No visit to Kyoto’s Eikan-do would be complete without a visit to the hillside pagoda – though many visitors miss the amazing view because the path to the pagoda (and the fact that it’s open to the public) isn’t always obvious. The path lies past the dragon fountain, at the edge of the steep hillside incline at the back of the temple grounds.Read more
Month: March 2018
A Visit to Eikan-do (Part 1)
Eikan-do Zenrin-ji sits on the southern end of the famed “Philosopher’s Path” that runs along a canal in Northeastern Kyoto. Founded during the mid-9th century, Zenrin-ji is the head temple of the Jodo-shu Seizan Zenrin-ji sect of Buddhism in Japan, and although it’s a popular tourist spot, it’s also very much a living, functioning Buddhist temple.Read more
Springtime in Tokyo!
Sadly, I had to leave Tokyo last week and return to the USA to finish chemotherapy. (On the positive side, I had an infusion last week, and only have one more to go!) Fortunately, I didn’t miss out on all of the lovely spring flowers in Japan.Read more
Heading For the Chemo Finish Line – and Japan
Today I had my penultimate infusion of Taxol chemotherapy. Now that I only have one more to go, I’m starting to reflect on this journey and the things I’ve learned, and to make more solid preparations for the upcoming move to Japan.Read more
Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo!
I’m flying back from Tokyo today. Although I only had a week to spend in Japan this time (I have chemo Wednesday morning, and need to keep the infusions on track) I consider the trip a resounding success.Read more
Traditional Sweets at Hamarikyu Gardens
Although I can’t do much sightseeing this trip due to chemotherapy (compromised immune systems and crowded places do not mix) I’m cleared for outdoor walks, and since Tokyo’s famous Hamarikyu Gardens are only two short blocks from my hotel, I took advantage of the excellent weather and went for a lovely walk this afternoon. Hamarikyu Gardens opened to the public in 1946, but the park has existed for centuries. Originally the private hunting and falconry ground of the Tokugawa shoguns, the gardens are now a public park. The gardens contain several lakes – some of which originally functioned as duck huntingRead more
Ginza, Visas, and the Start of the 100 Summits Quest
Yesterday afternoon, I arrived in Tokyo to begin the first official step toward the #100Summits Project: filing my visa application. Japanese residence visas can be difficult to obtain, but I’m hopeful my plans to climb the hyakumeizan and my publishing contract for 100 SUMMITS–a nonfiction book about my quest to scale Japan’s most famous peaks in a single year–will be sufficient for me to obtain a one-year visa.Read more
Traveling to Japan . . . on Chemotherapy
Tomorrow evening, I board a flight for Los Angeles, and Sunday morning I’m heading for Japan to meet with my immigration representative and sign my visa application. On Wednesday, I had my second infusion of Taxol chemotherapy (number 2 of 4) so I’ll be recovering from the side effects while I travel.Read more
Onward, Into the Breach!
Yesterday, my husband and I sold the house we’ve called home for the last 14 years and moved to a rental apartment where we’ll spend the next two months (and a little more) while waiting on our visa application for the move to Japan. When I decided, a year ago, to close my law practice and take a sabbatical year to climb the nihon hyakumeizan (hundred famous mountains of Japan) the endeavor seemed crazy but exciting–a chance to face my fears and live the life I’d always dreamed of living. Now that the time has come, it’s also terrifying.Read more
Shojin Ryori – Japanese Temple Cuisine
Although I love most styles of Japanese cooking, my favorite is shojin ryori, or temple cuisine. This style of cooking, practiced primarily in Buddhist temples, came to China from Japan along with the Zen Buddhism. Since Buddhist practice forbids killing animals for consumption, shojin ryori contains no meat or fish and also eschews the use of “exciting” or “pungent” ingredients like garlic and onions.Read more