All-Crew Trip to Japan & Tibet 2013
The first Shoguns made their capital in
Kamakura in 1185 and many old gardens
remain there, including Hokokuji (1334) and
Kenchoji (1253).  

Photos by (clockwise from above) Courtesy of Caroline
Parsons, Lee Sligh, Elisabeth Benjamin, Lee Sligh and
Stephanie Almasi.

Our stay in Kamakura was made
possible single-handedly by my dear
friend, Caroline Parsons, who has
lived in Japan more than 30 years and
who lovingly fosters two young
Japanese children.  She welcomed us
with open arms and put us up at her
home and in neighbors' spare rooms,
feeding us amazing breakfasts of
grilled fish and other delicacies.  Our
friendship dates from 1981, when we
both lived in Tokyo.

Gardens (clockwise from right):
Engakuji (1282), Meigetsu-in (1160),
Caroline's house, Kotoku-in (1133),
Zuisenji (1327), Meigetsu-in (1160).

Photos by (clockwise from below): Liz Stanley, Lee
Sligh, Lee Sligh, Liz Stanley, Elisabeth Benjamin,
Liz Stanley, Lee Sligh
We flew to Chengdu, then spent
two long days on a chartered
minibus on unbelievably
dangerous roads.  Once we
crossed the mountain pass into
the ethnically Tibetan region we
found ourselves in an enchanted
land.  Wang Chen had not seen
his family for 20 long years.  His
extended family greeted us with
sacred saffron scarves and a
double rainbow and welcomed us
all into their beautiful home.  The
photo above shows Wang Chen
with his mother.

Photo (clockwise from above) by Liz
Stanley, except right (Lauren Cormier),
and lower left (Stephanie Almasi)
We studied the rock patterns (for naturalistic garden
work) on this river where the Mantra of Compassion is
written on every rock.
Photos (clockwise from right) by Lee Sligh except left (Elisabeth
Benjamin) and above (Stephanie Almasi )

Every colorful,
traditional house had
a second floor
veranda adorned
with flowers and
juniper branches for
devotional use.
Prayer wheels of
every size and
quantity were
available everywhere
for passersby to spin.

Photos (left and right)
by Lee Sligh