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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:

PUNCHILOUIE 9/20/2014 1:28PM

    Love the Great Wave print!

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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!

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WATERMELLEN 9/19/2014 7:54PM

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

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GOANNA2 9/19/2014 5:54PM

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

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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!!

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ROCKYCPA 9/18/2014 12:54PM

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

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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!

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MILLISMA 9/17/2014 10:07PM

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

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ROCKYCPA 9/17/2014 9:51PM

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

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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!

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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!!

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GOANNA2 9/17/2014 10:10AM

    I love the photos. emoticon

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An earthquake, the Ginza, and Tokyo trains

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Yes, we experienced a small earthquake in Tokyo today. We also took the trains, walked some 6 or 7 miles, found out about attending a kabuki performance, and generally had a good time.

And I had my usual fun finding exciting things like cool manhole covers, interesting flowers, and things that are quintessentially Japanese.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLATINUM755 9/17/2014 3:04PM

    Talk about excitement and adventure...maneuvering a subway map that truly makes the NYC subway system look so well organized and planned out and then the quake. You two are really getting the grand tour of living in Tokyo. emoticon

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GOANNA2 9/17/2014 10:11AM

    Glad it wasn't a serious earthquake. I can't
believe how you could read that subway map.

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PHEBESS 9/17/2014 8:22AM

    I wondered if the jars perhaps hold various pickles?

And I'm trying to picture kabuki in Vienna - quite a contrast, but it makes perfect sense, too.

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    I say that the earthenware jars were made to hold saki or vinegars.

Wonderful variety of images and information in this blog.

My only experience with kabuki was at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna. I'd gone for an evening's outdoor chamber music concert, but it had been cancelled because of rain. A touring kabuki company from Japan was not cancelled at another venue on the palace grounds, so I opted for it. Not a straightforward performance, it was instructive as well. A narrator/teacher stood to the side and from time to time gave explanations of the traditional music instruments being played and the kabuki traditions and stock characters. I'd never expected that the form has so much comedic element. The evening was so much fun and worthwhile, including the rain ponchos provided (rented, perhaps?) by the theater.

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ROCKYCPA 9/16/2014 8:46PM

    Thanks for sharing

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WATERMELLEN 9/16/2014 8:23PM

    Wow, that subway map is super confusing -- and on top of that, other trains and stations not even marked????? My goodness how does anyone ever get from home to work and back again??

We took the bullet train directly from Tokyo to Kyoto -- so no real time there.

That ginkgo motif on the subway entrance?? is intriguing.

The cherry blossom manhole cover is my fave yet!!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/16/2014 1:12PM

    I followed your link - beautiful pictures in an exotic location. Those jars are certainly a mystery.

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TARABEAR 9/16/2014 12:24PM

    That map is crazy! And, an earthquake. You are always finding the fun, aren't you. Glad you found your happiness, too.

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PHEBESS 9/16/2014 10:20AM

    We still aren't sure how we made it "home" but we managed!

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ALIIDA 9/16/2014 10:04AM

    I still find the subways confusing after 24 years in Tokyo. I always wondered how it would be for newcomers. Oh my! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/16/2014 10:04:58 AM

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Fishing, little kid style

Monday, September 15, 2014

It was SOOOOO funny - I felt bad for the fish, but couldn't stop laughing at the kids!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKYCPA 9/17/2014 9:36PM

    Looks like the kids were having a really good time but not so much the fishes.

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PLATINUM755 9/16/2014 10:54AM

    Everyone's commenting on the poor fish (and I agree) but the poor parents. Now there's a scene that must have been equally funny as they ran around trying the anticipate where the child would throw the fish. What a hoot! emoticon

Sorry to hear the van idea didn't work out, but sounds like you have everything worked out. GREAT!

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GOANNA2 9/16/2014 3:29AM

    What a lot of fun for the kids, but not so sure
of the poor fish though! I don't know if I could
get around on the trains in Japan. Sounds too
complicated to me. I never ever used my IDP
either yet it's amazing that when it expires, they
happen to ask you for it. Murphy's Law. emoticon

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MILLISMA 9/15/2014 9:38PM

    Poor little fish but looks like everyone was having a great time.

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PHEBESS 9/15/2014 8:09PM

    Watermellen, the poor fish were in plastic bags, no water - so pretty sure they were dinner, not pets. Which was the sad part.

But yes, I think 99% of the little kids I know would have had a blast - these kids were enjoying it so much!!! (Some of them had to be dragged out of the pool after their shift!)

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TARABEAR 9/15/2014 2:24PM

    Little T would LOVE this! haha! Poor fishies.

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WATERMELLEN 9/15/2014 12:47PM

    Looks like lots of fun for everybody (except maybe the fish?); sorta sushi on the hoof I suppose! Maybe the kids were taking them home for pets, who knows??

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Japan - giant grapes, sushi, kimonos, and more

Friday, September 12, 2014

We haven't been in Japan a full week yet, and we've had a great first few days.

Things are beautiful, we're nowhere near a tourist area, and we're doing our usual muddling our way through a new country, new culture, new language.

Maybe I could just start wearing kimonos all the time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TARABEAR 9/15/2014 2:28PM

    This makes me want Japanese food! Yummy!

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PHEBESS 9/14/2014 4:12AM

    Sylph, you're right about the pronunciation. O-sah-ka, not o-SAH-ka; we North Americans tend to get the emphasis wrong most of the time!

Watermellen, I stayed at a ryokan when I was in Japan in 1984, and loved it. But DH and I may not be ready for futons on the floor, LOL! Though we're looking into a camper van so we can see some of the smaller towns that are often missed.

We just booked a second week in Shinagawa, we haven't seen much since we're trying to get over these lingering colds (and the air pollution just adds to the breathing problems) - we plan to go do more exploring starting tomorrow. (I'm drinking juices, DH is napping. We all get over illness in our own ways.)

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WATERMELLEN 9/13/2014 11:17AM

    You're in Japan!!!What a lovely blog -- super pictures. Kimonos would be an excellent fashionista option maybe not for daily wear but absolutely a rental for a special occasion. So much more accommodating than the cheongsam --

I'm hoping you may get the opportunity of staying in a traditional Japanese inn or ryokan maybe in Kyoto? You'd be given a kimono to wear while resident (in the street or inside) and special slippers for inside, with different ones for the toilet . . . not to be wore anywhere except while performing those tasks!! Wish I could find the one where we stayed waaaaay back in 1989 or so.

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    The fabrics are extraordinary and I appreciate the explanation of the manhole covers.

I believe that Shi-NA-ga-wa is correct. I'd been told that, as with Finnish, no syllables are accented (if they are, the word would be an exception to the rule), therefore, the "na," while not actually accented, gets equal play. Similar to Hir-O-shi-ma, not He-ro-SHEEE-ma.
(HEL-sing-ki rather than Hel-SING-ki. By the time you reach midnight tonight, though, you'll be the expert and will probably come back to correct me.

Anyway, this is abouat you. I'll watch for the next report.

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PLATINUM755 9/13/2014 9:24AM

    The pics are fantastic...Feels like I'm there with you! Thanks!

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GOANNA2 9/13/2014 8:52AM

    Wow, looks amazing. Enjoy yourselves.

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WENDYJM4 9/13/2014 4:26AM

    enjoy, looks amazing

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