Lucky lucky karma magnet
Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
92Trip End Sep 26, 2011
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Aryisharma with Masato
We decided that today would be the day for the Chion-in temple which I have wanted to visit since before I arrived in Japan. Honen created the Pure Land sect of Buddhism which is probably HHS most popular sect in Japan although most westerners wod never know to visit this temple as it us not really mentioned much in the travel guides.
However our first stop was to meet Fanon a couchsrufung host who is a Prof from the US but who lives permanently in Kyoto. He was a fascinating soul and who is seriously into his music and hiphop. What I found especially interesting is a doco he has on hiphop within the Gaza Strip and the impact it had upon the Palestinian youth culture. As usual the conversation went on to traveliing and the misperception regarding what is happening in Japan, both of us concur that the Western mdia has a lot to answer for. Both Fanon and Masato commented upon how the volume of requests they have received has gone from 10 or so per day to zip or virtually none. People are cancelling their trips and tend not to believe you when you say it is safe here, which it is. I have not grown any extra appendages and NO I do not glow in the dark! As I have said before and I shall say it again it will be some insane cell phone chatting/umbrella holding cyclist whilst will take me out not Godzilla, radiation or the earthquakes which are happening about 600-800km away!
The gate alone blew me away, if is the largest one of it's kind in Japan and us so very imprint without being austentacious! The stairs to the temple were great exercise after train and bus journeys.
I do believe that Masato thinks I am somewhat parciar as I like to go off the beaten tourist track, he has never even visited thus temple! The inner sanctum of shrines was so very tranquil but all that wax to change very quickly. I dragged Masato into the main temple and we discovered that the next ceremony was in 40 minutes and being like an addict on crack when in spiritual places I decided we shod wait, even tho I hadn't eaten in about 90 mins!
Stomach growling we waited abc then all if a sudden it was like a geriatric rave with all these useful looming oldies congregating in thus most beautiful if rugioud buildings I ever experienced. With a little bit of detective work we found out that all the old people had been dpeciaslh invited as they were 80 years old. Thus may seem strange to you but what you have to know is that both Buddha and Honen died at 80 years old. So I'm sat that wondering if any if these old ducks are thinking that their number is up shortly. Some of the women were bent over double and one lady fhad to crawl out on her knees but by Buddha they had made it there!
It was very apparent that this was no ordinary ceremony 80 year olds or not as there were scurrying monks and videographers in a no photos temple. What we overheard a monk telling the congregation was that the Emporer had donated a rice paddle. This may not sound much to us but it'is a huge deal and the paddle was made by artisans! There was every level of Buddhist monk and nun there and the robes were so beatifully decorated and embroidered. I am not beggining to understand the hierachy and the accompanying robe colour but the boat looking head gear had me stumped! Will have to research that at a later date. As per usual there were some divine and serene looking monks and unlike in so many countries the monks here can get married so there is still hope for me yet;-)
We listened to some of the service but I was getting a headach due to my stomach being severed from my throat so we visited the largest bell in Japan and I viewed the lovely pagoda which Masato didn`t really like as he thought the red was not a good tone! Then off to a cheap n cheerful Chinese resto for lunch, which unfortunately wasn`t what we ordered. My shrimp fried rice came sans shrimp and just egg as they has literally taken out all the meat evern though we explained that shrimps were ok. Oh well Masato let me try some of his sticky lunch, he likes sticky food as he feels fuller after eating it!
As the weather was staring to turn we took a quick walk around North and South Gion. The former which I found to be less sleazy and without sexy bars. Was great to have Masato explain the whole Geisha situation and how things have changed in today`s modern world. It is still very exclusive and by invitation only so unless you are a politician, movie star or mafia good luck being able to afford or be able to get in! I did like the oldy woldy feelto the North area and it was rewarding to be able to finally put the place/culture to the book and movie (Memoirs of a Geisha). I had my photo taken with two ‘geisha‘ but not another one as I don`t believe in chasing people down the street. There is something so truly wonderful and aluring about the geisha constume which I find akin to the burga (so much is coverd and left to the imagination not like how so many people dress these days) I was looking at some photos of Lauren who is the promo girl and girlfriend of Randy de Puniet and I found what she was wearing tarty not sexy at all. Why is it we have gone from revering ourselves to displaying our wears like meat in a butchers window for all to see?! AND YES I TOO HAVE BEEN GUILTY OF THIS!
With this in mind we went in search of a Yukata for me but at approx 10,000 yen it was far too expensive although it really did look lovely. Dejected as being a poor traveller I went in search of European food so that I could cook Masato a different meal. I couldn`t find fesh double cream so opten to make psto spaghetti with red pepper and spinach. Masato does not eat fresh veg or fruit but gets his daily nutricien from fruit and veg drinks in a carton (not good!).
When we arrived home we chatted for a while and Masato was amazed and did not believe that I am friends with some of my ex boyfriends. We had a huge discussion regarding jealousy, needless to say another person found it strange that I do not have a problem if my boyfriend is freiends with his ex and meets her. It would appear that cross culturally people are unable to believe that I am secure enough in myself and my relationships not to be insanely jealous. As I explained if my partner is stupid enough to cheat on my (1) God help him as I have a long memory and (2) I doubt he would anyway!
With dinner just about to be dished up the American who was also staying called from the wrong station so poor Masato had to go and meet him in the torrential rain. I have now created another pesto addict, Masato loved dinner and wants it again tomorrow night! The American didn`t speak much and seems rather rude to be honest but best not to judge and let`s just wait and see.
The one thing I found shocking today was the conversation with Masato regarding how young high school girls will prostitute themselves for designer handbags. I have been contemplating this all day and really I guess it is not so different from promotion girls at sporting events who show off their bodies in exhange for money! Money is the route of all evil and when women are prepared to sell any part of themselves for a handbag or particular lifestyle it is extremely sad and being a model does not make it any more acceptable!
My another main musing was that good thoughts creat good events- when I am happy I have the most amazing karma and experiences which you couldn`t pay for even if you wanted to e.g. dojo and ceremony today. However, when I have bad thoughts e.g. American turning up late and ruining dinner I slice my thumb open with a very sharp knive and have blood pissing everywhere for ages! So for anyone reading this becareful of your thoughts and what karma can gift you!!