For the past couple of weeks our family has been quietly celebrating the one-year anniversary of our trip to Japan & South Korea
--going out to a Japanese restaurant with friends, making sushi/kimbap at home, looking at all the pictures.
It was such a volatile year--with so many things going on
--and this trip in some ways became the pin around which everything revolved. But amidst all the activity, and all the craziness preparing for this novel experience--once we finally arrived we found peace, relaxation, the kindness of strangers, and the generosity of friends. In the middle of some of the busiest cities in the world, we were chilling, on vacation.
I remember... the long flight, extra-special treatment at Japanese customs, the room (and the high-tech toilet), turning a corner and discovering Shibuya at night, the JR Yamanote Line, Asakusa, Akihabara, Ginza, Kamakura, Rose at Hase-dera, morning in Harajuku, Omotesando, Shinjuku, Mitaka, Ghibli, Maxie and the shinkansen, Yasaka-jinja, the ryokan, Hiromi, Higashkiyama, Kiyomizu-dera, Nara, soaking in the bath, the graveyards, Gion, Esmé and the Geisha, eating a village (kaiseki), Narita, Seoul, long drive, kids romping, dinner with friends, Gyeongju, mountain sunset, Sokkuram grotto, burial mounds, wandering around Seoul without kids, Insadong, Nanta, good-byes...
These experiences cast a long shadow.