Travel journals and transition tales towards an ethical and sustainable future

My name is Claire Blumenfeld and I have been running Peregrinus Mundi since 2015. This site follows the evolution of my life in the form of chapters. Chapters I to VI mainly present travel journals and photographs. Chapter VII follows my transition process towards a lifestyle based on ecology and well-being through three approaches that greatly interest me, permaculture, herbalism and eco-construction.

Chapter

I. Japanese walkabouts

Between traditions and modernity

Nine months – November 2019 to July 2020 – Japan
Mix of technology and ancient traditions, Japan is a land of contrasts that has attracted me since my youth. In mid 2015, at the end of several years of study which left me full of questions about the future, I decid to go alone on a journey across the country. I wander for six months through Kyûshû, Honshû, Okinawa, Shikoku. I discover traditions, food and some very specific aspects of Japanese culture. And faces the language barrier and the weight of history. I also do several volunteer work, in a small family inn, on a very small dairy farm and on a tiny, almost self-contained farm. I discover the country on foot and by public transport. I even work in a refractory factory. A great chance to discover how Japanese work. I also take the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of the last temples and shrines and visit the Ghibli museum. A special journey. I left the country in a hurry but I plan to return in the near future.

Keywords: discovery, temples and shrines, onigiri, Buddhism, volcanoes, wwoofing, onsen, hiking, islands, studio Ghibli, mythology and yokais, geishas, nuclear bomb, cultural identity, misunderstanding.

Dispatches

Minami, Shikoku, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Minami, facing the sea

On the south coast of Shikoku, the small town of Minami exudes tranquility and a maritime atmosphere.

Yufuin, Kyûshû, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Arrival on Kyûshû

Arrival on Kyûshû, cradle of Japanese civilization, where I will spend the month of December.

Yufuin, Kyûshû, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Wwoofing in Yufuin

A month of volunteering in the middle of the onsen smokes in the small Youth Hostel Country Road.

Tajimi, Honshu, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Tajimi and ceramics

Tajimi, an industrial city located in the prefecture of Gifu is renowned for its ceramics. I am working here since the beginning of February.

Kachigawa, Honshu, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

In company of Polina

Meet Polina and her family, a young Russian woman working at TYK whom I met a fortnight before the end of my stay in Tajimi.

Kyoto, Honshu, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Glimpse of Kyoto

For my last day of work at TYK, I was treated to an organized day trip to Kyoto.

Takayama, Honshu, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Takayama matsuri

Stars in my eyes at the superb Takayama Matsuri dedicated to the celebration of spring and good harvests.

Osaka, Honshu, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Across the Kansai

Discovery of Osaka and Nara then weekend on Mount Koya-san before returning to TYK to celebrate hanami.

Mitaka, Honshu, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Last days in Japan

My stay in Japan is coming to an end and I take this opportunity to stroll around Tokyo and visit the Ghibli museum.

Galleries

Kyoto, Honshu, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

The art of Kimono

I walk in Kyoto, my eyes dazzled by explosions of colors and varied patterns wandering in front of me. The Kimonos are out.

Kyoto, Honshu, Japan © Claire Blumenfeld

Six months in Japan

Six months in Japan. Six months of familiarity and strangeness. Misunderstanding and wonder. Contrasts.

Don`t copy text!