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Challenge of Travel - Japan

Today is the reveal day for Erin's Challenge of Travel Blog Hop! I was happy to participate and chose the country Japan.  As you may know, Japan is an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean - it's made up of 6,852 islands actually!  The characters that make up the name Japan (kanji characters are the Japanese alphabet like ours are greco-roman) mean "sun-origin" and thus Japan is known as the Land of the Rising Sun.  The Japanese name for Japan is actually Nippon.  Japan has a population of about 127 million.  You can learn more about Japan by using this wiki link!

Years ago - 2005 - I had the opportunity to visit Japan.  I was with a former partner who was on a business trip, and I had the awesome opportunity to go along for three weeks!  I was very nervous!  It took me days to get over my jetlag (Japan is 12 hours ahead of us!) and finally I became uncrabby and was able to enjoy my trip!  These are all photos I took while I was there (please do not share or copy them).  The post would be too long for me to describe or tell you the story about all of them for this post, so I'll just caption!
Buddha at Kamakura

Shrine at Hasedera

Mt. Fuji and torii gate in Hakone

Golden Pavilion in Kyoto

Fushimi Shrine in Kyoto

Shrine in Kyoto

I really really really loved my trip to Japan.  There is not enough time in the day for me to share with you my photos and stories!  I love the dichotomy of the country - the mix of ancient and modern, weird and proper, loud and quiet.  I love how you can ride the fastest train and in a few minutes, you are in the country looking at rice paddies.  It's really an amazing country and I hope everyone gets a chance to visit there someday! 

So, onto the jewelry.  This wasn't actually the project I was going to make.  I ordered something from Japan and, alas, it did not make it here in time.  So I quick whipped this little project up late Friday afternoon.  It's Japanese to me for the following reasons!

I used Japanese washi paper in the pendant - beautiful floral pattern that reminds me of a kimono.  I used pearls - everyone knows Mikimoto pearls right????  Well, these ain't them!  But they are pretty and match the paper.  And finally, Japanese delica seed beads.  Of course you know Japan makes the most beautiful and precisely cut seed beads, right? 

If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this necklace even better, I would love to hear them.  And in the meantime, head over to Erin's blog for the list of all the other participants!  Update - here's a list of participants, courtesy of Erin!

Name Blog Region Chosen Inspiration Nation
Monique Urquhart Africa Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers Africa Egypt
Therese Frank Africa Kenya
Raychelle Heath Africa Lesotho
Joan Williams Africa Mauritania
Sherri Stokey Africa Senegal
Regina Santerre Africa Seychelles
Raida Disbrow Africa Tanzania
Kristi Wodek Africa Zimbabwe
Sally Russick Americas Brazil
Melissa Trudinger Americas Mexico
Tracy Stillman Americas USA
Sandra Wolberg Asia India
Tanya Goodwin Asia Japan
Susan Kennedy Asia Japan
Beth Emery Asia Japan
Lisa Cone Asia Japan
Tanya Boden Asia Japan
Inge von Roos Asia Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz Asia Nepal
Dee Elgie Asia Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson Asia South Korea
Lisa Stukel Asia Sri Lanka
Elly Snare Asia Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner Europe Austria
Mallory Hoffman Europe Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim Europe France
Jenny Davies-Reazor Europe Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson Europe Greece
Evelyn Shelby Europe Iceland
Holly Westfall Europe Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag Europe Ireland
Toltec Jewels Europe Ireland
Lee Koopman Europe Ireland
Laren Dee Barton Europe Italy
Cindy Wilson Europe Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik Europe Poland
Shaiha Williams Europe Portugal
Jennifer Justman Europe Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca Europe Spain
Lola Surwillo Europe Sweden
Kim Hora Europe Switzerland
Leanne Loftus Europe The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen Europe The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll Europe Turkey
Marlene Cupo Oceania Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle Oceania Fiji
Tammie Everly Oceania Guam
Alice Peterson Oceania Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld Oceania Nauru
Susan McClelland Oceania New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland Oceania New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman Oceania New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson Oceania Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi Oceania Samoa
Kari Asbury Oceania Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier Oceania Tonga
Emma Todd Oceania Tuvalu
Debbie Price Oceania Vanuatu


Patti Van said…
Wow! Your pictures of Japan are beautiful - especially Mt. Fiji! I have a passion for mountains... And, to have spent three weeks there - makes it even more special! Personally, I like your necklace just the way it is! Your colors of pearl choice (really, not mikimoto???) are spot on - and I would not change a thing!
Anonymous said…
Pretty pendant, lovely necklace! It has that Japanese aesthetic of elegance and simplicity.
sandi m said…
I wouldn't change a thing! Sometimes less is more and I love its simplicity and fact that all the elements have Japanese significance.
But you must share what arrives from Japan.
Anonymous said…
Love the colors you have chosen for this simple but dramatic piece.
Pixiloo said…
Sue, that is just lovely, whether or not you intended to make it or not. :) I love the washi paper in the pendant. I am so jealous that you got to visit Japan and love your pictures.
Jennifer said…
Dont change the necklace, first off. Its elegant simplicity and that to me evokes Japan as well. Think Hokusai's woodblocks of My Fuji, or a spray of cherry blossoms - elegant simplicity. I adore the green seed bead spacers. The color was a detail I only noticed when I enlarged the pix. Perfect palette.

As to your trip - Wow. Glad it was long enough to go that far and have time to actually see things! It would be amazing to go there...Your pix are stunning!
TesoriTrovati said…
I would dearly love to travel to Japan one day. The architectire of the shrines is so gorgeous. I love washi paper and have quite a collection. And pearls are my favorite! The only thing that would make this better would be your pretty glass beads or enamel! Thank you so much for joining me on this journey! Enjoy the day. Erin
Jewels By Ine said…
The wash paper you used makes me think of a kimono too :)
Cece Cormier said…
Love your photos and your necklace is cute.
LisaS said…
Thanks for sharing your photos. I love the pendant and pearls -just beautiful ;)
Niky Sayers said…
I dont think you could make that necklace better its beautiful! Love the colors
Micheladas said…
Beautiful pendant. I have always loved Japan...
Sue, I'm afraid I agree with all the commenters: don't change anything! It is elegantly simple. Just step back and get Zen... I'm sure you'll see it. Beautiful just like it is! So are those pictures; you must have so many great memories. Save them for future designs...
rosebud101 said…
Sue, that necklace is gorgeous!!!! I can tell how much you enjoyed your trip!!!
adlinah said…
I love the necklace you made - I would totally wear it! Agree with beadrecipe that it fits the Japanese sensibility - understated, fuss-free design, functional with just that little bit of kawaii thanks to the pretty washi pendant. Hope you get to visit Japan again - it's a wonderful country to visit.
Sharyl said…
I love the pendant you made, and I think the teal pearls between the amber/gold ones are perfect and show an artist's touch! I really like this a lot!

I'm interested to know what you planned to make though too! Hope you will show us that one too some day!

P.S. The photos of your trip are fabulous! I'm totally jealous!
Alice said…
Your photos are beautiful! I've always wanted to visit Japan and experience this diverse culture.

Your necklace is beautiful and I wouldn't change a thing. I love the thought you put into each component.
Hi Sue,
Thank you so much for letting me come along on your trip to Japan the sights are awesome. Your necklace is beautiful just the way it is. It deplics Japan well with all the beautiful pearls and the washi paper in the pendant.
Raida said…
Your pendant turned out beautiful, love your necklace. Great pictures, thanks for sharing.
Leanne said…
I also wouldn't change anything! I love the pendant -I really like all of the patterns available in washi paper, but I haven't used it yet - you inspired me!
Regina said…
Thank you for sharing the pictures from your trip to Japan. The country is truly a mix of the most modern and the ancient. Love the necklace and the colors you have used. Can't wait to see what you ordered from Japan.
Susanm said…
I agree with others - the beauty of your necklace is in its simplicity. The pendant is lovely.
What beautiful pictures of your journey! I love the simplicity of your return visit with this necklace
Lucky you to have actually been to Japan! beautiful photos. I love the necklace. Pretty and love the use of the tape - creative lady!
Kristen said…
Make it better? I love the pendant and the simplicity of it! Don't change a thing!!!!!
What a beautiful representation of Japan! The pendant that you made is stunning! I also like that you incorporated beads that they create into your design.

How awesome that you had the opportunity to spend three weeks there! Thank you for the inspiring photographic journey to this beautiful land!
Marlene Cupo said…
Forgive the lateness of this comment, I am so backed up. Japan is a wonderous country, and often their artistic creations are simplicity itself. Your necklace so mimics that. Fantastic!

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