TagsAlki Beach arboretum baja Bali Bangkok Borneo center for wooden boats Chiang Mai gasworks park Herban Feast Inn at Ship Bay jose rizal bridge Kumudara Kuta Lake Inle library Lombok Malapascua Island Malaysia Market Mexico MOHAI Mt. Rinjani Myanmar Neiman Marcus orcas island Palermo Perama Tours Philippines pike place market Pravda Pravda Studio Selong Belanak SoCal spring Talitha Leather Tao Philippines Thailand Travel Photography U Bein Bridge uBRDO Ubud UW Yangon Zac Posen
We spent about 7 days in Japan. We started into Nagoya, and then visited Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. The trip map below outlines our trip Our last stop in Japan was Tokyo.
In Tokyo, I found an apartment that was perfectly positioned near the fish market.
Tokyo’s fish market is the largest in the world. Witnessing the frenetic pace of the market was one of the highlights of our time in Tokyo. “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Below) I especially wanted to visit the tuna auction. Only 120 tourists are allowed into the tuna auction each day. To be in those numbers, I had to rise at about 3:45am and join the lineup of hopeful visitors. After the auction, I ate the world’s best sushi for breakfast (above). “It’s as if Japanese men, all to aware that deep inside they’d like to stomp Tokyo flat, breathe fire, and do truly terrible and disgusting things to women, have built themselves the most beautiful of prisons for their rampaging ids.
Instead of indulging their fantasies, they focus on food, or landscaping, or the perfect cup of tea — or a single slab of o-toro tuna — letting themselves go only at baseball games and office parties.” ― Anthony Bourdain “Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says ‘Chicken of the Sea.”
― Jessica Simpson
Kyoto is the spiritual center of old Japan. Kyoto was Japan’s capital and home to the Japanese Imperial Family for 1074 years! As with successful dynasties, the rulers supported large stables of artists who were charged with honoring their greatness. This culture of excellence and beauty has left behind 17 UNESCO World Heritage sights and over 1600 Buddhist temples. “It’s a saying they have, that a man has a false heart in his mouth for the world to see, another in his breast to show to his special friends and his family, and the real one, the true one, the secret one, which is never known to anyone except to himself alone, hidden only God knows where.” ― James Clavell, Shōgun
Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.
It feels like eating
the same small, perfect grape
again and again…
― Billy Collins,
The orange structures below are known as torii gates. The four-kilometer path in the Fushimi-inari Taisha shrine complex is lined with toriis dedicated to the gods of rice and saki. To enjoy the path, I had to rise early and catch the first train of the day to the park’s entrance. By the time I was finishing my walk, the path was filled with tourists. It’s actually quite rare to see a real geisha in Japan. Kyoto’s Gion district is the place to go, if you want to see one. “She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret.”
― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
If you are new to Japan, Osaka is a great place to get your bearings. We stayed in this clean and simple apartment. “I once asked an old Japanese man why Japan decided to team up with Germany during WWII, and do you know what he told me? Well, you would if you speak Japanese, which I don’t.” ― Jarod Kintz “Osaka’s Dotombori District is what Lady Gaga would look like if she were a city.” -Lonely Planet
Milford Sound was up near the top of my bucket list of places to photograph. Alas, the weather did not permit me get the photos I would have hoped for. It was a beautiful evening just the same. “I said, I prefer the ocean when it’s gray. Or not really gray. A pale, in-between color. It reminds me of waiting for something good to happen.”
― Lauren Oliver Did you ever see the way the clouds love a mountain? They circle all around it; sometimes you can’t even see the mountain for the clouds.― Toni Morrison But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
“As the tide washed in, the Dutch Tulip Man faced the Ocean:
“Conjoiner rejoinder poisoner concealer revelator. Look at it, rising up and rising down, taking everything with it.”
“What’s that?” Anna asked.
“Water,” the Dutchman said.
― John Green
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
― Rabindranath Tagore
“Do tears not yet spilled wait in small lakes?”
― Pablo Neruda “Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter — to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.” ― Albert Schweitzer
“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.”
― Tennessee Williams “You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath “The mountains are calling and I must go.”
― John Muir “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir