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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

Two days with Suzann

I had such a good time with Suzann from Quebec, Canada touring around Nara for 2 and half days.

It started with a sudden Facebook messenger from the owner of Guesthouse Naramachi. Mr. Anzai who knows me well, and when Suzann asked for a local guide, he thought we would make a good match. He was totally right!

Good thing was, he provided me the background information on her, what she does. Suzann's carrier can be well described by key words, such as; Sustainability development,

Environmental conservation Respect for the rights and interests of North American native peoples (First Nations, Inuit)

1st day: Ohmiwa shrine

2nd day: Todaiji-temple, Naramachi area

In addition to the explanations of each sites, I touched the history and culture of Jomon, Ainu people, origin of Shinto, Japanese food traditions, and recent rising awareness for sustainable lifestyle as a common goal of global community, etc.

On the last day, after getting a bottle of sake at Imanishi Shuzo,(今西酒造) Naramachi's local brewwary, our deep conversation continued at the guesthouse together with Mr. Anzai and other guests, a food conscious couple from Holland. (Sadly, I cannot handle alcohol!)

I really had a great time in Nara with you, Suzann!


Comments by Suzann on the 2 days

"After a few days wandering in Japan in Tokyo, Nikko, Kyoto and Toba, meeting wonderful people, visiting a few temples, eating exquisite food and drinking delicious sake, I ended up without any expectations in Nara. NARA!!!

Unexpected, what a surprise! Akiko is quite responsible for this wonderful experience. Annoyed not being able to understand the beauties and complexity of the temples, their content and their “cultural rules or ethic behaviors to observe”, Akiko was referred to me and I spent the most valuable part of my trip in Japan with her, where 2 days ended being 4 in Nara and its surroundings.

 More than a guide, Akiko is a sparkling woman eager for knowledge and just as generous in sharing them. She knew exactly what I was looking for, and passionately allow me to spend time with her, in marvelous places where I could at last really appreciate Japan, a part of its culture, its spirituality, its history, its creativity and more…sake ice cream ;-) The greatest discover Akiko made me realize was this one: Japanese are native people, still close to their environment and embrassing a spirituality in balance with mother earth quite identical to the native people in Quebec /Canada.

I wish there was an Akiko everywhere I travel!!! "

-Suzann from Montreal (Quebec, Canada)

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