Tuesday, March 6:  How can I sum up Japan in one picture?   I have chosen four that I hope will convey something about Japan, its colorful and quirky culture, its celebration of detail, and its love of beauty and order.  It’s appropriate that the A-Z Photo Challenge for this week is the letter “J” and that I came up with “Japan” as my theme.  Because just one year ago, on 11 March 2011, Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that triggered a deadly 23-foot tsunami in the country’s north.  I had just visited Kyoto, well south of the tsunami, in February 2011, just one month prior.  At the time of the disaster, I had left Korea for good and was traveling in India.

I had fallen in love with the country and its people.  My heart went out to Japan, a culture that values order and cleanliness, as they had to recover from a disaster of such proportions.  A sad time for a lovely culture.

the infinite torii gates in kyoto

a little shop in kyoto selling fabulous little what-nots

an old-fashioned bike and house in kyoto

japanese girls decked out for the lunar new year

If you would like to read about my short trip to Japan, please visit my blog at  catbird in kyoto.