Day 3 Japan


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Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Chuo
April 17th 2012
Published: April 18th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Day 3. Japan
Another day of marathon walking, more temples and the Kyoto modern art museum. Today I spent most of the day in wandering through the small streets on the eastern side of Kyoto. Several Buddhist temples nestled into the mountainside. Mountains which surround the city. These tramples had a different character, different from day 2temples. They were simple and quiet, but the gardens were integrated into forest. In the zen rock gardens of yesterday, everything was represented by sand, rock and vegetation in a very prescribed way, through the placement of the rocks, the striations in the sand, the type of vegetation, quite beautiful in its simplicity. Everything in the universe reduced to the fundamentals. But todays gardens merged with the surrounding environ, where the line between control and chaos is blurred. Everything item, plant and stone is meticulously placed. The moss is trimmed by the hands of very dedicated gardeners. It is so well done that it is hard to distinguish the line between the natural and man made world.After all this very deep thought a girl gets famished, so I opted for lunch in a traditional tea house, there was one item on the menu - tofu. Tofu several different ways. I sat on a mat, my server was in a kimono and gracefully explained what each plated item was and how to eat it. A couple sat in the corner discussing a proposed business venture, Chinese and Japanese. They spoke English and I kind of eves dropped in on their conversation. Funny that they spoke English. Another elderly couple sat across from me, they were very cute. Everyone sat with their feet swept to the side, except for the Chinese business woman and I, we sat crossed legged. Apparently very faux pas, but you would be surprised of things you can get away with as a female tourist. There was no way my legs would do it, despite all the yoga they do. In fact, I think they would have fallen off and marched away if I had triedI will have to have a separate entry just to talk about food. I may be ruined for Japanese food outside of Japan.The museum was lots of fun, great pieces from modern Japanese artist. A nice way to spend 2hours out of the hot sun. For the second leg of my venture I wandered through the narrow streets of the Gion district - think geisha. Geishas still exist and form part of Japanese culture. I saw several women walking throughout Kyoto donning a kimono, sans make up, but in flip flops doing groceries, shopping. I was taken aback the first time I saw a Geisha. Now it is all part of the background. Gion was lots of fun, although my feet may dispute this. Lots of cute shops, with tiny gifts. Lots of touching and sampling. On a side note, I tried Japanese plum jam, to be honest it was fantastic, but tasted exactly like my homemade sour plum jam. No need to pick up a jar. This was the busiest area, filled with Japanese and foreign tourists alike. I love that every Japanese tourist make the peace sign when taking a photo. I will have to try it out, but it may prove difficult with a camera in one hand and a purse in the other. The purses are beautiful here, but I have controlled myself thus far, not sure of how long I can hold out. Tomorrow, I am off to Tokyo, for more adventure.Cheers

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