Osaka ended up on our itinerary as a more affordable solution to staying in Kyoto, whose temples and shrines we wanted to visit in the peak of the cherry blossom season. We stayed in Osaka for 4 nights, making day trips to Kyoto and Nara, but ultimately we got to enjoy the city more than we expected, considering it our temporary home, and deciding on first soaking in the atmosphere and then sightseeing when we felt like it.Read More
Have you ever heard of Kanazawa? A small Japanese town on the shore of the Sea of Japan, with a population of about 500.000? I haven't, until I started planning our trip to Japan, and it turned out to be one of the sweetest surprises and highlights of our trip! It caught my attention when I read that one of Japan's three most beautiful landscape gardens was actually in Kanazawa, 3 hours train drive west of Tokyo. Since we had a JR train pass for the week, a night in Kanazawa ended up on our itinerary, as the first stop on our 5-day train journey from Tokyo.Read More
In the old town of Nara,
Many ancient Buddhas.
-Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)
If I imagine cherry blossoms' scent instead of chrysanthemums' scent (we visited Nara in early spring after all), this poem by 17-th century haiku master paints the picture I have of this town perfectly. It is a picture of the temples and shrines surrounded by thick forest, deer wandering the grounds of Nara park, colorful array of spring blossoms, and the tranquility presiding over it all despite the constant buzz of tourists and worshippers.Read More
Last month we went on a five-day skiing trip to Val di Fassa in the Northern Italian region of Trentino. The last few years we shifted from skiing in Austria to skiing in Italy, and that's mostly because we became real enthusiasts about all things Italian, but also because we find Italian slopes to be really well maintained, often wide and sunny, and then, there is this atmosphere of wildness, roughness and the sense of freedom that you get surrounded by bare rocky peaks of the Dolomites.Read More
We came to Kew on October afternoon, which except for being a bit chilly, turned out to be the perfect timing both for the colors of the leaves that started to turn yellow, red and brown, but also for the late afternoon light that pierced through the branches of the trees and over the river Thames. I would love to come back in spring, to observe the changes and the rush of colors and life coming into the garden.Read More