Writers in Kyoto had its annual writing contest for a piece 300 words or less. Here is my submission! I won just by entering! I won just by writing, because it's so healing and so much fun! I am grateful to my Sensei Masasihi Nakamura for these adventures in Japanese philosophy and nature! Part of … Continue reading Birthday at Kyoto Gyoen
A good friend of mine I met when I lived in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands introduced me by email to a friend of hers. Joan D. Stamm is the author of the new book, A Pilgrimage in Japan - The 33 Temples of Kannon. It's a fabulous read for those of us … Continue reading Heaven and Earth Really Are Flowers – Ikebana in Japan for World Peace
f you are looking for the soul of Japan, look to its ceramics. From sake vessels, to tea ceremony ceramics, Japan lives and breathes mindful artisan and meaning through this beautiful art form called Yakimono. And Robert Yellin is devoted to promoting and protecting this art created by living Japanese artisans of more than 40 traditional styles across Japan.
You are cordially invited to the Writers in Kyoto Annual Poetry Reading on June 24. It will feature jazz accompanying the Kansai region's many talented poets who are gathering at the The Gnome, at Nijo Kawaramachi in Kyoto (For map see here.) Happy to say that I, Sydney Solis, am master of ceremonies, humble poet that I am. … Continue reading Writers in Kyoto Annual Poetry Reading, Plus Jazz June 24
While the summer heats up in Japan, one place to cool off is the mountainous town of Kibune on the outskirts of Northern Kyoto. Kawadoko, dining on traditional Japanese food served while sitting over the floor of the Kibune River, is something not short of spectacular. On a recent trip with Community House and Information … Continue reading Dine on the River and Catch Noodles in Kibune, Japan
To be admitted to Saihō-ji 西芳寺 Zen Temple in Kyoto and view its famous moss gardens you first have apply for permission months in advance. If accepted, you then pay 3000 ¥ and are required to do sutra copying. Sutra copying was something I had been eager to do when I signed up for this trip with … Continue reading Sutra Copying, Yoga and Zazen in Kyoto
As a Florida Master Gardener I obsess over flowers. Our 35th floor Osaka apartment has been wonderful, but everything green I've tried to grow has inexplicably died. So I'm out and about all the time anyways hunting Japan's seasonal flower cycles, like Sakura, cherry blossoms, that passed in April. Roses and peonies are now blooming insanely … Continue reading Wandering and Wisteria Hunting in Uji, Kyoto
The awe of experiencing cherry blossoms in Japan during Sakura season is a spiritual experience.
In Japan the swastika is called the manji (卍). It is an ancient symbol of good luck and well-being. The symbol was on maps in Japan to denote Shinto and Buddhist shrines and temples. I remember seeing it on Google maps the first time I visited Japan in November, 2016 and marveled at the impression … Continue reading In Japan, Swastikas Are Symbols of Good Luck and Health, Not Hatred and Nazis