Exploring Japan

The weekend before the workshop in Tokyo I had some time to explore the city. On Saturday I met up with Rio for a dance photoshoot, you can see the photos in the “Tokyo on pointe” blog post. For Sunday I headed to the Ueno Park, and the Tokyo National Museum.

Ueno park.
A lavishly decorated helmet at the Tokyo National Museum.
Soma crazy looking god-statue.
Random European statue under a tree.
It got dark quite early, on the way back to the hotel for some dinner.

If you are curious about what we did at the meeting, then see the separate Tokyo Workshop blogpost. The day after the meeting I headed to a nearby train station to buy a Japanese Rail Pass. Armed with the JR pass I headed to Kamakura, where the Shogunate had been based from 1185 to 1333. I spoke with an American on the train who had lived in Japan for a long time, he gave me directions to Hasedera, a Buddhist temple dating back to 800th century.

Hasedera, a Buddhist temple from the 800th century.
I walked along the beach, before heading back up north towards the Shoguns old house.
Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, a Shinto shrine built in the Edo style.

In the evening I headed to Shinjuku where Johan Nordström lived. We went out for sushi to a local restaurant where Johan knew the chef.

Johan and his chef-friend.
Johannes and Johan enjoying first class sushi and sake.
Early morning in Shinjuku. Johan had mentioned that they were having a dance workshop at Tsuru university that day, so I decided to tag along.


Before the workshop started Johan had some meetings, so in the meantime I took a train to Mt Fuji. The mountain was closed for the season, but I got a nice photo of it.


Johan’s office at Tsuru University.
The dance workshop begins.
Traditional Japanese dancing.
It is a mix between pantomime and dancing. The sun feather can symbolise many things, how the instructor demonstrated how it could be used as a bottle of wine.
All the workshop attendees.
Johan and his teacher-crew.

The following day I headed to Kyoto in the morning.

Wandering the streets of Kyoto. There were many shops were you could rent a kimono for a day.
The hotel I was staying at was located in the Maruyama Park, surrounded by trees and temples.
The Shogun’s palace in Kyoto. The wooden floor in the main keep was special made, and it sang like birds when you walked on it.
The Gion quarters in Kyoto, where the geishas once lived and worked.
Exploring the streets looking for a good restaurant.

The first time I was in Japan I flew via Osaka, and had a free day there, which I wanted to use to go to Himeji castle, but unfortunately the train tracks were being repaired that particular day. So when I was walking to the train station on Saturday my original plan had been to go see a famous temple, but I changed my mind and decided to take the Shinkansen to Himeji Castle.

Himeji Castle did not disappoint. It is a truly magnificent castle that was recently restaurated.
Himeji Castle

On the Sunday I met up first with Emily and then with Jane. My internet data had run out, so it was a bit of an adventure to find each other, but in the end it worked out. Those photos will be in a separate blog post.

— Johannes

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