Travel to Japan
During April, my partner and I had the pleasure of traveling to Japan and Hong Kong. One of the delights of travel was that I was able to paint nearly everyday and some days I made more than one painting! Here are some highlights from the Japanese leg of the trip:
1. The Imperial Palace and Gardens. Gregg and I love visiting gardens and parks, when we travel, and this was a lovely one. We arrived early on a Sunday before it was very crowded and were able to enjoy the serene lawns and walks. As the day went on, the gardens filled with people, which made for great people watching. I found a relatively quiet spot to make this painting of a structure, which once had a view of Mt. Fuji, though the view has since been obscured by skyscrapers.
2. On our second full day, we explored an amazing neighborhood called Yanaka. It has the largest concentration of shrines in Tokyo, a charming Yanaka Ginza shopping street, and we explored beautiful Ueno Park. In the evening we had dinner at Tokyo Station and I painted in front of the relatively recently restored station building.
3. Fuji Five Lakes. One of the reasons we went to Japan in April, was to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. This year they bloomed a little before we arrived in Tokyo, but we were able to take a day trip to the Fuji Five Lakes region (as the name implies, an area around Mt Fuji, with five lakes). We visited a charming lake town, which reminded me of the little villages nestled in the alps. There we were able to see some beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom, along with views of Mt. Fuji.
4. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. We spent a lovely afternoon in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The garden has wonderful vistas, expansive lawns and beautiful cherry blossoms. I enjoyed painting the cherry blossom, it was very pleasant except for my allergic reaction to the pollen (my first such allergic reaction ever)!
5. Shibuya. We spent a relaxing day wondering and enjoying the Shibuya neighborhood including a lovely coffee shop, where I made a painting, and browsing shops
It was a wonderful visit to a fantastic city and I supremely enjoyed the welcoming, kind, rule-oriented Japanese culture!