Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Thank you Japan

Our Japan trip is beginning to feel like a distant memory.

So I thought I'd find some pictures that didn't make it into my previous posts and reminisce.

I still miss my bike. It's funny the 'Pink Wobbler' features very often in my dreams at night. Maybe three nights out of four I'm exploring many places and visiting far away friends on my bike.

What is he saying? Beth?

I did hire a rain poncho but didn't fancy mastering the art of cycling in a tent. The Japanese are so cool on their bikes. They ride with one hand and hold their umbrella in the other! I was far from cool! 

One lovely memory of a thunderous day was parking our bikes outside a beautiful kimono shop in the textile district.  The kimonos here were very very expensive and we obviously weren't buying but we were made to feel so welcome. When we left the shop we found owner outside putting plastic bags on our bike seats for us so they didn't get wet. So much kindness.

I miss cycling behind Natalie in her stripy top down beautiful lamp lit Kyoto streets.

Shinbashi Dori in Gion was outstandingly beautiful.

Gion is the Geisha district and it is full of beautiful machiya, the traditional old old houses. Very intriguing.

Everywhere we went in Japan there was something sweet...

or elegant,

or cute,

or a little weird....

and sometimes extreme. Natalie made me go in this slot machine arcade and it was SO unbelievably noisy that it propelled me back out of the door as quickly as I came in. 

We were 'interviewed' a few times by kids on school trips practicing their English. What is your favourite food? What is your favourite colour? 

One of our favourite restaurants was Gonpacci in Roppongi, Tokyo. This place apparently inspired one of Quentin Tarantino's fight scenes in Kill Bill. We had a very happy evening here. 

There food was great and there was loads of atmosphere. Every time a new customer walked in the door the man at front of house would signal and the entire kitchen staff would shout hello. A surprising welcome!

I think I have run out of blog posts now :(

I wish I had had my camera the day we visited the man in the handmade lamp shop. He sold lamps by all sorts of makers in the front of the shop and he had a workshop at the back of the shop where he made things and wired them up. Just like me. The Kyoto me. We had a nice chat with him thanks to Beth's interpreting.

I remember the blog post I wrote the week before our trip when I was really scared. Rossichka commented saying how she remembered being scared of leaving her comfort zone before a trip to Kenya but when she came back it was all she could talk about. That's me all over. I LOVED Japan and my brave girl boots were well and truly worn in when I got home.

I want to thank Beth in a big way for the invitation and the push. Her sense of adventure rubbed off. Be sure to read her Japan posts. She's still there for another six weeks the lucky lady! And thanks to Natalie to who was the best travel companion ever (and she took loads of these pictures).

And if you missed all my previous Japan posts here's a link to all all of them. 

I wonder how soon I will go again....

I hope it's not too long. x


Natalie said...

brings it all back hannah x

Sarah Mason Photography said...

Just re-read all your blogs from Japan. Little chapters making up one great adventure. Your words and photos (and Natalie's pics!), have been amazing, you've taken us all on your journey too.

You've inspired me to dust down the travel shoes, get out there and discover new places, and Japan is top of the list.

I think the pink bike dreams are definitely calling you back!

What a voyage of discovery. xx

Beth said...

Hannah - thought of you this week at the amazing papermaking workshop I went on. They are taking papermaking into the 21st century and have 35g washi paper that you can inkjet print onto and then backlight. I am sure there is something gorgeous you could do with that! Thank you for letting me share your Kyoto adventure. It was such fun! BethXx PS, the sign says 'Here is a lovely place for you to park The Pink Wobbler while you go and have a cup of tea with your friends'

rossichka said...

Dear Hannah,
You wrote the last chapter of your Japanese diary... I wish you to write at least one more diary, where to collect your impressions, emotions and feelings from this, as it seems to be, amazing country!
You are a good "story-teller" - while reading I had the feeling that I was really following your steps!
Thank you for quoting my words to you - it's interesting that we have had a similar Experience. Maybe it happens when the impact is too strong and really significant.
Wishing you many lovely, creative summer moments with your art!xx

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