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Last year sometime, my blogging pal, Bijoux @ Bytes From The Burbs, suggested that I share photographs of my Summer in Japan. Throughout my 15 years of posting on this blog, I have occasionally shared photos, so some of these for my longtime readers might be repeats. However, I do know there are many that I haven't shared.

And I'm going to warn you, this is a very heavily laden photo post. TWENTY to be exact. 

These are all photos that I had to scan first and then crop. I also adjusted the lighting in most of them because you know how challenging it can be to post hardcopies rather than digital images. Sorry about the quality of some of these. 

About Japan-

I'm pretty sure you all know how much I loved Japan, so I don't need to say that. However, I will have to say that it's the Japanese people who make their country so special. Honestly? In the 2 1/2 months that I was there, I never witnessed an impatient, rude, or pushy person. And I never witnessed them lose their temper. They are truly the sweetest, kindest people I've ever met in my travels.

So let me start by sharing photos of the Japanese people.

A Japanese family.


Front desk staff at our hotel. The Japanese love to give gifts, so we received books, calendars, and beautiful oriental fans. 

 
Dishwasher in a restaurant that we enjoyed going to in the evenings. I love the expression on his face!


A very nice young lady who worked at a coffee shop where I would get my coffee.


A gardener. The Japanese LOVE their gardens and take meticulous care of them..


I cannot remember his (or his wife's name), but he was head of the backstage crew. Such a cute couple! And whenever our cast wanted to go somewhere as tourists, they went out of their way to be our tour guides. Such generous people! 

 
Back stage crew. These guys were AMAIZING! If something technical went wrong with the show, I never saw them once lose their cool. They just went with the flow. 


These are the male cast members that were in the show. It was a stunt show that was themed as "Peter Pan." I played Mr. Smee, my dear friend David played Captain Hook...


Notice the sweat dripping through the clothes of everyone in this photo. The only thing I would NEVER do again is go to Japan during the Summer, it was absolutely HORRENDOUS. Well over 100 degrees everyday. And we had to perform THREE shows a day outside in that heat...


Believe it or not, these next two photos are of me in the show doing stunt kicks and punches. I had to learn those stunts from the guys in the show because they were professional stunt men who worked in live shows and films.


And what was really cool was that as I kicked and punched him, there were sound effects inserted so that it sounded as though I kicked and punched him...


Me with my little stuffed bunny that sat on my dressing room table...


Since I was a licensed cosmetologist at the time, I cut everyone's hair in the cast...


Being that I don't like seafood whatsoever, I ate A LOT of noodles and vegetable tempura...


A view from my hotel room. As part of our contract, we were given our very own hotel rooms for privacy. I wish I had taken a picture of the bathroom because it was so high-tech and ultra-functional...


A view of the city, Kyoto. Don't you love the mountains in the background?


In the whole time that I was in Japan, this was the ONLY homeless person I saw on the streets. And I actually had to look close to see that he was homeless because he was so respectful of pedestrians. He didn't harass anyone or even ask for money. Not like the ones here in Philadelphia, who are in your face 24/7 and threatening you if you don't give them money. I don't normally do it, but my heart went out to him, so I shared some yen and wished him well. 

This is one of my female cast members. That day we decided to switch costumes (and makeup) between shows, just for the hell of it. She was me and I was her...


Never put two gay men in a handbag/sunglass store because this is what happens...


One of the many exquisite temples in Kyoto,,,


Thank you for taking this tour of Japan. Hope you enjoyed!

Have a terrific weekend, y'all!
💗


26 comments:

  1. Well, I DID ENJOY! Thank you for posting these, Ron. I’m not sure I knew that you had stayed in Kyoto. What an exciting experience you must have had. It’s nice to know that the people were so kind and gracious. I have heard that from some others that have visited Japan. A man that works with my husband married a woman from Japan after he had lived there to teach English when he was just out of college. I’ve met her twice and she is the sweetest woman!

    I find Asian culture so interesting, and that was even before I gained a Chinese daughter-in-law. Their customs and ideas are so different from ours. I would love to hear more about the food, as I’m just not familiar with their cuisine, besides going to a Hibachi steakhouse. Lol! I’m very curious about the hot dog looking pictures at the coffee shop!

    I also didn’t know you performed your show outdoors. Besides the heat, it looks like it was a total blast! What a fun cast and crew. Wish I could have seen the show! Thanks for sharing these great captures of everyday life in Japan. XO

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  2. Ron, what a GREAT variety of photographs from your time in Japan! I remember a post you shared last year about your experience in Kyoto, feeling as if you had lived there in a past life, but you didn't post any photos so these are all new to me.

    What an amazing experience that must have been for you. And to spend 2 1/2 months there must have given you the opportunity to really become part of the Japanese culture. I studied Asian culture in college and found it incredibly interesting. I've been to Europe, but to me, Asian is so completely different from American culture.

    The photo of you swapping costumes with you cast mate is hilarious. As well as the one of you with your stuffed bunny. LOL!

    Thanks so much for sharing, Mr. Smee. I very much enjoyed!

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  3. Aw....so glad you enjoyed, my friend! I've been meaning to share this post for months, but I just kept putting it off because I knew I'd have scan all the photos and then edit them. Too bad they didn't have digital camera back then, but everything was film.

    The show was actually performed in Kobe, Japan. However, we visited Kyoto several times and LOVED it. Stunning city!

    " A man that works with my husband married a woman from Japan after he had lived there to teach English when he was just out of college. I’ve met her twice and she is the sweetest woman!"

    Yes, I'm not at all surprised to hear that. I was take aback by how sweet and kind the Japanese are. And they love Americans, so they treated us with such love and respect.

    And you're so right, their customs and ideas are so completely different than ours, which to me was of the most fascinating things. And you would LOVE their work ethics because they give the BEST customer service I've ever experienced in my life. THAT'S part of their culture....to SERVE. And there is no tipping in that country. They won't take a tip, even if you try to give it to them.

    " Lol! I’m very curious about the hot dog looking pictures at the coffee shop!"

    I know, isn't that funny? They served hot dogs there. And the prices were actually very reasonable ($1.90 - $2.20) in American money. Japanese food is primarily seafood. And a lot of it is served raw. So I had to seek out restaurants that served a lot of vegetable dishes. However, back then I did eat meat. And living in Kobe, I had the most delicious beef!

    Yup...the show was performed outdoors on a huge ship that was surrounded by water. And yes, it was a blast. Both my friend David and I hate to be hot, so that was challenging for us, but we didn't complain. But I've never experienced heat and humidity like Japan.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend, Have an excellent weekend!

    X

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  4. Morning, Candice!

    Yes, you're absolutely right, I did post about my Kyoto experience last year!

    "What an amazing experience that must have been for you. And to spend 2 1/2 months there must have given you the opportunity to really become part of the Japanese culture,"


    It was! And yes, being there for that long allowed me to really submerge myself into the culture.

    I've been to Europe as well, but like you said, Japan is so completely different than our culture. Europe has become so Americanized, that there is not much difference.

    LOL! We had so much fun taking that costume swap photo. We had such a great cast, who all shared the same sense of humor.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Candice. Have a great weekend!

    X

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  5. What excitement, what fun!!! Enjoyed this immensely.

    http://hootin--anni.blogspot.com

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  6. This is fabulous, Ron -- like taking a look through your scrapbook ... or one of those coffee table books about Japan! What a huge city Kyoto is -- I never realized that.


    Your theater days fascinate us, too. It's a world most of us have no first-hand knowledge of, and catching behind-the-scenes looks at the cast and scenery is always intriguing.


    I don't know if I ever told you, but when I was a kid, we played tennis with some Japanese guys who were over here working in a dental lab (kind of a work-study program). They were just wonderful -- and I wish I'd had one of them teach me how to fall without hurting myself! They rolled like balls and never even scraped a knee on the courts!


    Wishing you a wonderful weekend -- watch out for that wicked COLD we're sending your way! xx

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  7. "Never put two gay men in a handbag/sunglass store because this is what happens..." ROFLMAO! And the two of you look faaaaabulous! Both my girlfriend and I found that so amusing!

    Great photos, Ron! I love the one overlooking Kyoto! What an amazing city view! And I also love the one of temple - WOW! Interesting to read about the homeless guy and that you had to really look to see that he was homeless. In our city here, like in Philly, they can be very aggressive and persistent.

    What an amazing experience this was for you. I know Japan is completely different culture than ours, so it must have been fascinating to learn about their customs.

    Thanks for sharing, dude! Hope you got some snow. We got a shitload.

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  8. Glad to here you enjoyed, Anni!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by. Have a super weekend!
    X

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  9. Hellooooooooooo there, Debbie!

    Yes, you're so right, that's exactly what it was like - sharing photos from my scrapbook! I have all my photos from Japan in a photo binder. I used to have three VHS tapes too that I shot throughout the 2 1/2 months.

    Isn't Kyoto stunningly HUGE? And I took that shot from waaaaay up by the sacred temples overlooking the city itself.

    Do you know what's funny? I never had the desire to go to Japan, but I decided to take advantage of this opportunity just for the experience. Which is ironic because I ended up falling in love with the country and its people.

    "....when I was a kid, we played tennis with some Japanese guys who were over here working in a dental lab (kind of a work-study program). They were just wonderful -- and I wish I'd had one of them teach me how to fall without hurting myself! They rolled like balls and never even scraped a knee on the courts!"


    WOW....how interesting!!!! And I'm not surprised because they are EXCELLENT at athletics. They pretty much win the Summer Olympics every year, particularly gymnastics.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. OMG...we too have been getting a lot of freezing temps the past two weeks, It snowed a little today.

    X

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  10. Hiya Matt!

    Isn't that photo hilarious? And salespeople in the store were laughing too.

    "Interesting to read about the homeless guy and that you had to really look to see that he was homeless. In our city here, like in Philly, they can be very aggressive and persistent."

    I think the majority of the downtown area in the cities here have the same issue. I will say though, it's gotten so much worse over the past two years. It's one big free for all in this city. People can do whatever they want.

    Yes, it was. An AMAZING experience that I will forever be grateful for. And this job came out of the blue, I didn't even have to audition. The producer had seen me in the Peter Pan production we did in Orlando and offered me the role.

    We got a little snow, not much. However, it's been very cold, and will continue through next week.

    Much thanks for stopping by, Matt. Have a most excellent weekend!

    X

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  11. Thanks for sharing! I would have never guessed Japan's summer would be that hot! What a memorable experience this must have been. I wonder, since much of the rest of the world seems to have devolved into rude and angry people, if the people of Japan are the same as they were those many years ago. Lovely trip down memory lane. X

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  12. Yes, Lisa, me neither. However, once we got there (mid-June) we were warned of the heat index. The hardest part when rehearsing the show before it opened because we rehearsed for hours. We all had to take breaks and go inside the ship to cool off with the A/C. We did 3 shows a day 7 days a week. We never had a day off except for the final day before we flew back to the States.

    " I wonder, since much of the rest of the world seems to have devolved into rude and angry people, if the people of Japan are the same as they were those many years ago"

    I don't know for sure, but judging from from their character (and deep spiritual beliefs), I think they are most likely the same.

    Have a spectacular weekend, my friend. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

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  13. Whoa! You go boy with those stunt kicks and punches. VERY impressed, Ron! And I also laughed my ass off at the photo of you and your friend in the store. OMG....that's hilarious!

    All of these photos are new to me because I'm only started reading your blog about year ago. What delight! Japan is one of those countries that I have always longed to visit, just for culture. I know it's a completely different culture than ours. Several years ago I lived in an apartment in which next door neighbors were both Japanese and married. One thing I notice about them is that they are very considerate of people's boundaries, making sure not to over step their welcome. They were from Osaka. Lovely people!

    That overview shot of the city of Kyoto is breathtaking. What a stunning view!

    Thanks so much for sharing this part of your live, Ron. REALLY enjoyed!

    Have a great weekend!

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  14. Forgot to ask you in my previous comment, what year were you there, I'm curious.

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  15. Yes, Daniel, it was in 1994. It was the year right after my Dad passed away. Suddenly, I started getting a lot of theater work. The guy who produced this show had seen me in a production of "Peter Pan" in Orlando and just offered me the job. I suggested he us my friend David too because we a great chemistry on stage.

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  16. Hellooooooooooooo there, Daniel!

    I know, don't I look so MACHO, kicking and punching? I was so paranoid to do it right because I didn't want to hurt any of the guys. And I never did. However, I did screw up my right knee for a time because I kept overextending it when I kicked, so I had to wear a brace for the remainder of the show. Even to this day, I sometimes get a pain in that knee if I twist the wrong way,

    "Several years ago I lived in an apartment in which next door neighbors were both Japanese and married. One thing I notice about them is that they are very considerate of people's boundaries, making sure not to over step their welcome. They were from Osaka. Lovely people!"


    Oh how WONDERFUL! I bet they were lovely. And speaking of OSAKA, that's were our plane landed when we arrived, and we drove to Kobe, which took about 30 minutes. Many years ago, my neighbors across the hall from me where an Japanese (wife) and an American (husband). To this day we still hang out for coffee or lunch. But they moved to another part of town.

    Thanks! Isn't Kyoto gorgeous? That actually was my favorite place in Japan.

    Have a terrific weekend, Daniel. Much thanks for stopping by!

    X

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  17. It's wonderful how all that turned out for you and your friend. It was almost like destiny!

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  18. Yes, Daniel, it did feel like destiny!

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  19. Ron, sorry to be late to the party, but we had guests visiting for past five days and they just left this morning. It was wonderful having them here, but I hate to say this, it was wonderful having them go. LOL!

    LOVE these Japan photos! The one of the family is so sweet. The expression on that little boys face is precious. We've been to different parts of Europe, but never to Asia. How long of a flight was it? One day I would really like to visit.

    What a great experience. And not only doing the show, but being in a place that is so culturally different than ours was such an education, I bet. Laughed out at you and your female cast member switching costumes! And the one of you and your friend in the handbag/sunglass store is hilarious!

    That final shot of the temple in Kyoto is just beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing, Ron. We really enjoyed this post! xo

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  20. Oh, no worries, Elaine. Don't ever feel rushed to stopped by at a specific time. Hope you had an enjoyable time with your house guests. I had to laugh though because I know what you mean about spending time with people and enjoying it, but also enjoying it when the time is up.

    "The one of the family is so sweet. The expression on that little boys face is precious. "


    I know, isn't he adorable? The family looks like a Japanese version of The Brady Bunch!!!!

    It was a VERY long flight. We had two layovers. All together, it took us 27 hours to get there. And we were exhausted when we got there because we didn't sleep on the plane. I will say, though, the flights to Japan are now much faster. Our flight took so long because of the layovers. I think the flights are about 13 hours now.

    Yes, it was. Not only was the show a wonderful experience, but most of all it was being in Japan and learning about their culture. I truly loved it and was so sad to leave. I actually cried as the plane pulled away from the gate.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor. Hope you had a superb weekend!

    X

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  21. Ron, your photographs are wonderful! I had so much fun looking closely at each and everyone as I scrolled through them. That overview photo of Kyoto is stunning! I had no idea you had visited Japan?!? You're not going to believe this but so did I. I was there about 10 years ago when I went on a trip with some of my family members. We spent about a week in Tokyo. What an amazing city. Did you ever get the chance to visit when you were there? You're so right, it's the Japanese people that make Japan such a special place. I have never seen such well-balanced people. And I love how much they focus on giving quality customer service. When I got back to the States, I was immediately reminded of the difference between Japan and American service. LOL!

    We did have the opportunity to visit Kyoto for the day. A-MAZING city! I bought several items from the little stores in the city.

    What a great opportunity that was for you. I would loved to have been there for 2 1/2 months!

    You make an adorable Mr. Smee!

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  22. WOW Clair, that is so cool that you visited Japan too!!!!! I don't know many who have.

    You know, I never got the opportunity to visit Tokyo because we worked every single day of the week. The only day we had off was the final day we were there, which I spent the whole day at the Kobe Spa and pampered myself. It was incredible. Tokyo is about 3 hrs from Kobe, therefore we wouldn't have enough time to travel there in the morning and then get back to Kobe for our first show noon. Kyoto was only about 30 minutes (via train) from Kobe, so that was doable.

    'And I love how much they focus on giving quality customer service. When I got back to the States, I was immediately reminded of the difference between Japan and American service. LOL!"

    HA! Isn't it something when you make the comparison? I so admired their work ethics. Nothing like it.

    Isn't Kyoto such a special place. I was so moved by the energy there, I actually cried.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your experience. LOVED it!

    X

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  23. Seeing these photos of your time in Japan was a first time for me, Ron, and I enjoyed them. It looks like everyone was having a great time, but performing outdoors in the heat didn't seem like a good time at all. Thanks for taking the time to scan and crop these to share with us. I hope you enjoyed the look-back as well.

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  24. Hey there D!

    " It looks like everyone was having a great time, but performing outdoors in the heat didn't seem like a good time at all."

    OMG...it was the WORST. And we were not warned about the heat (and humidity) before we got there, so the shock of how intense it was took us aback. And I was living in Florida at that time so I was used to the heat and humidity, however, this was much more intense than anything I experienced in Florida.

    But even with the heat, it was such special time for not only me, but everyone in the cast. Japan is such an amazing country.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, D! Hope you're having a fantastic week!

    X

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  25. Wow, Ron, what a blast! And what an adventure!

    I can't thank you enough for posting these fantastic photos. You've talked about your trip to Japan before, but these photos really brings it to life.

    You really had time to experience the country, which is great. And you were doing what you love--even better!

    While I've vacationed outside of the U.S., I never actually lived in another country. People have told me that it changes your life and I don't doubt that for a minute.

    And that seems like quite a strenuous production with all the punching and kicking! They should've cast you in "The Karate Kid"!

    Great stuff, buddy! I feel like I've been on a mini-vacation!

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  26. Morning, Rob!

    Yes, is was QUITE and adventure. And one that has stayed with me for the rest of my life. You would LOVE Japan, I know you would!

    "While I've vacationed outside of the U.S., I never actually lived in another country. People have told me that it changes your life and I don't doubt that for a minute."


    Yes, it does change your life, particularly when you spend a good deal of time in a country because you actually begin to get involved in the culture. I literally felt altered when I got back to the States.

    "And that seems like quite a strenuous production with all the punching and kicking! They should've cast you in "The Karate Kid"!"

    HA! Yeah...Ronnie, the Karate Kid!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a great rest of your week!

    X

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