Yes, I am off on an adventure to Japan. I have been Japlanning, a termed coined by a woman in my Pilates group. My Piladies [women who do Pilates!] are my go-to people for so many things. Anyway, my head has been in Japanese hotels and rail passes, and all the things that need to be done before you go away. I apologise that I haven’t been a very good blogger lately, only just keeping up with reading; commenting has been very sporadic.

And there has been no creative work.

I went to Japan about 10 years ago, and am very excited about going back. Last time I went as a delegate of the Australian Teachers’ Union. The AEU was a sister organisation with the Shizuoka teachers’ union, so we had the opportunity to stay with practising teacher.

It was such a fabulous experience to live for a few days with my host in her traditional house in Hamamatsu, getting a glimpse of Β her life. I went to school with her for two days. That was an eye-opener, and deserving of a post of its own. There won’t be any of that on this visit. This time I am a tourist, but maybe one with a little more understanding of life below the surface.

I am travelling with family and we fly into Osaka, where I will spend a few days before I go onto the art island of Naoshima. Then back to Kyoto to meet up with more family. We travel to Nagasaki, Hiroshima and then back to Osaka. I know that all the bookings and connections will be fine, but until they are, you always worry a little.

Now I am at the stage of organising all the odds and ends. I am surrounded by lists and every time I cross something off I add another thing!

So I will be off the blogging radar for a while. However, I will be full of Japanese excitement when I get back and I will be raring to tell you all about it. I hope to be posting on Instagram, so you might like to keep up with my travels at @annelawson54

Have any of you been to Japan? Any tips or tricks or must-see places in the cities I will be going to?


You might like to sign up for my fortnightly newsletter, about my art work and other creative pursuits.

I would like to receive your newsletter each fortnight.

By anne54

Botanic artist

31 replies on “Japlanning”

I’ve not been there, but I have studied a bit of history, art, literature when I was doing Asian studies, and more recently been looking at pilgrimages and symbols and there is a definite pilgrimage to various shrines around japan – the people stand out because of their clothing… the reason I’m looking at pilgrims/pilgrimages has to do with a project I am undertaking next February, hopefully with an art residency, but that doesn’t happen – somehow else. There will be on my blog when – I’ve got things on my “list” ticked off…

Enjoy your travels, look forward to hearing about them, when you return…


Pilgrim symbols are interesting. I was in France a few years ago, staying in a town on the Santiago de Compostela. The symbol for that is a scallop shell, and many pilgrims had a shell on their backpacks. I will see if I can see the symbols in Japan.


yes, I know all about the “scallop:” – in the 14/15 centuries is was like a type of passport, it had another use as well, a food bowl (however, I can’t imagine that you got much food in one…if it was like today’s shells). – I don’t think the scallop is necessarily a worldwide symbol. I think for Japan it’s more about the type of clothing…here’s a link anyway:

as you probably aware, the pilgrim arena is a big part of my proposed project – I have in mind for next February.


I like the idea of using a scallop shell as a food bowl; as you say, you wouldn’t get much food. Thanks for the link to the Japanese pilgrims, and have fun with your project.


Carla at Granny Maud’s Girl ( has been to Japan a fair bit and actually speaks Japanese. She may be able to pass on a few tips. Meanwhile I will suffer the pangs of Japanenvy… When are you off and back? I’m currently working on Viv’s page for the Travelling Sketchbook, and don’t want to send it off to you unless I’m sure you’ll be there.


Thanks for the link, Kate, and I like Japanenvy! I am heading off at the end of next week. I think you should keep the Sketchbook, even though the Fella will still be here. We would hate anything to happen to it.


I am sooooo jealous. 😦 I would love to visit Japan but somehow neither time nor money ever coincide. Have a wonderful trip and bring back the kind of photos that never get onto the postcards – little, domestic things that make you think, yes, this is the real Japan.
I shall be stalking you in spirit. πŸ˜€


If only I could slip you into my suitcase! Those domestic, off-the-beaten-track things appeal to me too, so I am sure there will be plenty to share. Unfortunately, not the same as being there. ☹️


I am envious on many levels and, on one of the lower ones, of all the gorgeous fabric they have there πŸ˜‰
I don’t like flying much so avoid longhaul but, if I ever get my flying mojo back, Japan would be top of my list.
Have a wonderful time.


It’s a long way from Melbourne…..I completely understand why it would make you stop and think. Still, Melbourne is a long way from anywhere, so we know that there will be a long flight ahead of us no matter where we go. ☹️
I am so excited about the fabrics too ~ imagine all those beautiful kimono fabrics! And the art shops are making my fingers itch too. They won’t weigh much in the case, will they?!


I am planning to do lots of sketching, to try a catch the flavour of the places I stay. However, I still have to work out what materials to take ~ and what to buy over there!


Anne, I am really excited for you. Safe journey. I know you’ll have a wonderful time.

I’m smiling at your term Piladies and may have to borrow it. I’ve been taking Pilates for a decade and like you, get lots of inspiration, advice and tips from my crowd. It’s terrific exercise too. I’m looking forward to your updates, and will also check in on Instagram. xo


Piladies is a wonderful term, please borrow. I learn something interesting from them every week! I love Pilates too, and along with yoga, is my main form of exercise.
I will certainly have lots to tell you when I return.


Nothing like a good natter, so let's have a chat!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.