Friday, November 26, 2010

Trip to Japan

I was in Japan for three weeks and during that time I smashed in as much as I could do.  Tokyo was my home base where I stayed at the Keio Plaza Hotel; if anyone connected with them reads this, please get rid of the pay per 15 min. internet access as in this day and age I believe it should be free (especially what I was paying for the room).  

Anyways from there I left to go to Kyoto, Kanazawa, Shirakawa, Hida Takayama, and onsen (hot springs) for four days.  Traveling on the shinkansen (bullet train) was so fast and convenient they should have that everywhere.  Since having been to Kyoto before I tried to go to all the shrines and temples and historical places I haven't visited.  I have never seen such deep gorgeous shades of green!  Nature is in huge abundance outside of Tokyo, but even then Japanese culture places huge emphasis on natural on goings and aesthetics.  Water flows out of natural springs and sounds beautiful and soothing against a backdrop of green moss and wise trees.

Irasshaimase~ to my blog:)  hehe.

My parents and me in Kyoto

I am obsessed with the Ojizo-sama, and me trying to be one...

This is in Shirakawa

The taxi driver was a nice guy and he took us around the entire day.  I was freezing my butt off even with two hokaron (heated pocket warmer thinggies), and one big one that stuck onto your clothes or wherever you decide to put it... I should've been a giant heat radiating hot potato but nope I was cold.  The mountains were snow capped.

I saw many carp on this trip and each one has its own funny personality.  These were taken in Kyoto.

The onsen (hot spring) was so relaxing; I even scheduled a 60 min. massage; aaaaaahhhh, the tension I always carry in my neck and upper back were relieved for that night and next day, BREATHE~  The big baths are always a welcome especially as it was freezing and rainy in Hida Takayama.  There was a whole array of shampoos, conditioners, body soaps and face soaps to choose from; one smelled of sake, another said something about either it being used on horses or maybe it was horse oil... that sounds scary, but something to do with horses and their goodness for our hair...  and the hot springs water is so gentle and good for your skin, especially good if you have sensitive  and highly reactive irritable skin like mine.  It made my skin silky smooth.  And I always enjoy my time in yukata (casual kimono that the hot springs hotel/inn/resort offers) sitting enjoying a cup of green tea on the tatami floors, the smell of shoji doors, and all the goodness of traditional Japan.  
Somehow being relaxed and so comfortable with such excellent food (THE FOOD IN JAPAN IS EXCELLENT BY THE WAY) and a lot of it always makes me get up to silly and naughty things; yes, I am not all serious Marie all the time, I am quite the goof if you get to know me well enough.

Don't even ask...

An English man in full Yukata mode; hi-ya!

View from the onsen suite.  

I can completely relate to the traditional Japanese aesthetic, well, obviously I am Japanese, but you get my drift; I LOVE IT!

Then I came back to Tokyo checked back in to the Keio Plaza Hotel met friends and relatives, went on Yukata Bune one night with my uncle Ryu-chan and his family, this is Rino his daughter and me in the picture:)

Oi, Rino, genki kai?  Tanoshikatta neeeee~ hehehe.

Oh my gosh, this is going to be so long if I keep on going... so next post will be the next latter half of my trip, where I took the shinkansen (bullet train) again out of Tokyo to Koiwai Nojyo (farm), the Ihatov Hanano-sato pension/inn, Morioka, and to Ofunato.  More photos to come, I hope you enjoy, and if you have any questions feel free to contact me!  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Audio Technica Ear Phones

Today I decided to start working on a piece I stopped working on a while back and so here I was glueing away the slivers of beautiful hand made Thai paper, listening to great music on my new Audio Technica earphones I bought in Tokyo, getting into the groove of things or so I thought... Glue usually gets everywhere so when I had this little smudge on my sleeve I was not fussed (although I looked for where it was coming from I could not find the source), I kept going with glueing, another sticky smudge, !!! grrrrr !!!, where the F*** is it coming from!?, oh well, next squeeeeze; gloop-di-daaaa!!!!!!!!  All down my hand, arm, on my sleeves, on the new ear phone cable STICKY MESS!!!!!!!  Great, just great.  Even so I don't give a rats ass until I am finished pasting all the pieces in place; then when things have started drying a little I go washing up the mess, everywhere, peeling and balling pieces of freakin' glue.  

So do you ever get your new gadgets mucked up in whatever you are doing?  I am not surprised; this is so typically me.  But hey, my new ear phones are still like new; the glue cleaned up fine.

I woke up at 4am this morning, jet lag, oh but life keeps going:)

Smile, GRIN.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back in Toronto

I just arrived from Tokyo two days ago, am trying to sort out everything from the trip, and getting over jet lag.  I was in L.A. for a week then went to Japan for three weeks; so much went on while I was there and had such a wonderful time.  I will upload photos and update as soon as possible.  There are many things to do and share!