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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more.
www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick.
http://www.faysampson.co.uk

Japan Journey Day 7 Tokyo Tour with a Star

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 26, 2017

We are amazingly lucky today. Our guide is TV travelogue presenter Kit Pancoast Nagamura.   Kit is truly a Ranaissance woman. She is an editor, a columnist for the Japan Times, a photo-journalist, and a delightful person. She tailored our backstreets tour to our special interests, history and gardens.

We began at the Kiiyosumia Garden of Exquisite Stones. Kit, who the day before had taught haiku to a group of school children, posed by the Basho rock, inscribed with "The sound of a frog, jumping into an old pond"

Stepping stones...

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Japan Journey Day 6 Imperial Palace Gardens and More French Connections

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 23, 2017

We began the day at the Imperial Palace Gardens. The area is surrounded by a massive stone wall erected of huge stones that made one think of the pyramids. The wall, in turn, is surrounded by a moat, as it has been since feudal times.

I am coming to realize that Japanese gardens are all about serenity, greenness and water. 

There is very little emphasis on color, although the iris,

hydrangea,

and fuschia were lovely.

Roses featured in the Imperial Palace Rose Garden were all antique varieties. This was the only place I saw roses in Japan. I never saw an English tea rose, although their climate should be perfect for them. I was delighted to see an Old China...

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Japanese Journey Day 5 Asakusa Temple and Tokyo Skytree

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 22, 2017

Our guide for the day was grandson Thomas who shared some of his favorite bits of Tokyo with us.

First stop was the Asakusa Temple Where even the outer gate is thronged. 

I am continually delighted to see people on the street in traditional dress. Especially the women in their kimonos. Everything is season specific in Japan. Therefore almost all the kimonos were ink floral.

Even some men wore traditional garments, but most wore dark suits and white shirts and ties.

I learned that pagodas mark the gravesite of Buddhist priests.

Interestingly, Buddhist worship involves several elements...

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Japan Journey Day 4 Thoughts on the Culture and Kitchenware Town

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 21, 2017


Walking to church this morning, ironically, through Rappongi, the red light district of Tokyo, was the only time I saw litter on the sidewalk, heard loud music, and saw a person smoking on the street. Tokyo is incredible for a city of 40 million. Quiet, clean and orderly; the people are polite and dress beautifully; the trains run to the minute. Anyone speaking on their mobile in public, especially with the speaker on, is a tourist.

What about the litter and noise in Rappongi? My son explained that it is very Japanese to keep things in their proper, very limited place. Therefore, two blocks of litter. Then clean again. In two weeks there I saw perhaps four people smoking on the street. Restaurants have smoking areas. They are full. I saw one person sleeping on the street. Again, in Rappongi. The few homeless people, official policy is that there are none, sleep in one area of the park. Jackhammers are muffled. Soundproof walls are built around construction sites and the noise...

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Japan Journey Day 3 Graduation and Tokyo Harbor Cruise

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 17, 2017

Grandson Thomas graduated from American School in Japan. I am delighted to say that the ceremony had a sense of dignity that did not include the air horns and raucus catcalls that have become a part of so many graduations.

Founded in 1902, Frank Lloyd Wright designed an early building for ASIJ which was never built. One of the top-rated international schools, the flags on the platform show the nations represented in their student body.

We celebrated with a cruise in a yakatabune, a traditional low barge style boat. 

Complete with dinner.

Tokyo Harbor is stunningly beautiful.



And lots of Karaoke singing. Karaoke, now that's something else I never thought I'd do. You truly never know what your grandchildren will...

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Japan Journey Day 2 Kabuki

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 15, 2017

Went to see the Imperial Palace today, but discovered it is closed on Fridays, so instead walked in the Kitanomaru Park.

We missed the cherry blossoms, but I was delighted with the pink azaleas absolutely everywhere. Even small hedges lining the sidewalks.

Then to the Imperial Hotel, on former Palace grounds, 

for tea. 

This is the third Imperial...

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