Tuesday, December 28, 2010

one trip

my mother did not take (yet) was to Japan.  of course she had a layover in Japan on her way to China in 1987 but since she never left the airport hotel that didn't count. (our rules say you can't count landing in an airport and staying on airport grounds as a country visited- I could have Sweden and Finland that way but they will have to wait to be counted until I actually make it there to spend time exploring.)

Japan is a country very different than many I have visited.  a spectacularly beautiful place, I came home wanting to make my yard into a Japanese garden and even planted bamboo so we could hear the rustling in the breezes we get all summer long.

the people of Japan have a culture of graciousness and so anytime we stopped to look at a map someone would ask us if they could help us. if my mother had made it there I think she would have been very impressed with the order.   she liked things neat and orderly.  when we were little kids (grade school and younger) we always had to pick up all our toys before my dad came home and put them in the toy boxes so the house wouldn't be a mess.

later in life my dad actually became a neat freak while my mom got more relaxed in the amount of mess she could tolerate- LOL...

but here are some photos of Japan that she and I especially liked.

a ritual washing fountain at a shrine

stairs to a temple entrance

building on a temple grounds

offerings of barrels of sake

wishes (like prayers) tied to bushes at temple

Kyoto dining along the river

our breakfast the first day at the fish market in Tokyo

I included this photo because in the last year of my mother's adventurous life she went to eat sushi with us a couple of times.  and while we took it easy on her in introducing things that we knew she would find palatable, she liked it well enough to ask to go back to the restaurant one of the last times we visited her and she was still able to go out to eat.  so soon, after the holidays and our set schedule, maybe we can go out for sushi and remember that even at 80 my mother was completely open to trying new things. 

she loved the eel, even ate one that was supposed to be in Phil's count - LOL

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