"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."
-George Bernard Shaw

We did a couple of flying ninja kicks
into Japan's samurai
and geisha world,
inside the city called

We consumed delicious
and almost ate each other
for dessert.

Taking a bus west,
we somersaulted into a fairy book,
and were dwarfed by shadowy bamboo forests.

The gargoyles loved Liz's face so much,
they imitated it,
and now they may be stuck that way

In Nara,
we made deer friends of all sorts.

Sleepy ones.

Blind ones.

Curious ones.

And amorous ones.

Celestia loved our new friends so much,
she tried to join them.
But they knew how much we'd miss her,
so they gave her a hat to remember them by
and sent her on her way.
The dears.

Sembei crackers
are good to eat,
but only the people-kind.
Just in case you were tempted.

The beauty of Nara.
We're sorta cute too.

Though Japan has no holy day,
Sunday seems to be the favorite
for sacred, traditional rituals,
such as this one.
Doesn't the bride just glow?
So lovely.

Japanese houses are tiny
{in general}
thus, smaller dogs are popular,
resulting in pup packs.
What a happy little guy.

Utah has churches on every corner;
Kyoto has archaic shrines.

And, also, temples.
Right, Brooke?

looked out the window
and what did I see?
Popcorn popping
on the sakura tree.

I'm seriously entertaining the thought
that the owners of this club
put up this sign
just to see tourists pose for silly pictures
like this.

we learned how traditional Japanese sweets are made...

...and even got to make some

Hitting the main streets,
we were dazzled by sparkly-haired boys
who either idolize David Bowie
or Mr. Cullen himself.
Perhaps both.

Though we loved our new deer friends,
we decided human ones were pretty nice, too.
Meet Leon,
a tri-lingual, Japanese-German
with a British accent.

And Leon's friend,
a bi-lingual Japanese
visiting from a university in Tokyo.

Camera tag!

If you've been following previous posts,
you'll know Japan goes all out
on their sweets.
Crepes included.

Of all the shrines we patronized,
the Fushimi-Inari-Taisha
{1,000 gates}
was my absolute favorite.
Mainly because the guardians were
gigantic stone foxes,
but also because
the gates went up the mountain forever,
much more than 1,000.
So incredible.

The three fountains of Kiyomizu-Dera:
one for your education/career,
one for your longevity,
and one for love.
You're allowed only a single drink,
so, which one would you choose?

{Music via Caro Emerald}

"If it weren't for electricity, we'd all be watching television by candlelight."
-George Globol

Today, I'm in one of those moods
where I laugh at just about anything.

I blame the chocolate chip cookies
the Church members and I made today.
Because, well,
I can.
Foreign chocolate must have,
alcohol in it
or something.

Behold the ward missionaries
in all their purple, frilly glory.
Men who can cook go far in life.
No, it's true.

Nestle's recipe
minus Nestle's chocolate chips.

The elders' recipe
minus, uh . . .
my teeth.

And while we're at it,
I might as well showcase
some fabulous-looking
Japanese sweets.
{Though, sadly,
they did not taste as yummy as they look.}

Oh, but just look how pretty.
Anyone have a remedy for
a case of giggles?
Mine won't go away,
no matter what I think of.
Then again,
that's probably okay. ;)

{Music via Caro Emerald}
"Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale of all."
-Hans Christian Andersen

I do not think I will ever
"grow up".
It just isn't possible
when so many magical,
whimsical things
exist right outside my window.
Adorable Kaori,
the school nurse.
Elegant Yuko,
my link to Japanese culture.
A note about a hakama
{i.e. the thing I'm wearing}:
it makes your butt COLOSSAL.
Just sayin'.
Spring is twirling down the tree branches
and blossoming,
clothing the naked bark
in pinks and pearls.
A soy sauce vat.
The ladder was quite stable,
climbing it in a hakama
was an adventure all on its own.
Traditional sweets
with a modern twist:
angel-thin somen in the middle.
Classic somen.
Somen sushi.
at its finest.
{Though I'm still bewitched
at the thought
of Akemi's shrimp tempura recipe.}
Purple rice.
Ah, lovely.
Traditionally, it keeps anko
in its belly,
but I coaxed it into swallowing custard
for my sake,
as anko is a pucker too sweet
for my lips.
The peaceful shrines
in this country
offer the weary mind
a very welcome rest,
especially when one is dressed for the occasion.

{Music via Ingrid Michaelson}
"What a day to be alive." -Anon

The first game was
using English words.
The point of the game
was to string together as many words
as possible
in the allotted time.
For example,
could be followed by
which could be followed by
which could be followed by
and so forth.
Once the word
left my lips,
the classroom erupted.
The floor shook
as the boys raced each other to the chalkboard,
ramming into one another,
sending papers flying,
desks sprawling,
shouting gleefully as they punched,
grabbed hair,
shouldered each other's faces...
- - -
I'm pleased to report,
the only casualties
were a few pieces of chalk,
splintered beneath a desk,
broken in their white and yellow dust,
a sign of the violence that ensued
in the 2nd-Year English classroom today.
- - -
And tomorrow,
I'm scheduled to play it again.
Better wash down my cornflakes with some Felix come morning time.

{Desk via Mary Alice}
{Warriors via The Last Samurai}