– Mercurial weather – the Shinkansen raced through Japan’s countryland, literally saw sunny fields turn to spickle haze, light rain, and snowstorm, in the matter of two minutes – and this with no artifice of increased elevation, at least not to my knowledge.
– Perhaps less rigidly polite, more provincial people in Kyoto (compared to the contemporary capital), but more genuine kindness?
– Sat cross-legged on tatamis in a local place on our first night, as snowfall had emptied the streets, amidst the free-spirited, cheerfully loud diners.
– Waiters kneel down to take orders.
– In Gion, spotted only one ‘real’ geisha during our three-day stay, and was but a furtive glance of one sitting in a taxi – the geisha-looks have become more of a touristic industry.
– A tea ceremony: a ritual of peace and mindfulness (video next).
– Ginkakuji silver pavilion: a lifetime of work to produce this unique garden and surrounding property, exuding Zen.
– In Osaka, but a brief stay, but luckily picked a Japanese-style room so had that experience.
Were near Shinsaibashi, quite lively quarter ruled over by Billiken, “the God of things as they ought to be,” a worthy god seemingly – or does this conception also denote a form of frustrated longing or dissatisfaction with what is?
Next up will be a short video introduction to a tea ceremony, and then we’ll be off to South Korea and China!