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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2009/10/22

At Budokan (Or Thereabouts)

The entire TRIP to Japan forced me to be reflective. We saw more temples and shrines that I ever knew existed! We traveled to and stayed at a Buddhist Monastery where we chanted with monks at sunrise. I fell in love with Vermillion Torii’s and Pagoda’s, we soaked in onsens while being pampered at a Ryokan, we ate food that made no sense to us, but seemed to be Japanese delicacies, and we felt so welcomed by the locals that it redefined “hospitality.”

I STRONGLY encourage to you to visit Japan. It’s like no other place in the world. I am happy to send you my entire photo album that I condensed from 800 to 200 photos, but here are a few of my highlights:

First day in Tokyo, we woke up at 4:45am to be at the Tsukiji Fish Market for the tuna auction that starts at 6:00am

Many gorgeous weddings were taking place at the Meiji Shrine

Sensoji Temple with the 5-story pagoda next to it. The pagoda, in general, was the most outstanding structure that I saw in all of Japan. Here the 5 levels represent the 5 states of matter: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Ether

There are THOUSANDS of random public shrines on the streets of Japan. When you are praying, you ring the bell, bow, bow, clap, clap, then bow again. I am always thinking of my mom when I do this

We went to a Sumo match! It was SOOO exciting. Each of the wrestlers “aprons” cost $20,000

My father wanted to meet as many “national living treasures” while in Japan. Here, master calligraphic artist, Shotei Ibat, paints the character for “dance.” I told him afterwards I was in the music business!

Off to Hakone where we traveled by Pirate Ship!

At the Hakone open air museum, this STUNNING building was laced with stained glass and a brilliant spiral staircase

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