I have been really looking forward to sharing my trip to Japan with you all, so here goes.
This textile tour was booked through Arena Travel, who I am happy to recommend. We met up with our multi-talented and highly experienced quilter, tour leader Janice Gunner at Heathrow and after an hour’s flight delay, due to fog, we settled into our 12 hour British Airways flight to Tokyo over Finland, Russia, and Siberia
I was delighted to be able to crochet a relaxing ripple whilst watching the in-flight movies and art programmes.
This will be for my niece who loves all things mermaid, it is made mainly with Stylecraft Special DK with a couple of glitter yarns added in. (more about that in another yarny post).
We had a very smooth flight but for the last half an hour of pretty ghastly turbulence during our descent, which left me feeling rather queasy for a couple of hours afterwards. Safely at Narita Airport we were met by our delightful guide Yuka. Janice had worked with her before and two women in our group who had been on the Jan 2014 textile tour exchanged warm greetings and we were all made to feel very welcome immediately.
A 90min coach drive took us to our luxurious hotel,
The Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa (view from my balcony) which has a beautiful large Japanese garden. Below is a map of the garden, with the hotel as the white rectangle at the bottom.
One of the first people I saw was this kimono clad young woman hurrying through
There is a large bell in its own roofed structure, that is rung by striking it with the end of a thick piece of bamboo suspended on ropes.
Since April 1st 2009 it has been rung 10 times, 30seconds apart, once each day, the sign says “our wish is for peace and happiness throughout the world”.
The woman who was about to carry out this daily ceremony as I was reading the sign, asked me if I would like to ring it. Of course I would!
She counted each second silently then said to me,” 3, 2, 1 go”. She had pebbles to keep the count of 10 and moved each one along a piece of wood as the bell resonated above us, sending out the ripples of sound.
It was magical. What a beautiful start to the trip.
We had a lovely chat afterwards, she loved her trip to London 2 years ago, she had studied Shakespeare at university. Looking up at the hotel from the garden.
Back to my room for a green tea and a spot of crochet before meeting the others for a supper of Tempura at a small local restaurant.
The end of an amazing day…… Goodnight Tokyo
Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along