All posts tagged: Japan Travels

Sky Earth Water Mouth Fuji | Where my heart leads

Mount Fuji Pilgrimage

4:38AM – August 26: I noticed the three teru teru bōzu ( Japanese spirit-dolls) hanging on the door at Munatsuki-sansō (胸突山荘) at station nine-and-a-half of the Fujinomiya trail to the top of Mount Fuji. They had been my guardian angels, praying for good weather for my successful ascent. Most of my fellow sojourners had already departed for the summit — they would miss watching the sunrise from the top if they weren’t arriving there by now. It was freezing outside — I had gone around to the bathroom behind the lodge and also that seemed to be everyone’s first topic of the day. I was standing at the doorway, gathering myself, contemplating whether I should linger longer inside the lodge for the sun to rise more and the air to warm up further. But the staff of the lodge must have seen me standing there with all my belongings on my back, looking ready to go. I could feel their gaze on me; it would be awkward not to leave now, so I said a …

Japanese Harvest Festival Matsuri | Where My Heart Leads

When a coffee chat turned into full-fledged Japanese Harvest Festival

Thanks to serendipity. This time last year, I was waiting at a train station two hours east of Tokyo. I had just taken a cab with two other Vipassana camp participants after our camp. We said our goodbyes and I waited for another two who said we’d meet for some coffee at the station before heading back into town. 15 – 20 minutes later, the two of them turn up in this little white buggy of a car. Waving, and windows rolled down, “Hey hey, we’re going to this really cool farm-to-table cafe that Yuriko is offering to take us. Would you like to go too?” “Sure!” I had no plans for the rest of my time in Tokyo so roadtrip/adventure? I’m in! My big fat suitcase just managed to fit into the trunk, and I squeezed into the back seat and off we went. The five of us didn’t know one another, but had ‘slept together’ the last 10 days at the Vipassana camp. At the wheel is Yuriko. She’s a local. A total …