Most of the time, the first adjective that dribbles out after someone asks me “How was Japan?” is “beaauuutiful”, possibly accompanied by a little drool. There were a lot of pretty places, but what made them so special and charming was how neatly tucked away these places were in the totality of Japan. Wander across a university campus and stumble into a bamboo forest, or skip through a touristy castle ground with tents and booths and slip into a quiet little garden, ignored by the local tourists because it is not part of the exhibit.
Andrew calls these “Magical Corners,” in that you will round a corner and bump into a place of pure, magical beauty when you least expect it. Here are a few of those I wandered into…
Andrew had told me about the phenomenon of the Magical Corner before I even got to Japan, but I had no idea what he really meant until we went to Nagoya Castle. The castle itself was pretty astounding, and they had all kinds of booths and touristy things set up that were very cool. However, we wandered off path and found a little garden, and I was astounded. The worst thing about this post is that of course pictures don’t really convey anything. A little better than text, I suppose.
In Nagoya, we went to see the Tokugawa Art Museum, which had many neat things that I could not take pictures of. Next to it, however, was a large garden, full of awesome. I possibly could have lived there.
Tasty drinky thing for drinkin water:
There were some forests around the base of Mt. Fuji. They were amazing. You know the Forest of the Deer God in Princess Mononoke? It was totally that forest. Totally. I wanted so badly to go romping off through it.
The weather in Japan was pleasant for my whole trip. Mild and warm and just the right amount of sun, yes? So walking down into a cave where there was a natural ice formation right near the surfaces was rather, startling. We couldn’t figure out if the cave was cold because of the ice or if the ice was what was making the cave cold, either way, they used to store silk worm eggs there. The ice formation was gorgeous.
I could play in bamboo forests all day
Waterfalls, tiny ones in gardens or gigantor ones cascading out of the mountains, are awesome. The kanji for waterfall is made up of “water” and “dragon”. Awesome.
The public garden at Kanazawa was a bit large to be considered a magical corner, I guess, but it still held that magicky effect. Most of my shots of this place will be in the stitched-together post, but here is a crane, posing all scenic-like.
Walking to Meiji Shrine
And a great big rock