Speechless

Waauw! Echt een fantastische dag gisteren! Puur genieten!

Ueno Park

   
  
  De eerste さくら (sakura of kersenbloesems) zijn gespot!

Maar ook winterpioenen…  

   

 En dan… Kwijlen in het nationaal museum…

   
    
  
Onderweg naar ander stadsdeel … Gatcha! In Akihabara

   
 
Om nog meer te kwijlen…

Bij winkeltjes onderweg… 
  

Nao Paper (een tip van M. uit Brussel) Naar de norm hier een enorme winkel waar enkel de vloer niet is versierd met handgeschept papier.  
   
Ik denk dat de beelden voor zich spreken ;-)

En toen ik langs het hoogtepunt van de dag ging, een artiest die met Sumi-E kinderboeken illustreert waren alle batterijen critically low dus even surfen naar www.toyokunihonda.tokyo of nekomacho voor extra beeld!

Vandaag startte een calligrafie-tentoonstelling in een ander deel van Ueno Park dus daar terug naartoe geweest… Verslag volgt!

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Het avontuur is begonnen!

Even een heel kort berichtje. Gisteren door de nacht gevlogen rond een uur of 4 in de middag. Resultaat: Jetlag.   
Aangekomen op Narita Terminal 1 rond 10 u plaatselijke tijd.

 Vrij vlot de weg gevonden naar Tokyo station. Borden genoeg, 't is kwestie van je niet te haasten en rustig je weg te zoeken, genietend van het sfeertje.

En zoals beloofd aan de kids: ogen open voor robots voor Milla en dieren voor Kiéro… Eerste robot gespot!  

Uiteindelijk toch maar meteen doorgereisd naar S. (Zodat dees) JET (in de namiddag even op bed) LAG.

Klaar voor een lekker avondje sushi en sashimi met S. en E.

Blij met zo'n fijne ontvangst!

Op naar Sumi-E in Tokyo vandaag… Als de wekker nu eens zou willen aflopen!

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Spreading sumi-e ;-)

Just got a new mail from Japan. By M., a student volunteering to guide tourists around and practicing her English. I’ve come across more than one such organisation during my preparations. It sounds great. You contact them via their site and they match you with one of their members. From then on you fix everything directly in person. Logically you have to pay for the transportation, lunch and entrance fees of your guide but apart from that their service is free (or in some cases you pay by spreading peace over the world). img_0009

M. had confirmed that she would guide me around in Kyoto. That was something to look forward to! But it got even better…

When I filled out the application form I’d mentioned my interest in sumi-e. She had had courses in shodo when she was younger and was eager to personalise the tour around those themes… Wow! Great news!

I had heard from sumi-e teachers and enthousiasts alike that the technique wasn’t very popular in Japan anymore. That it became harder and harder to find craftsmen who still make our precious materials. That the so called Living National Heritage was experiencing great difficulty in finding successors.

But then today a new message from my guide in Kyoto… with such great news!

During the preparations for our excursion she met a sumi-e artist who would love to meet us. That during the conversation M. got more and more intrigued by the technique that she wants to try it for herself… And if it would be OK for me if she arranged a little course for us, and if that would be ok for me than it’s out of the question that I would be paying her fee for attending…

Can someone pinch me now please?

You have to know that this is not the first mail in this tone. I am feeling so welcome in Japan already! You can hardly imagine what’s going to happen in the next weeks! The kids are less enthousiastic but I am counting the nights as they do when their birthdays approach! It’ll be worthwhile! I only have to sleep for 12 nights!!

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… My Maps is very useful!

Planning with My Maps

I’ve been dreaming of travelling to Japan for years. Daydreaming while flipping the pages of travelguides and browsing blogs. When I heard about My Maps 2 years ago it was a nice gift. Finally I was able to keep all this information together in 1 place that’s always within reach.

I’ve had fun giving every spot it’s own colour and icon and adding my personal comments to each of them. Now that I’m planning my trip on a relatively short period of time it comes in handy. I can see which places are close to each other and thus decide where to stay a few nights.

Een stukje van MyMap Japan
A piece of MyMap Japan

Travel directions

You even have the possibility to generate travel directions directly in My Maps. That is, when you travel by car, because unfortunately the public transport option is only available in Google Maps… Let’s hope that will change soon…

Other possibilities

My Maps is a great tool for private use but it also offers the possibility to upload a list of addresses. This could be useful for example to visualise the geographical spread of a list of clients.

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What happend before…

2016 started as a very special year…

For years I’ve been dreaming, planning without purpose… and now suddenly I get the opportunity to make that dreamtrip… Off to Japan, to the roots of my passion… sumi-e.

I’ll be travelling solo, 3 weeks without my loved ones to a country of which I don’t speak the language… I sometimes tell myself I get the chance to get lost and make sure to find my way to get back in time for the flight home. ;-)

Why do I go? Because I love to wander off on my own from time to time… Because it’s time to go and thank those who make the wonderful materials I love to paint with!

How I dare to take off? Well, a year ago I would have passed, but since I see so many people cheering up our world by making their dreams come true, why wouldn’t I give it a try?

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