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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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The New Kyoto hr573

When I spent 40 minutes aboard the bullet train bound for Kyoto from Tokyo, an alarming notion popped into my head. “Did I miss Mt. Fuji?” It’s around this time that Mt. Fuji comes into view closely in the bullet train window. Somehow Mt. Fuji is a special mountain for Japanese people. It's said that seeing the first sunrise of the year from the top of Mt. Fuji brings a happy new year. Many of them want to climb it once during their lifetime. They regard it as something holy and good luck. I myself try to see it every time I take a bullet train to Kyoto, and pray to it for a good trip. It was cloudy and rain looked imminent on that day of my latest trip to Kyoto. Whether the train already passed Mt. Fuji or it wasn’t visible because of thick clouds was uncertain. The outcome of the trip depended on Mt. Fuji. I felt that this trip might end terribly if I couldn’t see it, and I looked for it frantically. “There it is!” Above the dark clouds, its top section poked out clearly. “I see it! A nice trip is assured!” I was relieved and in high spirits. While I jinx it when I don’t see it, however, I’ve had horrible trips even when I saw a clear Mt. Fuji. Although I duly understand an outcome of a trip doesn’t have to do with whether I see it or not, there’s a reason why I’m nervous enough to pray to the mountain. A trip to Kyoto means homecoming and meeting my parents. Three out of every four visits, they give me a hard time. They insult me, deny me and complain everything about me. I sometimes feel my life is in danger when I’m with them because of their relentless attacks. Not to be strangled by them while I’m sleeping, I avoid spending the night at my parents’ home and stay at a hotel instead. I would rather not visit and see them, but I know it would make things worse. I couldn’t imagine how this particular trip would go especially as it was my first visit since my parents sold their house. They could no longer afford to keep their large house and its land inherited by our ancestors. Their financial crunch made them sell it where my family had lived for over 1000 years. They moved out to a small, old condominium outside Kyoto. Thinking about the situation they were now in, I couldn’t imagine their state of mind other than being nasty. The bullet train slid into Kyoto Station after two and a half hours. I stepped out on the platform for the first time as a complete tourist who didn’t have a house or a family there. To my surprise, Kyoto looked different. I couldn’t tell what and how, but it was decisively different from Kyoto I had known. It used to look grim and gloomy as if it was possessed by an evil spirit. But now it was filled with clean fresh air and looked bright. I would see all but mean people, but they also turned into nice people with smiles. I checked in a hotel and looked out the window. Rows of old gray houses were there. I used to think Kyoto was an ugly city with those somber houses, but I found myself looking at even them as a tasteful view. I’d never thought having the house I grew up in torn down and parting with my ancestor’s land would change the city itself altogether. Or maybe, it was me that changed…

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Specialty #coffee was all free as much as I wanted at the #lounge in the #hotel where I stayed during a #trip to #Chiba. Great saving for $120 per night. #Japan Specialty #coffee was all free as much as I wanted at the #lounge in the #hotel where I stayed during a #trip to #Chiba. Great saving for $120 per night. #Japan
My new #blog is posted. It's about a #trip to the western #Japan that I took to see my #parents in May. https://hidemiwoods.com My new #blog is posted. It's about a #trip to the western #Japan that I took to see my #parents in May. https://hidemiwoods.com
The Mickey #bus from the #hotel to the monorail station that leads to #TokyoDisneyland. Do you see a Mickey statue on the top? #Japan #MickeyMouse The Mickey #bus from the #hotel to the monorail station that leads to #TokyoDisneyland. Do you see a Mickey statue on the top? #Japan #MickeyMouse
Arranged a #dessert plate out of the free #breakfast #buffet at the #hotel where I stayed during a #trip to #Chiba. #Japan #coffee #waffles #fruit Arranged a #dessert plate out of the free #breakfast #buffet at the #hotel where I stayed during a #trip to #Chiba. #Japan #coffee #waffles #fruit
Just dropping by Tokyo #Disneylandhotel where it's too expensive for me to stay the night. #TokyoDisneyland #disneyland #Japan #hotel #MickeyMouse Just dropping by Tokyo #Disneylandhotel where it's too expensive for me to stay the night. #TokyoDisneyland #disneyland #Japan #hotel #MickeyMouse
One more plate for the free #breakfast at the #hotel. #Japan #smokedsalmon One more plate for the free #breakfast at the #hotel. #Japan #smokedsalmon
The #hotel was close to #TokyoDisneyResort. Enjoyed a view of #TokyoDisneySea from the window of my room. #Japan #disney The #hotel was close to #TokyoDisneyResort. Enjoyed a view of #TokyoDisneySea from the window of my room. #Japan #disney
Moved to the different #hotel that was a little more expensive than the former one. So, the free #breakfast was also better. #Japan #trip Moved to the different #hotel that was a little more expensive than the former one. So, the free #breakfast was also better. #Japan #trip

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