Buddist monks took all our cash

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May 19th 2007
Published: May 19th 2007
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After visiting thousands of temples and shrines in Kyoto the last thing we needed was more of them. So we decided to travel to Mount Koya-San, the home of Shingon Buddhism and temples.

We spent the night in Fujoin temple - our most expensive accommodation to date - where the rather strict monks gave us a dinner, breakfast and shower schedule. To Mark's horror, they fed us shojin ryori, which translates as tofu (freeze dried then reconstituted), seaweed and other veggie crap. They also had the cheek to wake us up at 6am for meditation. Mark sat politely not meditating but filling his head with new Ninja attack techniques. Jo meditated in a sound asleep sort of way. Despite these trials, Koyo-San turned out to be our favourite part of the Japan trip thus far.

While not being ordered around by the monks, we visited the very atmospheric Okunoin mausoleum which had loads of corporate tomb stones, including a Nissan assembly plant grave, a coffee cup grave, a TV grave for a Sharp employee and an anthill grave for a termite exterminator. Jo would like a gossip mag made of granite with Jade and Chantelle on the front.

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5th June 2007

In 1981 I visited a gay bar in Kyoto. Not many people know that.

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