I thought I'd kick off an early spring (it was 70 here in San Francisco yesterday!) with a few features on Japan. What does spring have to do with Japan? Well besides having a culture that celebrates spring like no other (life revolves around cherry blossom season), we're taking a two week trip there in late March! This will be my second trip to Japan. When we visited thirteen years ago, I was obsessed by photography (see my photos below) and carted around my vintage Leica that required a tripod for every shot. This time we'll have our eight year old daughter along with us which will make for a very different experience.

Cleaning person's sandals at a Kyoto shrine, 2000.
I know the best place in the world for textiles and ceramics is Japan, so I've got a lot to try to see while we're there, all the while trying to make this a relaxing family vacation. We will be staying in a traditional ryokan in Kyoto, hop over to balmy Okinawa to visit family and end in Tokyo, where we will stay at the Ritz Carlton for free (so there is an upside to my husband's countless business trips last year)!

Kyoto street scene (left), Tokyo street scene (right), 2000.
We're all so excited! In the meantime, I'm researching like crazy trying to figure out where to visit and what to see. It also helps that quite a few of my fellow students at the pottery studio I attend, Sharon Art Studio, are from Japan. I've been able to practice my rudimentary Japanese with them while they offer all sorts of advice on what to see and do.
Ladles at a Kyoto shrine, 2000.
I've purchased Hello Sandwiche's Tokyo Guides, read through DesignSponge's Tokyo Guide and have started compiling a list of cool places to visit and of course places to eat. When in Japan, it's also all about the food! It helps that my daughter's favorite food is Japanese, she gets excited when she sees a plate of masago.

Garden clogs in a Kyoto ryokan, 2000.
I plan to post a lot of the research I find on Pinterest this time, so be sure to follow my Japan board if you're planning a trip over there yourself.


Sophie Truong said...

your pics are beautiful and I'm green with envy ;) I must look for the list of things I had collected.. will be back in touch.

claire said...

Love the photos from your last trip, well worth the effort. Can't wait to hear about your adventures this time around, am just a little bit jealous. Do you follow Jollygoo blog? there have been a few guides to different parts of Tokyo on there recently x

blandina said...

Oh, Japan! My trip last April was a wonderful experience, when I came back I couldn't talk of anything else for weeks.
I will be following your adventures with interest.

kathrynclark said...

Sophie, would love to see your list! So wish you could have gone in 2011! Claire, I'll have lots of pics for you to enjoy at least so you can plan your trip one day! Blandina, I know the feeling well, such a life changing experience! I can't wait!

Katrina said...

love that you are going to japan! and love, love the new format of your blog--it looks divine. xo

so not that girl said...

How exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing your photography. If you can, look up a high end Japanese clothing line called Kapital. I think they make things from one of the oldest indigo factories there. Their work is exquisite and hard to find. There's a shop in Hayes Valley called Cotton Sheep that carries a few things.
Have a great trip!

kathrynclark said...

Thanks, Katrina! @sonotthatgirl, thanks for the info on Kapital. I'll definitely check out Kapital and I love Cotton Sheep!

lisa s said...

SO JEALOUS !!! the next time i go - i definitely want to go to okinawa !!! also osaka...

Lari Washburn said...

That is fantastic Kathryn! I've never been to Japan, but I'm sure you will find all the best things to do and see.


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