PHEBESS   302,899
100,000 or more SparkPoints
PHEBESS's Recent Blog Entries

Wow - Walking on Fire!! Samurai!! Geishas!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Warriors! Archers! All from the Edo period of Japan, about 1600-1860 something. In a parade, and then monks walking on fire. And average people walking on fire!!!!! LITERALLY ON FIRE!!!!!!

The sedate blog:

The wild and crazy blog:

And one of the BEST photos I've taken. Ever.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLATINUM755 9/30/2014 9:58AM

    WOW!! Breathe taking photos! Thanks for the share!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RDEE22 9/30/2014 9:01AM

    Thanks for sharing with us Phebe! The parade was beautiful!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BROOKLYN_BORN 9/30/2014 7:10AM

    Yes, those are fantastic pictures! The Japanese sure know how to do tradition.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYJM4 9/30/2014 6:43AM

    fantastic photos thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYELENE 9/29/2014 10:44PM

    Thank you for sharing. I just loved seeing all the beautiful colours in the Japanese Traditional dresses. What a wonderful experience for you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCKYCPA 9/29/2014 9:43PM

    What gorgeous pictures - that was a great parade to watch!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 9/29/2014 9:33PM

    Yeah, the pictures are pretty big, but there's SO much detail, I wanted people to be able to see everything.

And yes, people definitely do this for themselves, it's a local event, absolutely not for tourists. We saw very few non-Asian people, just a few other Caucasians like us wandering around with eyes wide open, trying to absorb everything.

I did see one Caucasian guy on the line waiting to walk over the fire - I wished him good luck!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/29/2014 7:25PM

    TWO amazing blogs!! Loves that plum tree Pissaro, of course -- very very similar to the two at the AGO, so fresh!! And loved the parade: one of the things I noticed is how authentically Japanese - all the people in your photos are locals, no "Western tourists" at all (such as, for example, when you attend a Hawaiian Luau) -- they are doing it for themselves! And no, I would not have wanted to walk on fire either, not at all; we don't "have the faith", right?

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Such good fortune to stumble upon the festivities. I'll bet you were ogling the textiles. You'd look quite fetching in them. All the pics are taking ages to download. I left them there to fill in and I'll go back for more.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIIDA 9/29/2014 6:12PM

    I've just checked out your sedate blog. How come I live here and don't see anything? emoticon
DH knows about the Japanese influence on the Impressionists, so I would guess a lot of Japanese do.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 9/29/2014 10:41AM

    You have to!!! Last weekend in Sept, get off the Keikyu line at Kitishinagawa, and follow the parade (which begins about noon) - SO much fun! Firewalking started about 1:30, if you're earlier you can get a better view but miss the end of the parade.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIIDA 9/29/2014 10:34AM

    Wow! Fantastic pictures! I want to go next year.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Buddhist temples, fox shrines, cat banners

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We walked around our town and I visited a Buddhist temple, plus a shrine to foxes. Of foxes? Little fox statues.

Had a great time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUNCHILOUIE 9/30/2014 1:38PM

    they look to me like Sailor Venus (blondy), Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter from the manga Sailor Moon
I'll double check with my dd, she is also great fan of these girls, champions of justice

Comment edited on: 9/30/2014 2:16:11 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CONFUSEDBIRD 9/26/2014 1:45PM

    Great to see you guys back on your travels!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 9/25/2014 9:43AM

    Another great blog and thanks for the
emoticon wonderful photos.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/24/2014 7:57PM

    Really enjoyed this blog -- so many terrific pictures and such a sense of where you are! The beaming girls in their sailor blouses, the banners, the bibbed foxes -- such an interesting perspective on Japanese culture. You are the quintessential curious and thoughtful traveller!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BROOKLYN_BORN 9/24/2014 7:07AM

    You take terrific pictures. It's like traveling along with you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYELENE 9/24/2014 5:13AM

    Wow! I loved reading your longer blog and seeing the beautiful photos of your time in Tokyo. Thank you for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCKYCPA 9/23/2014 11:18PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYJM4 9/23/2014 7:51PM

    thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 9/23/2014 11:21AM

    Thank you! My new art form!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIIDA 9/23/2014 11:06AM

    The photos in this and your longer blog are lovely!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Bento boxes, pea pod lights, children's art

Sunday, September 21, 2014

We'll spend a third week in Tokyo - and I had a bento box takeaway lunch that was delightful!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUNCHILOUIE 9/30/2014 1:26PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
TARABEAR 9/22/2014 5:35PM

    Fascinating observations. I read several good books about cultural differences in grad school. One of them was "The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerns think differently and why." You might enjoy it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/22/2014 7:54AM

    What a fascinating blog -- from manhole covers to light standards, looking up! I do think that in the West we place far too much stress on "individualism" and "existentialism" -- if every single one of our actions defines our essence, from each piece of clothing to hairstyle to choice of housing, every item of décor inside, career, car, etc. etc. we can only imagine what a relief it would be to live in a culture that valued community and cohesion and comfortable co-existence more. At least some of the time. Those flashes of individuality you describe -- the gardens and koi and turtles for passerby, the banner art -- are all focused on giving pleasure to others rather than "self-indulgence".

Oh yes, you write so beautifully and thoughtfully that you make us all contemplate the discoveries that are travel.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 9/22/2014 7:50AM

    The lunch looks so delicious. Love learning
about Japan. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCKYCPA 9/21/2014 1:38PM

    Love the information you impart about the culture of Japan - thanks! Your lunch looks delicious.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PLATINUM755 9/21/2014 1:00PM

    Excellent takeaways about the culture...and speaking of takeaways, the bento lunch looks delicious. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

French Impressionist Painting in Japan - Really!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

We had a great day at Ueno Park, going to art museums, people watching, enjoying some time in nature. The flowers were gorgeous! Well, so was the art!!!

And I finally got a photo of a young woman in a kimono, even if only from the back:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Ooooh, museums. What good fortune that holdings of the Boston museum are on exhibit. "Yes" to your comments on Water Lilies. At MoMA last week I sat on the benches just to be with them. The experience was quite different than walking around the room or even stepping back to take in the entirety. Just sit and look, not too closely, just to be with them. I began to feel that I was in the pond with the blooms...just there with them.

How nice that Ueno Park has such beautiful manhole covers, as though they knew you'd be arriving.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUNCHILOUIE 9/20/2014 1:28PM

    Love the Great Wave print!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PLATINUM755 9/20/2014 10:09AM

    You have a wonderful eye for detail in your photos and your writing. Thank you for the journey and the links. I'm sure I will enjoy them!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/19/2014 7:54PM

    Really enjoyed those additional links you posted -- this is just such fascinating stuff, how lucky are you!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 9/19/2014 5:54PM

    A great blog. The art is so beautiful. Thank you
for showing me yet another beautiful country.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/18/2014 6:10PM

    What an amazing blog -- you continually exceed yourself and I would not have thought that was possible.

It's such a treat for me to see these works that I've never seen reproduced before and may never get to Tokyo to see either -- and of course those Japanese woodblock prints (think what Hokusai would have done with CAD/CAM!!) had a huge influence on the French Impressionists . . . that particular Monet water lilies is so fresh and exquisite -- I've seen lots of 'em but this is particularly glorious!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCKYCPA 9/18/2014 12:54PM

    The art work is so beautiful - what a wonderful way to spend the day!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Imperial Palace of Tokyo - and lost on the trains

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We walked around the Imperial Palace today - very beautiful, classically Japanese.

And we got lost on the trains, but made our way back. We had a great time, despite all of it.

And walked over 6 miles. For the second day in a row. Don't you love travel exercise??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLATINUM755 9/18/2014 5:13PM

    The pictures are so beautiful and serene! Thank you for the share!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MILLISMA 9/17/2014 10:07PM

    Getting lost can be a new adventure! Sounds like a wonderful time with some beautiful things to see!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCKYCPA 9/17/2014 9:51PM

    Great photos - sorry about the train woes but adds to the adventure!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 9/17/2014 8:28PM

    Given the labyrinthine quality of the train system here, we knew we'd end up on the wrong train at some point. Didn't quite expect it on our second day of riding, though.

I'm thinking today will be Ueno - there's a museum there with a special exhibit of Hokkusai's "Views of Mt Fuji" series, visiting from Boston. Tokyo is a much better place to see them!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/17/2014 5:58PM

    What a beautiful spot: trees, koi, bridges, buildings -- and your inimitable prose describing it too. And love your equanimity in dealing with the transit woes on the way home! All part of the grand adventure!!

That pink is a terrific colour on you!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 9/17/2014 10:10AM

    I love the photos. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 Last Page