Friday, September 24, 2010


After touching down at the Palace Side Hotel in Kyoto for one night, we were off again early the next morning, September 20th. Paul, Chisako's husband, made arrangements to rent a car so the four of us -- Paul, Chisako, Diana and I -- could drive to Miyama to visit Hiroyuki Shindo's studio and Indigo Museum. Paul was quite adept at negotiating the winding roads through the hills and delivered us to Miyama safely and on schedule.

Miyama is a beautiful historic farming village -- about 2 hours' drive from Kyoto -- set in a valley surrounded by thickly forested mountains. Rice and soba (buckwheat) fields dominate the landscape, and as luck would have it, the soba was in full bloom with showy white flowers. Centuries-old thatched-roofed farmhouses are kept in pristine condition (thanks to government subsidies) for the enjoyment of Japanese tourists who flock to this area. It was a weekday, so we had relative peace and quiet and enjoyed leisurely walks down lanes bordered by tidy gardens. I couldn't decide whether I had just walked into a fairy tale or Eden itself!

The Hisaya Bed & Breakfast where the four of us were fed a delicious dinner and
traditional breakfast and slept comfortably on futons on tatami mats.

One SERIOUS thatched roof! They are at least 12" thick, can bear heavy snowfall in winter,
 and as the brochure says "they have a feminine and formative beauty".
If I could, I'd take brush to canvas and paint this pretty landscape
Bright yellow-green rice fields

Soba (buckwheat) in bloom. We enjoyed locally made soba noodles
 for lunch at a small restaurant. Mmmmmm.

1 comment:

  1. Kate, I am loving reading about your amazing adventure in Japan! The photos are beautiful! How lucky to have visited with Shindo...amazing!