Monday, November 28, 2016

Kyoto with Suguru.

Day Two in Kyoto, city of 2,000 shrines and temples, started off with the visit to Shosei-en Garden, next to our guesthouse. We met my school friend Suguru at an excellent restaurant close to yesterday's bar and also next to this car.
After lunch, we rolled to Kiyomizu-dera, a temple complex situated on a hill above the city - beautiful view, beautiful fall colors, and beautiful kimono-clad girls. There were lots of kimono rental shops in the surrounding area, so apparently, girls like to dress up and be seen around the temple area, all decked-out, traditional style.
Approaching the temple entrance gate.
Girls out having fun. Some boys were dressed up in ukata as well.
 Temple guardian.

 Reed-protected tree.
A late November day, but lots of people enjoying the temple scene were out on display.
Monkey Club reunion with one of the nicest guys you'll ever wander through a temple complex with, or crash-land in an Oregon campground with with a group of international students without tents.

It was a pleasure to spend time, after fourteen or so-odd years, with Suguru.
Autumn colors in the hills above Kyoto.
This wooden structure's feel and smell give it a feeling quite different from anything modern you might find yourself in. You feel like you're walking in a huge, transformed tree.
Suguru's foot socks.

Huge, wood columns in the temple.

 Fall colors going down the stairs.

We weren't the only pilgrims out there, today. Throngs of Chinese, Korean, and haole tourists (North American, European, South American) out looking for reds, yellows, and oranges amongst the temples, accompanied us.

"Nothing to see here folks, move along". There was that to contend with.

Suguru was a considerate guide all day long. I was glad to see he retained a bit of his student humor, and he laughs heartily.

Romantic costume party.

Happy opu.

The Philosopher's Walk. I like the idea, and would like to create one someday soon. Contemplative footsteps. Mine will be a path lined with pine needles.

Wax food display - excellent way to see what you're getting into before you get into it.
Burgundy and deep brown.

Ginkagu-ji, the Silver Pavillion, at the northern end of the Philosopher's Walk. Fewer kimonos, but still pretty peopled. You have to have a vivid imagination to pretend what it must be like to be a contemplative monk strolling the grounds in the midst of the people conveyor belt.
Schoolkid with yellow hat in front of the raked zen garden.

Precision in 3D image-making. One could spend a lifetime looking after this. Some do.

 I like these grate designs and materials.
Strolling through autumn leaves.
Temple peeking out from behind shrubbery.
This sign is not really an example of "creative" English, but you could think of it that if you are in the mood.

Nice combo, huh.
Another great grate.

Good to have a piece of paper during a busy season! I think.
 At the Golden Pavilion for the second time in my life.

The images are deceptive, for there were people everywhere, but there must be a way to experience this with something resembling something more like solitude.

Lots of people pose in front of the Golden Edifice, like these two....
...and these two. Reminds me of the "Rocky" pose in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art - and just about as relevant to the purpose of the place.

Samurai's hand-washing basin.
And finally, later in the day, dinner at a little "bouchon" with a bouchon split in half for a chopsticks rest. A nice touch I would like to use.

For a few different reasons, I will miss Japan when it is time to leave. It is a place full of significant people from parts of the past (and present), a place where I am a stranger but also strangely a native, the end of several months of being elsewhere, and now, with autumn, a place of melancholy, especially in the contemplative recesses of temples, shrines, and philosophers' walks. They say "carpe diem", I hear it and see it often, as well as "you only live once", but it can be a challenge, mentally tiring, to live each moment. There is a strain one can feel, the tug of mortality, as one attempts to give each finite moment its due.

Fill each moment, then go to sleep.

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