Posted by: thewhitesintokyo | September 28, 2008

Beautiful

Whether it’s been a beautiful view from the top of a mountain in Colorado or Argentina, or a sunset reflecting off the water in Minnesota or Italy, we’ve been lucky to see and experience beauty in many different ways and in many different places on this earth. Beauty in Japan takes its own unique twist though. It reminds me of a Miles Davis musical concept, but applied more generously. Pure open space is often as important as the stuff taking up the space, and nature frequently winds its way into unexpected areas.

Ironically, in a densely populated city of 35 million, where there are on average 36,000 people per square mile, the traditional elements of Japanese culture thrive on simplicity. Maybe it’s a desire for refuge amidst the busyness of congested subways and streets, but Japanese art, food, architecture, etc. seem to share a common sense of simplicity.

For example, from our roof, we watch beautiful sunsets over Mt. Fuji, just a head tilt away from a busy shopping mall. Walking through a packed shopping neighborhood, we stumbled into a seemingly ancient forest and witnessed a gorgeous traditional Shinto wedding procession.

The beauty of sushi is shared by the unique and careful preparation of the rice, the delicate knife work with the freshest of fish, and the simple colors and shapes that the final platter will take.

Bushes and shrubs are carefully manicured, to an extent I’ve never seen before. The coastal cities we saw this weekend are not as colorful or luxurious as those on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, but the unabashedly simple homes and communities dotting the coast are endearing and welcoming.

We desperately needed an escape from our metropolitan life this weeked, so camping was a welcome adventure (entry coming soon). This was where we set up camp…

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Responses

  1. Touching … akin to the closing monologue of a travel show.


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