Home Community Voices NAP Spring Japan Tour 2023: Kyoto, Uji and Nara

NAP Spring Japan Tour 2023: Kyoto, Uji and Nara

Photos by Bruce Fleming
Text by Karyn Kubo Fleming For The North American Post

The tour group began in Tokyo then headed west making a side trip from Nagoya Aug 11 issue before continuing to Kyoto
The narrow road to Nara The jour­ney takes 45 minutes to an hour by train Images Google Maps








Following the official end of the North American Post-sponsored Japan Tour in May, we were fortunate to stay a few extra days to explore Kyoto more deeply. When family and friends ask us to name just one highlight, we both give the same answer: Arashiyama. We stayed two nights at an authentic ryokan, where we enjoyed fresh and delicious kaiseki dinners, traditional breakfasts, soothing soaks both morning and evening, and relaxed meandering through Kameyama-koen Park, the famous Bamboo Grove, and nearby shrines and gardens. We found magic and meaning in nearly every encounter and location in Japan, and are already dreaming about a return visit.




Nishiki Market pickled vegetables display Kyoto The lanterns list the varieties available Like sushi type kanji many are difficult for even native Japanese to read The understandable selections include takenoko asazuke top row lightly pickled bamboo shoots nasu no shibazuke eggplant pickled with red shiso leaves senmai zuke second row radish thinly sliced and hakusai zuke third row Chinese cabbage Translations Hikari Kono
We arrived early to Todaiji the Great Eastern Temple and UNESCO World Heritage site It was mostly the deer and us in Nara Park quiet enough for a moment of reflection Todaiji is one of Japans most famous and historically significant temples housing one of the largest bronze statues of Daibutsu Great Buddha in the country
Full size replicas of the hands of the Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple The left is the Yoganin sign for the fulfillment of wishes Seimuin on the right helps one to never be afraid
As if one UNESCO World Heritage site werent enough in a day we walked through another section of Nara Park to visit Kasuga Taisha Naras most celebrated shrine famous for its vermillion buildings and hundreds of suspended bronze lanterns that represent enlightenment Kasuga Taisha is dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city
Disciples at the Kintano Tenmangu shrine northwest Kyoto prepare an offering of ume plums This is the first shrine in Japanese history where an actual person was enshrined as a deity Sugawara no Michizane is best known for being the god of academics Students come here to pray for passing scores on their exams With no tests to stress about we were there in part for its famous monthly flea market
A statue of poet courtesan and novelist Murasaki Shikibu awaits visitors at the west end of Uji bashi Bridge a significant setting in Murasakis The Tale of Genji The bridge was also the last gathering place for most members of the Spring 2023 Japan tour before heading home

Flemings on the Ginza Tokyo

Bruce Fleming is a photographer and graphic artist. His work has appeared in
Seattle coffee shops, salons, pop-up events and galleries. As a photographer, Bruce experienced the Post’s Japan Tour like fishing in an aquarium. More of his catch
can be viewed online at: @brucedenefleming

Karyn Kubo Fleming is a dedicated public servant, active volunteer and third-generation Japanese American. She handcrafts greeting cards that feature Japanese elements such as washi (Japanese paper), origami (paper folding) and mizuhiki
(paper cords). She had to buy an art tube to bring home all the washi she
purchased on the tour.

Instagram: @kubocards