Japan, 2017

Here’s a few moments from our trip to the land of the rising sun, Japan.

IMG_6521Having just boarded in Dallas, Sadako and I, do a “selfie toast” on the plane to Narita International.  We look happy, even though we have 14 long hours to go. Must be the champagne!

fullsizeoutput_b33Some twenty hours after take-off, we enjoy a steak dinner at Hotel Gajoen where we’ll stay for a few days. Here’s the chef getting our steak ready to cook.

IMG_6538We end the meal with a birthday plate for Masako-san, Sadako’s mother, who is eighty-three years young. Doesn’t she look great?

IMG_6574Later the next day in the hotel lobby, we all posed for a picture. Super nice! Totally decadent–I really need that every now and then.

DSC_1747That afternoon Sadako and her mother went shopping. I headed for the bookstores!

DSC_1748And of course here’s a sign I love to see.

IMG_0795Back at Gajoen, we attended an Ikebana show– Ikebana is the art of flower arrangement. Here’s a lovely sample.

DSC_1671An outdoor performance at Yasukuni Shrine where performers wore traditional Edo period costume.  Drummers.

DSC_1724And dancers.

DSC_1842Of course what would a trip to Japan be if you couldn’t see Mt. Fuji. I got this shot when we visited Lake Ashinoko, a short bus ride out of Hakone. The day before was rainy with hard wind gusts. I was afraid we might not be able to see Fuji-san which has a well-deserved reputation for being shy. But next day, the sun came out and …ah!

DSC_1611 (1)We then train traveled to Osaka. Of course train travel means crowds and

IMG_0916salary men at the ticket machines, and

IMG_0879on the train, folks reading, meditating, and sleeping while traveling.

IMG_0884Finally we got to Osaka and met up with friends where talk and laughter rules!

DSC_1759Not every body is happy though. This young lady on her way to school gave me a look I’ll not soon forget.

IMG_7097Here’s some of the dishes I enjoyed: Sushi! And yes, that’s my sweater, getting tight about the waist.

IMG_6939Pork cutlet and curry-rice.

IMG_7098Steamed eel on rice

fullsizeoutput_b2bTraditional Japanese breakfast…excuse my fingers at the top left.

photo-2 Dinner with fried oysters in the shell.

photo-4Topped off with a bottle of chilled Sake!

And finally here’s a mixed bag of favorite moments.

IMG_6789Early morning at our hotel in Hakone: a lovely mix of western and Japanese style architecture.

DSC_2087A shrine to The Tale of Genji author, Murasaki Shikibu, in Uji, Kyoto.

IMG_0902A scene in the lovely Kenrokuen park in Kanazawa. It was raining which added to the quiet beauty.

IMG_0887In Osaka, a lady folding a silk Kimono. It was at this Kimono store, we bought some silk for my sister in Tennessee.

DSC_2094Meeting with some terrific students in Kyoto. The young man in the center asked me to say something so that he could hear the English language. I rolled off a few sentences extolling him and his friends. He stood back and said “Wow.” Again, it was one of “those” moments.

photo-3Here I am in one of the malls in Osaka. I love these malls. There’s no doors. You simply walk in from the street and here you can find everything from bicycle repair to vegetables. That’s my new hat–I think I look more like a writer now!

IMG_7243We met up with some more friends–Ichida-San and his family. Allow me to introduce everyone. Moving around clockwise: Ichida-san in the check shirt, his sister, Akiko, holding a peace sign, then Akiko’s daughter, Ai, then Ichida-san’s son, Koki who sits next to his mom, Yoshiko, then Sadako, next, yours truly, then older son, Yuto,  Ishida-San with his wife, Yoshiko, and his two sons have lived here in Decatur, Alabama for the past three years. They have just moved back to their home in Osaka, Japan. We had lunch at a pork cutlet restaurant, which turned out to be super-great!

IMG_7232Sadako and I one evening had a fun time at a Yakitori-ya where we drank hot sake and ate tons of yakitori. Here’s a few patrons and the owner/cook.

DSC_2098We had a great time, but you know, how it is, sometimes folks just get tired, and they need to talk things out…       Sadako and I had just gotten off the train when we came across this rather tender scene. It was perfect. And thus, our trip came to an end.

It all goes so fast, but the memories last forever.

I hope you enjoyed.



40 thoughts on “Japan, 2017

  1. Miss Gentileschi

    Beautiful pictures and impressions of your lovely trip to Japan, Paul! I enjoyed every photo but especially those including food 😉 And I can understand how that sweet little girl looking sadly out of the bus window stayed with you – I’m sure I wore the same look going to school instead to the playground that age! 😁
    Have a lovely week!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. SoundEagle

      Hi Paul,

      I finally have the chance to see your photos, which you revealed to me while you were still in Japan that you would post them on your blog on returning home from Japan. I agree with Miss Gentileschi that they are very nice photographic samples of your trip there, which you must have enjoyed thoroughly. Thank you.

      I would also like to inform you that I have recently improved and extended the post that I mentioned to you earlier as follows:

      I agree with Anna that you deserve the award. Thank you for sharing with us the story of your life, which has been well lived. How far you have come from the dumb child that your cruel sixth-grade teacher had nearly turned you into!

      I find your inter-racial experiences with your life-long friend, Newtie Boyd, and then your second wife, Sadako, and your mother-in-law to be very touching.

      To you and your family I wish a very Happy November, the final month of your favourite season.
      Since you like “Asian poetry with an emphasis on Tang Dynasty poets of China”, I would like to introduce you to my newest post, which contains a Tang Dynasty poem beginning with the line “疾風知勁草”, published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/

      This poem is my favourite from that period, and comes in several versions. Furthermore, the first line has existed long before the poem itself. Please enjoy!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. laura bruno lilly

    You look so happy! Love the hat, but wish you’d taken a pix of more silk fabrics – what color did you get your sister?
    Didn’t realize pork cutlets were so hot in Japan…food looks awesome. Thanks for the great summary post, really enjoyed it. Oh and you’re right, your mother-in-law looks much younger than her years. Lucky lady!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Paul Post author

      You know, we literally thought the same about the silk. We simply didn’t take pictures when we were there. I think we were overwhelmed with the sheer loveliness of it all. We ended up with two yards of a deep purple that subtlety faded into a light pink with a flower design woven into all that. It was nice. My sister nearly cried when she saw it.
      The pork cutlet meal is fairly common in Japan to the point that you have dedicated restaurants. And it’s oishii…delicious. Masako san is a great travel companion. She gets around quite well, climbs stairs better than I do. I think one dominant trait that keeps her young is curiosity. She constantly wants to discover and experience the new restaurant or the new onsen, or hotel. Oh and a great sense of humor. 🙂
      Thank you Laura for reading and a wonderful reply.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Madeeha

    There’s story in every picture. I love them all but the effect of rain and shade of early morning sun in pictures look majestic to me.
    I love reading about this journey. I’m pretty sure you’ll be feeling more fresh now.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Paul Post author

      I have to mention as well. Fuji. I’ve now been to Japan six times and each time I’ve been able to get photos of this great mountain/volcano. This shot blew us away as well. We were at the lake and walking along a sidewalk and we literally could not see Mt. Fuji. We knew it was there somewhere. I mean how the hell can a mountain hide. But, in this case it does hide behind some nearby hills across the lake. So we walked on with heads down, talking and suddenly there it is! It takes your breath away. Thanks again Derrick. Such positive remarks from a man who knows how to take great pictures, I feel honored. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Deb

    Wow Paul your pics and storytelling are wonderful. Not too long ago you were in Japan, were you not? How nice to be able to go back and visit again so soon. I bet Sadako loves going back home to visit…her Mom looks fabulous. That shot you got of Mt. Fuji is gorgeous and impressive. Love your hat, it definitely suits you. I hope you wear it while writing, I would imagine it would be a great inspiration…hmmm maybe a book about a private detective is in order…that’s what it makes me think of. Thanks for sharing your trip, the food and the culture all amazing!! Once again, Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul Post author

      Ah Deb, you have fallen into the same “time trap” that Sadako and I talk about quite often: the last time we were in Japan was exactly one year ago! Dang, time does travel like an arrow! haw! But tons of thanks for the lovely remarks. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving…both Cody and I have gained a few pounds!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Deb

        WOW! I can’t believe that it was a year ago…holy smokes…I swear I was just reading your post and looking at pics…that was a year ago??? Well so happy you had a wonderful time and Thanksgiving. Guess you and Cody are going to have to go for a walk to work off those extra pounds…lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. M. Miles

    Lovely pictures, Paul, especially of shy Mt. Fuji! Glad the weather cleared up for you.

    PS- Eleanor is in the mail on the way to you! It took me a bit to get copies from the printer, so I wanted to let you know that you weren’t forgotten. = )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Paul Post author

      Whoa! Thank you so much for the kind words. The trip, as all of our trips are to Japan, wonderful. Thanks for checking out the pictures.

      I look forward to my copy of Eleanor. So! what’s your next project? Are you at work or in the “planning” stage? Whatever you do…don’t stop!
      Thanks again, Miles, you’re a great friend. 🙂


    1. Paul Post author

      Oh yeah, the food was terrific. When I first went to Japan with my wife Sadako, five years ago, I could eat maybe 30% of the traditional Japanese dishes put in front of me. Now, I clean the plate! hahaha. But, to be honest I had to get past some cultural issues. Still, I can’t eat squid, unless it fried, no octopus, and tofu is still something I can’t handle! haw! I’m just too damn southern. 🙂

      Thanks for checking out the pics. 🙂


  6. doesitevenmatter3

    What an amazing country! What beautiful people! Thank you for sharing your trip with us! 🙂
    How often do you get to visit there?

    Oh, and the food looks so delicious! 🙂

    Thank you for requesting access to my WP blog site! You should be able to get on my site and read now!

    I look forward to reading your blog posts!

    HUGS to you and your wife Sadako!
    Carolyn 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Smitha V

    Absolutely enjoyed reading about your trip, Paul. Japan has been on my bucket list but now with the pictures you’ve put and your experiences, it moved several notches higher. Love the pic of the little girl in the bus and the last pic speaks volumes. As you said, a ‘tender’ scene. The food looks mouthwatering. Now I know exactly what I must try when I visit.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cynthia Guenther Richardson

    I am sorry I missed this when posted but so glad I came back to it. Such a fine variety of shots–breathtaking mountain, elegant hotel, a bridge that draws me, the dancers and musicians, too, and street scenes–such a different place. I love the Ikebana and the food-filled tables look attractive. (My husband has been on business many times but I never have been.) and happy moments with friends and family–the way such a trip ought to be! I love the new hat. Thanks for taking us along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul Post author

      Sadako and I pore over these pictures from time to time. We have tons! But it’s so much fun to look at these and then fill in the gaps with the experience. Thank you so much. I’m really glad you enjoyed them.
      We go back in December. More pictures! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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