buddha’s birthday :: Okan Arts

okan arts blog


buddha’s birthday

buddha’s birthday

By Patricia Belyea NARA JP  April 8 is an auspicious day in my life. Thirty years ago today I gave birth to my oldest daughter, Elizabeth Jane Stone. It’s also the day that temples around the world celebrate the birth of Buddha. What better way to experience Hana-Matsuri, the Floral Festival, than to visit the […] +more


the secret needle shop

the secret needle shop

By Patricia Belyea KYOTO JP  It’s been four years since I first visited Misuyabari, the hard-to-find shop filled with handmade needles and cherished sewing supplies. With Google Maps app in hand and a remembrance of where to turn, it was still not easy to find again. The key is turning between the right two shops in […] +more


home and studio of kawai kanjiro

home and studio of kawai kanjiro

By Patricia Belyea KYOTO JP  As makers, we all love to see the studios of others. In eastern Kyoto, the home and studio of Kawai Kanjiro (1896-1966) is open for the public to see where this Japanese artist lived and worked. Know mostly for his pottery, Kawai-san was also a sculptor, calligrapher, philosopher, and writer. […] +more


arashiyama: top sites and sights

arashiyama: top sites and sights

By Patricia Belyea ARASHIYAMA JP  Number Five and counting. That’s how many times I’ve visited the Arashiyama district on the outskirts of Kyoto. The biggest challenge of the day was deciding what to do with so many impressive sites and compelling activities. With Victoria in tow, an Arashiyama neophyte, I resolved to show her my […] +more


shibori day!

shibori day!

By Patricia Belyea ARIMATSU JP  Visiting Arimatsu, the mothertown of shibori, ranks high on the Bucket List of most textile lovers. You take the train for a short half-hour ride out of Nagoya, get off at Arimatsu station, and turn up the street with the traditional buildings. Shibori-style noren in almost every doorway signal that you’ve […] +more


four special shops in tokyo

four special shops in tokyo

By Patricia Belyea TOKYO JP  Exploring, not shopping, beckons me to Japan. Yet when I discover an exceptional store, I admire all the facets of the experience—the place, the products, and the people. Here are four shops in Tokyo worthy of your attention. Blue & White 2-9-2 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo You go up an […] +more


moments in kamakura

moments in kamakura

By Patricia Belyea TOKYO JP  One of my fav things to do when I’m in Tokyo is to leave town. Just one hour south of Japan’s most populated metropolis awaits the seaside city of Kamakura. Known for its giant bronze buddha, Kamakura promises sweet air and big skies. Plus hip cafes and lovely shops line […] +more

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