My sister visited Japan for the first time shortly after the tsunami/ earthquake earlier this year, although she didn't visit areas directly affected by the tsunami. The disasters in Japan were especially meaningful to people in Hawai`i... so many of us have family and friends who are Japanese and maintain their ties to Japan. While there was a palpable sadness and despite all that had happened, there was still a spirit of resilience and strength! I thought some of the pictures my sister took showed this really well.
Although it was a sad time to be in Japan, and she felt bad being there as a tourist, my sister really enjoyed herself and loved being in Japan; in spite of the tragedies the Japanese people my sister met were able to smile and were extremely nice. Knowing me and my love of kawaii, she brought me a really nice selection of Japanese goods :)
My favorites were these chirimen items... the chicken and cookies in a box is from the chirimen museum in Kyoto and the bag is also from Kyoto!