Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Greetings from Japan and Beijing!

Well, as the caption says: greetings from Japan and Beijing! We have had family visiting from Finland, and after that some friends from Shanghai, so there has been a 3 weeks break from the studio for me!

My husbands Uncle and Aunt were here for two weeks, and during that time we had time to explore quite a bit. I showed them around our hometown here in China, and then we continued with a long weekend in Japan and 4 days in Beijing.

I loved Japan. I would love to go back there for a longer stay and see more. The difference between China and Japan is huge! Their artifacts and art, architecture and so on are very similar but my is the people themselves different! It felt like coming to civilization. It was clean, orderly, quiet and the air was fresh. I joke not, it felt like coming from chaos to order. No spitting, no shouting, no honking, everybody lined up orderly for the queue, everybody cleaned up after themselves and sorted their trash in the right bin, and there were nowhere any trash to be seen in the streets or besides the roads. And the toilets!! Public toilets that was a joy to use because they were clean!

We flew to Fukuoka, took the bullet-train (shinkansen) to Tokyo, Hiroshima and back to Fukuoka.

Tokyo. View from Tokyo tower. Unfortunately it was a misty day, but it was a nice view of the city anyway. It did not feel like a big city, probably because they cannot build skyscrapers as in Shanghai due to the frequency of earthquakes.

Memorial site. There were hundreds of these small stone figures, and they were all clad in a hand knitted hat.

School children enjoying a day out. They loved being photographed and posed happily for a long time.

Museum/ Temple

Tokyo tower.

Hiroshima. This the memorial site 'Atomic Bomb Dome', the only building that was left standing in the epicenter of where the bomb detonated. It is also the only building in ruins left standing while everything else around it has been rebuild. A 5 minute walk from here there was a huge memorial museum with pictures and whats not of the bombing itself, but I did not go in. I know that it was an absolute terrible and inhuman bombing and I do not need to see the pictures of people walking with their skins hanging like shadows after them… 

Hiroshima: Japanese garden. The first trees were in blossom, and it was so beautiful!

After we came back from Japan, we only spend one day at home before traveling to Beijing. We visited the great wall at Mutianyu, the forbidden city and the silk market. The silk market was a disappointment this time, it has been renovated. Now it was more like a mall where all the sellers had their own small shop, and much less like a market. If there is a next time I will have to go and look for another market, as there are several in Beijing! After playing tourists for 4 days it was time for our visitors to travel home.

The Great Wall at Mutianyu. We had beautiful weather, and had the wall almost to our selves as it was low season.

The Forbidden city. As huge as always…

 It is now full spring here in Rizhao. I have seen my first butterflies, and also the first magnolia trees are in blossom. The day before yesterday I finally got a new painting finished. It has been too long since the last one. The days, weeks and months has just flown by without me noticing it…

Titmouse. The background is build up with collage and painted with acrylics, and the bird is painted last with oil colors. Canvas, 20x20 cm. Reference photo with permission from

Here are 5 more paintings waiting for the last details and layer of paint. Then I still have my big canvases, the owl, the heron and the swans waiting. But they will have to continue to wait until I have returned from Spain where I will be traveling next for a month!