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Showing posts from April, 2013

A Japanese Tea Ceremony (The Way of Tea)

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One of my favorite things about Japan and the Japanese is the traditional tea ceremony (Chanoyu or Sado). Ceremonial tea drinking was brought to Japan by Zen Buddhist monks in the 1200's. These monks developed a simple and precise ceremony that has lasted several centuries. The setting of a tea ceremony should be calm and meditative, should stand in a garden and be small, simple, and very clean. For decorations it should have a scroll (kakemono) with calligraphy or an ink painting and an alcove with a flower arrangement.



The tea for a Japanese Tea Ceremony called Matcha is green and thick. It is brewed over a charcoal fire and poured into large cups without handles. Those participating in the tea ceremony should sip their tea quietly and keep their conversation formal and short. Their focus should be on the movements of the server, the beautiful surroundings and the marvelous taste of the tea. 
Amanatto (azuki beans covered in sugar), Manju (Japanese sweet dumplings), and Uiro (Japa…

JAPAN (Culture & Sights)

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If JAPAN is your destination consider flying with Japan Airlines. The staff provides impeccable customer service to all of its passengers making everyone feel as if they're flying first class. This is not surprising because the Japanese people have a way of perfecting everything they do from engineering automobiles to making irresistible
sushi. The ideal way to experience Japan is to spend a month or two but even a couple of weeks will give you a taste of Japanese culture. 


Fly with Japan Airlines to JAPAN


Journeying through JAPAN is as easy as sipping a cup of green tea. Here are my recommendations for an authentic JAPANESE experience:

KYOTO TEMPLES & GARDENS  (Japan's most beautiful temples are located in Kyoto)



A KYOTO TEMPLE
JAPAN ALPS (The Japan Alps are divided into three ranges; the northern region is the best option for hiking and skiing). 





SUMO is the National Sport of Japan; two sumo wrestlers fight in a sumo ring. Tickets are often purchased a month in advance for thi…

O for O K I N A W A

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One of the healthiest places on the earth is an island chain in the southern end of Japan known as O K I N A W A.
Okinawa means "rope in the ocean" and this beautiful oasis in Japan is blessed with blue waters, deep forests, colorful fish, coral reefs, ocean breezes, and a pure diet of tofu, seaweed, grains, fruits, vegetables and fresh fish.

Japan's Okinawa islands consist of Okinawa Island (Honto) the largest in size and population, Kumejima, Agunijima, and Iejima. There are also the Kerama Islands of Akajima, Gerumajima, Tokashiki, and Zamami as well as the Yokatsu Islands.

The oldest evidence of human existence in Okinawa dates to the Paleolithic era. The 8th century marks the beginning of an agricultural society. The citizens of Okinawa have the longest lifespan in the world (100-105 years). Diet and exercise play a key role in maintaining a healthy and long life. A typical diet consists of grains, fruits, vegetable, seaweed, fish, tofu, and green tea. Consumption …

JAPAN; Cherry Blossoms, Electronics, Reiki, Sushi, Tea Ceremonies & More

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Japan is an archipelago (string of islands) and yet despite its rather small size Japan produces some of the biggest and best things in the world. 

There's the metropolis Tokyo and the sandy beaches of lovely Okinawa where residents eat one of the healthiest diets in the world. There are the high speed bullet trains and the mighty snowcapped Mount Fuji.

Japan is the only country in the world with a reigning emperor. It's also the country that originated a healing energy known as Reiki.

Common Japanese Phrases

Moshi-moshi-Hello (when answering the phone)
Domo-Thank you
Yokoso-Welcome!
Sayonara-Goodbye

Join me on my "Japan" blog as I share all the marvelous things that this ancient Asian country has to offer; islands of snow & sunshine, cherry blossoms, sushi, tea ceremonies, Buddhism, high technology industries, snow monkeys, animation, chopsticks and much much more!

JAPAN; the land of many contrasts!



Circling Ireland's Southwest Region

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There's no doubt about it IRELAND is a magnificent island to explore and one of the most stunning areas is the Southwest region of Ireland. The scenery is so captivating and inspiring around here that it makes you yearn to just settle down and call the place "home sweet home."

Not far from Shannon Airport is the attractive town of KILLARNEY. Killarney looks like the pages of an enchanting fairytale that has come to life and captured its viewers. The town of Killarney is filled with bed & breakfasts, churches, restaurants, and shops making it tourist friendly. The star attraction here is  Killarney National Park a 24,000 oasis of woods dotted with sparkling lakes. Outdoor enthusiasts just can't get enough of this splendid park which offers an endless amount of biking and hiking opportunities. Killarney is a prime choice for spending a few days relaxing and meeting international travelers.

Whether you choose to drive or take a bus tour of the "RING OF KERRY&q…

Sunrise Farm in County Clare

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County Clare with its picture-postcard villages, serene landscape. and Cliffs of Moher is authentic as it gets. It's the IRELAND that most people long for and I count my Irish blessings that my time working on Sunrise Farm rewarded me with three pure gold months enjoying County Clare to the fullest. The list of places to scout out in County Clare can take a few pages so I'll narrow it down by recommending the following; Bunratty Castle, the town of Ennis, Lahinch, Newmarket-on-Fergus and the Cliffs of Moher. 
                            Enjoying the horse fair in Ballinasoe, Ireland

One of the perks to working on Sunrise Farm in County Clare was getting to know the locals. A few Irish friends I made took me to a Horse Fair in Ballinasoe where I got to mingle with the Irish folks and check out all the amusement rides, listen to live music, and taste Irish treats sold by vendors. I never saw so many horses in one place as I did that day at the Ballinasoe Horse Fair. Beautiful hors…