Kyoto…and then, Tokyo

•October 19, 2015 • 3 Comments

Shots from inside a small temple garden in Kyoto…

And the widest bed we’ve ever slept in…6″ wider than a US king, and 22″ wider than our queen.  An aircraft carrier.


 In Tokyo, seeing the unusual becomes the norm

The contrast of the park setting and the enormous buildings was quite something.

And another very public wedding

Alison giving a donation to a Zen Monk

The shot above was taken on the main Ginza shopping street.  There were thousands of people, but being Japan, amazingly quiet. Tokyo, a city 1.5 times the size of NYC with mostly hybrid cars humming about and shutting off at the red lights, zero beeping horns, no street music, no buskers… You would be hard pressed to realize you’re in a city with almost 14M people.  Almost silent.


Playing with small stone spinning “tops”

This woman really wanted to have her photo taken with Alison…

Me too…

Nara: visiting a Sumi artisan, Inkan craftsman, and having Tea

•October 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Some photos of our visit with a Sumi-ink artisan


At the oldest Sumi-ink producer in Nara.  They have been making Sumi for 400 years.


 A Shinto purification ceremony… A nice surprise


A visit with a Inkan craftsman


Then lunch and tea at a beautiful temple.  That was a sweet with tea.

Clipping hedges that were already perfect. The temple gardens were gorgeous.

Cycling Shikoku

•October 12, 2015 • 5 Comments


The family I stayed with for two weeks while I was taking a Japanese language course.  The father sitting down is 100 years old. 


 The last meal they cooked for me was a Japanese treat. “Sazae”… A big snail  


 Where bicycles go to die 



The average farmer in Japan is well into their 60s and they are always in the fields and working really hard, especially this time of year  


 Huge pumpkin!


Today’s catch

This is outside one of the hotels I stayed at…a very remote location 


My typical cycling routes…But they’re not always THIS nice  


The following photos are from the Shimanami Kaito bike path that goes across the Seto sea linking Shikoku and Honshu



 Yes that’s a dedicated bike path 


 Sometimes the pathway goes underneath a bridge 



 And sometimes it was a bike lane on one of the islands 



 And at the end I stated in this really cool Cycling hotel 


Cycling Japan: Northeastern Kyushu

•September 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

 One hell of a bike lane! 

Rice fields everywhere 




Don’t ask 




One of the “7 Hells of Beppu”

The shower at the Onsen in Beppu 


 There are sulfur-smelling steam vents all over Beppu

 Onta, the small pottery village in the mountains above Hita.



One of the kilns.  



 “Onya”, or “sweet fish” in Hita.  It was “oi-shee” (delicious).




Another Japan journey

•September 23, 2015 • 3 Comments

A few days in Kumamoto before starting my 2 week Japanese class and homestay.

Pictures of the Kumamoto castle:

Kumamoto castle

Trunks of some thousand-year-old camphor trees

There were a series of these very cool benches along the river

A Hello kitty temple???

Japan has to have the worlds most expensive grapes.  $8.50 for 19 grapes…that’s about $.45 a grape. They were good though.   However, after that I had a fantastic lunch with several courses, sushi, soba noodles, and miso soup, for $0.25 more than the grapes.

Continue reading ‘Another Japan journey’

Some images of Morocco

•May 25, 2015 • 1 Comment





Marrakech, Morocco

•May 14, 2015 • 3 Comments

Far away from Santa Fe.  Morocco is having a heat wave. The temperature in Marrakech is 106 today, but it’s cool in our riad deep in the labyrinth of the medina.  


  On our 15th anniversary. 














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