We have spent a blissful week in Kyoto roaming from temple to temple, wandering the meandering back streets on our bikes, and trying as many different foods as we can.
I have learned a few things although not at all what I expected:
- I expected to learn about Japanese history. Instead I learned that, although I appreciate the depth of history here I am not interested in studying it. At some point old is just old, and really old is really old. As a Canadian old is in the 200 year range, here we’re talking centuries and centuries – it gets a little lost on me.
- I expected to learn about Buddhism and Shintoism and their relation to each other. Instead I learned that I truly am an atheist and I don’t understand monotheistic Christianity so how would I ever understand the non-theistic Buddhism or the animistic every-rock-tree-and-animal-is-a-spirit Shintoism?
- I expected to try lots of different foods, to take fabulous photos of our meals, and be able to report about how fabulous it all is. We have, indeed, tried lots of different foods but I learned that I suck at food photography and lack the poetic description that would accompany the amazing photos I can’t take. This, I suppose, is why I am not a food blogger.
- I expected to see beauty here, and there is plenty, although I have learned that most of the cities are concrete block jungles. The beauty is hidden away in the details of the old, traditional homes and buildings, in small private gardens, and behind temple walls. It’s not hard to find though.
It is a place best told about in pictures.