My husband Alex and I both love Japanese art and culture. Over the years we have both been able to go there a few times for various reasons and we would both count it as our favourite travel destination in the world.
Here are a few of our old pictures of traditional Japan, mainly gardens (Alex’ passion!) and old buildings (one of mine!)
The old mountain city of Takayama is one of Japan’s great treasures. It has many well preserved streets of old Edo-period houses, as well as Hida Folk Village, a site where old farm and village buildings from all over the region have been brought and re-assembled to ensure their preservation and to make an interesting visitor attraction.
In the West the “Japanese garden” has become a sad and empty cliché. In Japan’s old capital, Kyoto, one could visit gardens for weeks without seeing two the same. Only by going there do you comprehend that Japanese gardening is not about red-painted bridges or stone lanterns; it is about a particular treatment of space.
The sand and rock garden at the Ryoan-ji temple is a world-famous image but few people realise that the beautiful mud wall that encloses the space and gives it so much of its distinction is a later addition.