Our two weeks in Japan were a time of reconnection to family (Hughes) and friends (Ecchan, Sonchan, Miyauchi's etc). It was an intense family time, with Geordie/Lydia remembering what it is to share a room, the 'transitions' to stations/airports providing stresses and time challenges and many great highlights. It was daunting to again reflect on the ravages of war in Nagasaki in particular and also Fukuoka (and to some extent at Osaka Castle). Cherry blossom and Spring provided an impressive postscript to our autumn Easter, and we did manage a pikunikku with R/D and kids. Feasting at the largesse of our Shimanto city church friends was a definite highlight, as well as speaking with them as a family after 13 years away. Reunited as well, were L and Ge who appeared connected with, via a shared history, albeit not directly remembered, the friends, babysitters and families of their infant hood. When Chie-san brought out the ichigo-daifuku, L was transported back to her Japanese roots.
In Kyoto a walk along the philosophers walk canal was beautiful, and Ginkakuji/Daitokuji were the two Zen temples we visited, or complex of shrines/temples in the case of Daitokuji. Our night walk along Pontocho in Gion was interrupted by a silent 200 metre row of mourners in black attending a Buddhist ritual to pay funereal respect.