Guys, I just booked a trip to Japan in February. JAPAAAAAAAN. I’ve wanted to go to Japan for, like, twenty years. I’m going with The Moomins. I always recommend traveling with retirees. They have money and time, they’re excellent travel companions. I’m going to three major areas – Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. I’m also going to Nara to hang with the sacred deer. Here are some pics I found on the internet to give you an idea.




And then I’m also going to hang out and possibly bathe with the snow monkeys! More pics for clarity.




Here’s a list of all the places we will be going.

Todaiji Temple  ///  Kiyomizu Temple  ///  Nishijin Textile Center  ///  Gion (the old Geisha Quarter) and Pontocho  ///  Kenrokuen Garden  ///  Seisonkaku Villa  ///  Matsumoto Castle  ///  The Plum Blossoms Festival in Atami (they bloom in the winter)  ///  Kamakura Daibutsu (The Great Budhha)  ///  Hachimangu Shrine  ///  Tokyo Tower  ///  Imperial Palace  ///  Sensoji Temple

How frikkin’ amazing does this sound?!? I also get to see a 1,000 year old gingko tree, bathe in a traditional Japanese spa and stay in a traditional Japanese inn. I already anticipate spending all my money. I love Japanese artwork something fierce so I am going to have a problem. I intend to pack a bag in my bag for all the purchases I will be taking home. There will be gorgeousness like this:

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Ooohhhhhhh dear. And did I mention kawaii? Kawaii means cute in Japanese, and if you know anything about Japan, you know they do cute better than anyone.

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One specific artistic item I really want to purchase is kanzashi. Kanzashi is name for the hair ornaments primarily worn by geishas. They used to be made out metal or ivory or lacquer, but I want to get a set made with fabric, like these:

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So I was doing a bunch of research on where to shop for them (I found three stores in Kyoto, so wish me luck) but in the process of hunting on the internet, I came across someone who makes the most exquisite kanzashi. Her name is Sakae and she dips wire into resin. The wire has been made into a loop so when it dips in the resin it forms a skin, not unlike a bubble wand in bubble solution. Then the resin dries that way. Her work, there are no words. She is amazing.

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Ugggggghhhhh. My heart hurts looking at her work. Unfortunately, Sakae only sells her wares on a Japanese auction site, not in any stores. So I friended her on Facebook in the hopes that I will be notified if her work is up for sale (not that I’d understand a damn thing on the site, but a girl can dream).

Long story short: Going to Japan in February. Can’t wait. Gonna be awesome.

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