Masashi Shiobara has been selling my paintings in Japan for many years. He’s become a good friend and today I had the pleasure of visiting his hometown on Mount Akagi. It’s about three hours from Tokyo. We drive up the windy roads made famous by the street racing manga and anime series Initial D. Once we arrive, we take a ride across the lake in the Art Office Shiobara boat (above left). Masashi’s nephew (above right) looks adorable as he poses for a photo in a traditional costume at the tourist center.
Masashi looking cool for the camera.
The midday fog rolls in and we decide to walk down the 800 stairs (above right) to the natural spring. I do this successfully, down and up, in 4 inch heels! The landscape is amazingly green and lush.
Masashi’s childhood home.
Cleansing with the spring water at Akagi Shrine (above). In 2007, a Shinto priest from this shrine gave me my name in Chinese characters.