Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Final Japan Pix: Tuesday Bicycle Edition

Let's hear it for the picturesque-ness (not a word) of the humble bicycle (of which there were many in Japan). The bikes share the same often-narrow space with cars and pedestrians. Somehow, it works ...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Final Japan Pix: Monday Edition

OK, y'all, since it's been almost three months since our trip to Japan (wow, time flies), this week will be the last week I'll focus on images from the trip. I took what seems to be a zillion pix, but perhaps enough is enough, yes?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

Don't you just hate it when you can't stay awake when you're trying to read your book?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

Um, excuse me, Tallulah Mae?

Sorry to disturb you ...

But are you quite comfortable in that chair?Ah, yes, I see that you are. As Tim Gunn would say, carry on!

Some Japanese Storefronts and Windows

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Technical Difficulties--Do Not Adjust Your Screen

I'm having computer difficulties, but as you can see, I think I've found the best solution.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good-bye, Japan: One Magical Evening

On our very last evening in Japan, we went to see toro nagashi, "lantern offerings on the water." This Buddhist ceremony is part of the summer Obon festival, and it takes place many times throughout Japan during the month of July. It's a lovely ceremony that memorializes the spirits of the dead and ensures their safe passage to the other side. I had read that we could see this ceremony in Ueno Park, so we took the subway there; we didn't know exactly where in the park (other than Shinobazu Pond) it was taking place. We saw these lanterns, which are lovely (even though they are advertising Asahi beer!), and we figured we might be in the right place.

We walked by the most lush, dense lotus plants I've EVER seen, as far as the eye could see.

Then we came upon this scene: these are clearly Buddhist monks...some with basket-like things on their head, and one guy on his mobile phone! Wow...

There was a short procession, during which shakuhachi was played...
The monks chanted...
Then the lanterns were blessed, and another procession led down to the shores of the pond.
And then we--along with a quiet, murmuring crowd of Tokyoites--watched as the paper lanterns, symbolizing the souls of the departed, were lit and floated out onto the pond. They floated from all directions, from the shores and from boats rowed out into the middle of the pond. It took my breath away...it was so beautiful, like something from a dream.

Utterly magical...an unforgettable ending to an unforgettable journey. Sayonara, Japan, until the next time...

Note: most of these photos were taken by B.--thanks, sweetie!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Um, What Are These?

OK, now just what the heck are these?! Low-growing shrub, loaded with these... whatever they are--weird!

Still waiting for someone to tell me what my Japanese Round Objects of Mystery are, BTW. Come on, people! I'm counting on you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

This photo captures two of my favorite things: Tallulah's shiny black dog lip, as well as a demonstration of her propensity for crossing her legs. Um, cute!


* Extreme Tallulah Mae Close-Up. Caution: may cause heads to explode from overwhelming cuteness.

Thursday, September 11, 2008