Wherever I have gone, I always tried to immerse myself in local tradition.
During one of the trips we visited beautiful sacred bridge (神桥) standing at the entrance to Nikko ‘s shrines and temples (东照宫). The bridge is ranked as one of Japan’s three finest bridges together with Iwakuni ‘s Kintaikyo and Saruhashi in Yamanashi Prefecture.
The bridge looked stunning within the peak of autumn.
At that night we stayed at a hotel nearby with one of the features of Japanese traditional living styles – tatami.
Here is some information about tatami: it is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. Traditionally made using rice straw to form the core, the cores of contemporary tatami are sometimes composed of compressed wood chip boards or polystyrene foam. With a covering of woven soft rush straw, tatami are made in standard sizes, with the length exactly twice the width, an aspect ratio of 2:1. Usually, on the long sides, they have edging of brocade or plain cloth, although some tatami have no edging.
This was the tatami in the room we stayed, the mattresses were laid on a wood board. They were quite warm and comfortable, together with the setting of soft lightening, which gave me an imagination of close ties among family members in old style Japanese living.
Another distinct feature of Japanese living styles is to dry washed clothes by hanging them on the clothesline outside.
They believe that sunlight can eliminate the virus and bacteria. Even though I think it is true, it will take forever to dry the clothes if I hang them outside in the middle of Minnesota winter.
I always felt great after experiencing new lifestyles from other culture even if they are so different from ours.
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