videos of real Japan

I like to introduce videos of my tour!
They were made by Janice. She came to Japan with her husband in cherry blossoms season last year. It was her first visit to Japan. They joined a group. This group consisted of mainly Japanese-Americans. They come back to Japan periodically. It was my 4th trip with them. They are like my family.

Some of them were born in Japan and god married to American soldiers after WW2. Then they moved to USA with their husband when they finished their mission in Japan. In the beginning, wives had a hard time in USA because they couldn't understand English but they didn't have money to go back to Japan.
In addition to that, according to my mother's story, I think although they came back to Japan at that time, they might have been considered as somebody different and couldn't find their space even in Japan.
But the wives had babies and decided to live in USA. They are now in their 80's and they have a strong spirit.

And some of them were born in USA and have American citizenship. However, during WW2, all of their possessions were confiscated by American Government and they were gathered in concentration camps.
Men had to fight against Japanese as an American.

Snow falling on Cedars

It was a Big Contradiction!! I'm always upset and furious whenever I hear this kind of story. I read a book, `Snow falling on Cedars', watched movies related to this theme and listened to their stories whenever they come back to Japan.

the statue of Sadako 
at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

However, I had a chance to meet the 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of Japanese-Americans last summer.
Children told me that they researched A-bomb from Japanese side and their American friends researched from American side and shared their both views at class.
I was touched by that idea and believed those children are a symbol of our bright future without any boundaries. As an adult, we have to promise to protect them and their future!

Finally, I like to introduce Janice's videos. During their tour, I always speak English and Japanese because a few of them don't understand English. Although I speak the same things, they always listen to me attentively and do the same reaction. Although I speak twice, they forget because they are old, then I have to speak the same things again and again. They are like my young grandparents!

There are 4 videos but it isn't completed yet. I hope Janice will complete someday!!
Areas they visited are not visited by regular tourists. Those sites are very special to people like them.
You can see real life of Japan. Please enjoy them!


A Message from Kyoto 2011

This is a new video to introduce Kyoto area now made by the Japan Federation of Certified Guides which I belong to. I appreciate their effort to promote our safety. However those who made this video emphasize the safety in Kansai, the western part of Japan. Personally I feel a bit sad because Kanto, the eastern part of Japan sounds to have problems. It's true though. The tea plantation near Hakone beyond Tokyo found to be exposed to the radiation. The harvest of the tea should be abandoned. The truth is always hidden by the authorities and we are informed much later. Now many of us can't believe information brought by mass media. We know we had better to google or use another means.

But it's true Kansai area is safe and nothing is changed. If you are in Tokyo, you'll find less light, less operating escalators and drinking places closing early. I hope people in the normal area do their best and it brings to early recovery in our economy. Please enjoy the video!

Enoshima Aquarium

I went to an aquarium in Enoshima. The island connected by a bridge is called Enoshima. The aquarium is located just by the sea. My junior and high school is located near here. I sometimes jogged to here at physical education. I didn't like jogging...

For some of you who moved from Tokyo to Hakone when you were in Japan,  you drove along this seacoast and had a look at this island. I always explain this island.

In summer, there are so many surfers, swimmers and long traffic jams.

Last year, one popular drama was shooting in this aquarium. In the drama, a girl who had mishap met a man who worked here and also had a problem. He told her that jellyfish doesn't have a brain and is dissolved when it dies. She said she liked to be a jellyfish at first. But at the end, they overcame their difficulties together and she was happy to be a human.
Therefore, jellyfish is a must to see here!

On that day, there were sooooo many students including kindergarten and elementary kids.

Peaceful moment! I felt like receiving gifts from the universe!!

I don't know this is one of Japanese characteristics or it fits to all the nationalities.
Many of Japanese are good at giving but not used to receiving. I was taught to be nice and modest to others first. I sometimes feel guilty if somebody is nice to me first and feel I have to return as soon as possible.

Right now in the disaster-stricken areas, even the sufferers feel guilty because they survived and their houses were left. My area is also considered to be the stricken area but I didn't notice it until my friend in the west part of Japan told me because I'm safe at home. The atmosphere of guilt covers Japan.

But I try to change this idea. Now I think the more I receive, the more I can give. I can give others the same amount and quality of what I receive. The balance is always important.
At the same time, I like the idea of 'Pay it Forward'.

I wish I could swim like this person. One of my dreams is to swim with wild dolphins.

Dolphin show is another must to see!

Dolphins sing and dance together with instructors!

They are so clever!  In a part of my mind, I wonder how those dopiness feel and what their destiny is.
But I focused on enjoying myself.

Two dolphins swim together. They are mother and child.

Dolphins seem to be relaxing after the show.

The weather was very nice and I had a good time!


my first pastel class

I'm going to attend another pastel lesson this weekend and paint Mandala art which is something like 
a geometric pattern.
Although my sister never tries pastel-painting, she loves to join it. So I taught her how to paint and it was my first class at home.

Step1. It was the basic! We grind a pastel and use a finger to make a circle.

Step2. Another circle around the first one. If you use yellow, it looks like a circle shining.

Step3. Fill in the blank. In the beginning, we use ivory pastel to paint the paper.

Step3. We use special but easy techniques and it is completed!

We put it in a frame. We can turn the flame to find your favorite pattern depending on your mood of the day. The flowers in front was made of clay by my sister.

In an hour, she painted 3 paintings!!

It is a piece of cake!

I also have a Japanese-language blog, ohisamatonakayoshi.
My readers commented they would love to join my pastel class when I hold it.
I'm very happy to hear that and encouraged a lot!

I'll keep practicing!


New doors are opening!

It was my birthday yesterday! Thank you very much for lovely messages and presents!!
I heard delightful news from my friend in Holland. I'm happy to heart that! Thank you for sharing your happiness!!

I spent my birthday in a totally different way compared with previous years.
I was on a tour with a British group last year.

All the tour members were presented a copy of this hand-painting done by Mr. Robin. It was his first time to visit Japan. He had been dreaming of visiting Japan and painted this image. It is very beautiful and heart-warming!

As I mentioned several times, since 311, I have no tours. I miss my tours and my guests a lot.
However I feel it is a big turning point right now and new doors are opening for me.

On the day before my birthday, I was invited to a meeting where my spiritual friends practiced healing.
Most of them are professional healers and channelers. I'm not but I'm an interpreter for foreign healers and channelers. While I can translate them, I automatically acquire those abilities. However, I never thought I practiced more and counselled somebody. But now after attending the healing practice, my situation may be changed, I feel.

The above pictures were taken during healing workshop last month.
The picture below is from channeling workshop last November.

There were so many participants in only 2 workshops. This means many Japanese are spiritually awaken.
Many know materials don't make us happy any more.

Originally Japanese were very spiritual until WWⅡ. However, we lost the war, our basic idea was totally destroyed at that time and materialism was brought to Japan. People worked very hard to rebuild our land and materials became symbol of the status. It was true materials made our life convenient.
However, we finally realized we lost something important.

I said Japanese are spiritually awaken. More and more are awaken now especially after 311.
We try to remember our ability, open our heart and follow our heart not our thought.
We believe we can create our world by our intention. The law of attraction truly works in the universe.

On my birthday, I went to a pastel-painting class.

I painted all of them in one day. Finally I know how to paint roses! The painting of pyramids and an aurora is  strange since both of them never exist at the same time. But I learned the techniques and I felt I accomplished. After I submit several paintings to the pastel association, I can be semi-instructor and teach.

Now I feel new doors are opening right now. Lots of my fruitful future visions can be visualized now in my mind.
I like to paint, teach, do healing and channeling...etc. If I'm needed, I like to follow the path.
Right now, I just do whatever I can do and make me happy.
Carpe diem!!


practice pastel painting

I'm sorry I couldn't update for a week since I wasn't in a good condition. I almost recovered!
May is my birthday month. So many things are happening and changing practically and mentally in the birthday month. This sickness is something like great purification to me. I couldn't do anything and slept all day. Now I'm refreshed and start again!

Some say the true start of the year is from our birthday practically. Considering that fact, we have 3 chances to start again like the New Year, the lunar New Year and the birthday. Please use these 3 opportunities to refresh yourself and reconsider your life!

It was raining for a few days and it was hot and sunny like summer today. The weather is changeable now which is unusual.

Today I practiced painting pastel. The last lesson will be the day after tomorrow.
I had homework which was message painting for my classmates and Mother.
The below ones are for my classmates.

The message of the herat pastel painting is to listen to your heart which knows all the answers and takes you out to the colorful worlds. The classmate I like to give this to wants to change her career.

The other one is because sky, wind and earth are all connected wherever you are abundance pours over you. The other classmate used to live in Thailand and moves to US next. She worries because she can't  speak English.

So I wanted to encourage both of them and painted them!

Since last weekend was Mother's Day, I painted this for Mother. Actually my mother is not young like this.
But it's OK, Maybe I depicted a good part of my mother. After I showed this to my teacher, I'll present this to Mother.

This is the last one for me. I wanted to paint a rose but I couldn't... The rose changed into heart. I like it!
At next lesson, I'll ask my teacher how to paint roses. I want to improve a lot!!


Hama-rikyu Garden

On the Constitutional Day(May 3rd), I went to Hama-rikyu garden with my friend. Hama-rikyu garden is one of my favorite gardens in Tokyo. Throughout the year, we can enjoy beautiful flowers like rape blossoms, peonies and cherry blossoms.

I know wisterias are beautiful right now so I decided to come here!

They are beautiful! The best timing to see wisterias is difficult to be predicted. They were just before the full bloom on that day.

Azaleas started to bloom. Azaleas season last for a while. There are also a variety of trees in this garden like pine, maple and ginkgo trees.

This is 300-year old pine tree planted by the 6th Tokugawa Shogun. It is one giant pine tree!

The root originates from outside of the garden! Big Bonsai!!
The garden was originally owned by the Tokugawa Family(shogun's family) and had two duck-hunting sites. Later, it became a Detached Palace for the Imperial family. Then in 1945, the Imperial family gave the garden to the City of Tokyo and it became open to the public.

The water of the pond is from Tokyo bay which is located just by the garden.  It is a great example of mixture of a typical Japanese-style garden and modern high rises.

A small pavilion with a green roof on the pond is a tea house. Later we had tasty tea there!

Do you notice something different in the above photo?
The answer is... the photo is posted upside-down.
You see the reflection on the pond. How perfectly beautiful it is!

It started raining and we went to the tea house. We sat on the red carpet and waited for tea.

Maccha(=powdered green tea) and Japanese sweet shaped like wisteria were served in front of us.
Green tea contains a variety of vitamins and it's good for health.
The shape of the sweet differs depending on the season.  
We enjoyed the Japanese moment!

my friend, Noriko and me

I have known her for 2 years but it was the first time to go out together. 
She is very charming and powerful! We had lots in common.
I enjoyed talking with her. Thank you, Noriko!!

I hope I'll be back to see another beautiful flowers and trees!!


pastel painting

A holiday-studded week called `Golden Week' started!
I'll meet my friends, go to a concert and do some art works.

I went to a pastel painting class. It is a 3-day class and I finished 2 days. The last day will be the 15th.
I love painting! I sketched for a while but drawing by only a pencil was not very fun to me.

I love colors very much! 48 colorful pastels make me very happy. I felt like I went back to my childhood. The above paintings were done by the first day. I learn only basic skill. I'll paint as many paintings as possible until the last lesson.

At the 2nd day, I painted one based on the image of some music.

The music of my image was the one below I introduced on my blog before.
Once I listened to it, I can't forget it.

The left side of the painting depicts the past and the right does the future.
From the psychological view, it explains. I know it so I depicted the painting in that way, expecting the bright future.

But if we put this upside-down, it looks different!
It seems to say although our future is unknown and unseen, our brightness and brilliance can scatter the darkness so trust ourselves and the bright future.