Something special happens when the Spring Equinox brings the first breath of warmth to chilly climates. In most places the change of seasons comes quietly and gradually. Not so in Japan! The beautiful cherry blossom trees announce the end of winter by bursting out in brilliant pastel hues.
In Japan, businesses close early and schools cancel classes so all can enjoy Hanami, a time to picnic and party under a favorite tree. How better to enjoy this amazing natural wonder than to chase the blossoming from one end of Japan to the other.
Pamela Young’s “Mixed Plate” stops in Kyushu, Kyoto and Tokyo to bask in the festivities of song, sake and sakura.
Along the way, Pamela arrives in the coastal town of Beppu where she is buried in hot black sand before indulging in the hot spring onsen that has made this resort area famous. In Buzen, she meets the newest Japanese national treasure, the Kagura (masked devils) dancers and tries her hand at the masterful art of taiko.
In the ancient capital of Kyoto, Pamela is transformed into a traditional geisha, but she soon discovers it’s a bit more fun being a Harajuku girl in Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya district.
“Mixed Plate” also takes a look into the culinary exploration of Japanese cuisine, from kaiseki to yakitori to ramen.
An exclusive invitation has “Mixed Plate” behind the gates of the Imperial Palace as Hawaii scholars meet His Majesty Emperor Akihito. Recipients now live in Japan and work to strengthen the cultural bonds between the two culturally related countries.
It’s all part of Pamela Young’s “Mixed Plate: Under a Sakura Sky.”