Cultivated Days | To rest awhile
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To rest awhile


A lot of us want to run away right now. Maybe not forever. But to find a place of quiet, of stillness, of soothing tranquility where we can heal from a bruising 18 month run and that final blow in the wee hours of Wednesday morning would be welcome. We need a moment to regain equilibrium, to refill our reserves of strength and resolve.


yoyokakudiptych1yoyokaku-13Yoyokaku, a ryokan (traditional inn), in Karatsu is where I’d like to go. From the moment you step onto the damp flagstones in the grand genkan, you feel you are walking away from the strains of reality outside its walls. The beautifully maintained building is over 100 years old. Colorful carp glide through cool water under open walkways. Hallways lead to sitting rooms, galleries, and dining rooms that look out onto a perfectly maintained garden of black pines, their trunks twisted by the coastal winds.yoyokakudiptych3


Spacious rooms with sitting areas by windows that open up onto the garden beg you to gaze out at the greenery and let your eyes quietly wander the landscape. To sit by one is to be still, to rest the mind, to simply be. And then there are onsen to soak in, and kaiseki or shabushabu for dinner with plenty of sake to go along. No effort is spared to help you forget the pressures of life. Until I can get there in person, I’ll go there in my mind, and rest awhile.


From the heart of Japan straight to your inbox!
  • Glutton for Life
    Posted at 01:30h, 11 November

    I’ll meet you there xo

  • Adrian Mueller
    Posted at 01:47h, 11 November

    Beautiful, exactly what I needed right now.

  • Ann Allan
    Posted at 01:56h, 11 November

    Thank you from someone in Maine…

  • Alana
    Posted at 01:59h, 11 November

    With gratitude and deep appreciation, my heart feels soothed by your photographs and by our kindredness.

  • Merry White
    Posted at 02:22h, 11 November

    Spending the last two days talking with students about everything and I feel the depth of misery and confusion. – may I sit in a rotenburo and soak it away?

  • Catherine
    Posted at 02:25h, 11 November

    Yesterday, San Francisco was so silent, no “good mornings,” no idle chatter on the bus. Today, strangers on the street are braving wan and tentative smiles. Tomorrow . . .? A sojourn in a beautiful place like Yoyoyaku, even if it’s just a virtual one, sounds perfect!

  • Lisa Cummings
    Posted at 02:28h, 11 November

    A perfect place indeed….thanks for sharing tranquility and beauty admist turbulent times.
    Onsen…it might be my favorite evocative word of peace and living immersed in relaxation and in one’s body, not mind. Arigato.

  • christopher ezzell
    Posted at 04:09h, 11 November

    recalling wonderful memories of our late fall visit many years ago, thank you

  • Martiniflats
    Posted at 06:10h, 11 November

    Thank you for these images. I wish I could go back there in a while.

  • Sukey
    Posted at 08:55h, 11 November

    Thank you so very much. Your words and the photos have made me feel a lot calmer, and I will keep this post to look at when needed…frequently, I suspect, as this all goes on.

  • Sparrow Hart
    Posted at 11:50h, 11 November

    Good thoughts and wonderful pictures, Prairie. As you know, my place of rest, recharging, and resetting of the compass is the Gila Wilderness — the land, the slanting sunlight, and (yes!) hot springs all help. And as I sit and gaze upon a landscape that’s partly ancient and enduring and partly changing with death, decay, and new birth, it inspires and helps me come back committed to give the life I have to give.

    Blessings on the Journey

  • Mora
    Posted at 17:40h, 11 November

    Enjoying these photos lowered my blood pressure and helped me breathe deeply and slowly, releasing the built-up tensions of this week. With great appreciation for helping all of us begin the healing process.

    With kansha always… Mora

  • thefolia
    Posted at 20:58h, 11 November

    It does look like a most welcoming place…you may have many friends joining you!