You'll have to forgive me for gushing over my Japanese home, yet again; it's become a reoccurring theme.
I just can't help but be totally enthralled with the people, the culture, and the lovely enchanting effect Japan seems to have on every one.
I live such a rich life here.
Hinamatsuri - or "girls day" - is on Monday, so Madre and I went to the local community center to celebrate a girl's long life with some of our American and Japanese friends.
I am constantly amazed by all the intricate details of Japanese culture just waiting to be discovered. Who knew there were so many ceremonies, traditions, and superstitions? It's fascinating, and always so interesting to learn the nuances of ancient rituals.
So today, in honor of Hinamatsuri, we made Iwakuni Zushi, tried on traditional kimono, and partook in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony - (茶の湯 - Chanoyu).
As I listened to our 88-year-old sensei explain how to prepare ancient Iwakuni Zushi, and watched her carry out the small nuances of the chanoyu, I couldn't help but feel humbled.
There I stood, next to the sweetest Japanese obaachan ever, learning how to prepare a dish found only in Iwakuni Japan...all while chatting with my good Japanese friends up in the mountainside of Japan.
I felt like I was in a dream.
Everything was so surreal and lovely...I'm not sure my words are doing the afternoon justice.
So I'll let my pictures do the talking.
They say every place has a vibe. Every city, every country, even every town has a feeling.
I like Japan's vibe.
I like it a lot.
This season's vibe is magical, and I don't want it to pass.