Code green, a state of Peace.

We ended our night last night with a dinner at a new Izakaya that wasn’t open the night before. It seems like Ansen was punishing us for all the grief we’ve been giving him about his Japanese because he said he’d catch up and didn’t actually come to the restaurant. When we got there it proved to be much harder getting along without him. In the end I had to run outside and take a picture of the sign on the front of the restaurant and show the poor waitress. Its a good thing that I’ve mastered the Japanese I need to get along at an Izakaya. Whiskey = "wis-u-key" and beer = "bi-ru" other than that I have to ask Ansen to help out because ordering pork or "Bu-ta ni-ku" may result in some strange part of the pig you are not used to so I rely pretty heavily on the more Japanese proficient members of the group for the specifics. In the end we did manage to have a great meal, so great in fact that we skipped Gion, and we are planning on heading there as soon as possible.

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We started off the morning In a rush, they closed the Shogunate palace pretty close to us leaving yesterday so we wanted to get going right away today. Because of this breakfast suffered. I did manage to find a strange little combo for breakfast on the run.

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That’s a piece of toast with bacon and an egg, and a hash brown. Pretty good for short notice.

 

Our first stop today was pretty amazing, also a nice change up since we’ve been visiting mostly Shinto shrines, but today was all for Buddha. Here is us all in front of Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine, which we referred to as "the gorden pagoda"

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And here is a shot of the pristine background that we are ruining in the picture above.

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In another amazing strike of luck a group of Japanese University students accosted us at the entrance and asked if it would be ok with us if they guided through the shrine, of course we thought it was a great Idea. Here is a quick shot of all of use after the tour (they were great guides).

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After that we went to Ryoan-ji a Zen Buddhist temple, In the opinion of some THE Zen Buddhist temple, and I’l show you in a minute why. The entire entrance to the temple was a testament to Japanese landscaping and their ability to give you peace in the middle of a city filled with noise and chaos. This temple is home to the original Zen rock garden, only 15 rocks and white gravel in a rectangle 25×10 meters. Looking into the garden for just a few minutes was enough to make me forget about everything going on around me, even the voices of the throngs of people around me disappeared, it was a truly grounding experience.

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And here is a shot of the whole thing.

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I think I’m going to leave it at that for now, Its really getting hard to decide what I should write down In the few minutes a day I get to look at a computer screen. I hope I’ve been choosing wisely, sticking to what we do during the day. I’l have to do a couple of posts dedicated to other things like our interactions with the locals and some more details about our eating/drinking when I get the chance. Until then…

 

Coje lo con take it easy,

Robbie

 

P.S.

Oh yea I just thought you might want to see this… It caused a great deal of laughter when we spotted it.

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