I love the kittenish quality of tiger paintings in Japan. Clearly they never saw the real thing, though I am told they saw the furs.

Thanks to the kindness of friends, we had a lovely time on Kyushu. From visiting a coal magnate’s mansion (reputedly the “Rockefeller of Kyushu”) to the Heian Buddhist temple that the Metropolitan Museum built a replica of for the entrance to the Japanese rooms, to the rotenburo (hot spring in natural setting) that our friends took us to, we soaked it all in and enjoyed every minute of it.

Coal magnates house (sorry, I’m not good with names):

of course, in Japan the bathroom deserves special attention, especially if you’re the richest person on the island…


The Heian Temple we weren’t allowed to take photos of – simple, weighted, beautiful old thing, with massive gingko trees in front:


A short but bumpy hike to some Buddhist rock carvings of the same era:


The hot spring had family outdoor rooms so we could soak together:


And some shots of our friends’ house, a great old farmhouse, surrounded by beautiful objects and textiles:

What I don’t have photos of is the feast we had our last night there, with Andy and Shigeyo, at their favorite nomiya (drinking place, but really deserves to be called an eating place where you drink,) where the food was some of the best we’ve had yet, made better by the good company we shared.