Just an Ordinary January in Paradise

January, 2010, began with a whirlwind of activities. A few days after joining tens of thousands of people celebrating New Years Day at various Buddhist temples and Shinto Shrines, I began touring with a group of architects and artists. We visited all three Imperial villas in town: Katsura, Shugaku-in and Sento Gosho. We interviewed several Buddhist priests and drove out to see both I,M.Pei's Miho Museum and the stunning Sagawa Museum of Art in neighboring Shiga Prefecture, with a gallery built under the large pond with dark, roughhewn, wooden walls and floors, and minimal lighting focused on raku teaware by master potter, Raku Kichizaemon IV. Yesterday, we spend the day in Osaka and Hyogo, seeing masterpiece architectural sites designed by world-renowned Ando Tadao, including the mystical Temple of Water–an esoteric Buddhist Temple built under the ground beneath a lotus pond. Today, we spent the morning at Daitokuji Monastery and the afternoon at the solo show of ceramic Artist, Takemoto Ikuo (http://japanlivingarts.com/wordpress/?p=476). Photos will follow soon.