to get to my Friday English class. Hidden in plain sight.

Let me backup and start from the beginning. In case you haven’t heard, the 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo. There is already concern that many foreigners while want to visit Kamakura and the Great Buddha while attending the Olympics. The local government is encouraging residents to become familiar with giving directions. One of my students requested that I assist them in learning how to give directions. So, at class today, Sensei asked me to give step by step directions from when I get off the train at Kamakura Station to arriving at our classroom. My directions went something like this:

1. Exit the train and walk down the stairs.

2. At the bottom of the stairs, turn right.

3. Continue straight, walk up a few stairs and then exit the station.

4. Walk straight across the street using the crosswalk.

5. Walk one block and then turn right.

For reference, this is the turn right intersection. My students became very confused. I assumed they wanted me to cross the street and then walk right. But, I explained it’s hot so I walk in the shade, one block, and turn left, crossing the street at the next signal (by the KFC).

There was a lot of chatter and laughter in Japanese after my explanation. They asked why don’t I walk through the Temple. Temple? I don’t know? Which Temple? We will take you after class. Ok!

I continued with my directions.

6. After crossing the street, walk down the street, following the green path.

7. The Community Center is at the end of the road.

8. To your left is the entrance.

9. Walk through the courtyard.

10. Take the second door on your right.

11. Walk up the stairs and the classroom is he first door on your right.

Interestingly, phrases like “walk down the street” and “on your left” or “on your right” are very confusing when learning the language. But, we eventually made it through. At the end of class, as promised, three of my students walked with me to show me the passageway through the Temple. It was beautiful and shaded! Just when I thought I knew my way around Kamakura, I learned something new!! This is the view from the street.

After entering, you walk along a lovely little path.

Check out the Lotus starting to sprout. They should be blooming in the next couple of weeks.

Here is the entrance from the other end.

I have been teaching this Friday English class for over 18 Months now. I can’t believe I’ve missed this picturesque Temple and garden! Now I’m really excited for fall!! Imagine how beautiful the leaves will be when they start to change colors!

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