NEU Autum / Winter 2018/19
- The Alpan Way -
Spring / Summer 2018
- The Alpan Way -
Datum: 07. 06. 2018
After exiting airport security, Tomo was waiting for us. Tomos day-to-day job is working as a bike mechanic, but a very well connected mechanic and therefore we hired him as our guide for the trip. An attempt on our own to even leave the airport by car would have been impossible as all road signs were in Japanese, leaving us Europeans helpless.
Tomo turned out to not only be a great navigator, he also introduced us to the Japanese cuisine, ordered Sushi, soups and sauces for us that we could not have discovered ourselves. He even introduced us to Japanese traditions and explained how the busiest intersections in a city as big as Tokyo can run so smoothly.
Luck was on our side as we were able to experience the beautiful cherry blossom bloom. Everywhere we went the trees were exploding with soft vibrancy, bringing the fresh scent and outlooks of spring. Tomo, shared with us that he feels most connected with his homeland during the time of the cherry blossom.
We also started feeling connected to the country as we drove further into the mountains, the hilly landscape reminded us of home. In the mountain villages, we found houses with weathered wood that felt familiar despite their geographical displacement to Europe. These moments of familiarity mixed with the experience of travel in a far away land is quite possibly what keeps us exploring.
Ancient pagodas, weathered wood, stones covered with moss, the Japanese monasteries are trapped in time. Nevertheless the future will to be honored.
The Japanese cherry blossom represents beauty, departure and transience. People await their arrival throughout the country and the blossoms are joyfully celebrated in an expression called “Hanami“. May 5th, is a national holiday called Childrens Day. On this day the Japanese raise “koinobori“ wind socks. They are symbolic of the strength and endurance of the koi fish and should bring happiness to the entire family.