End of the Journey - part 1: Spirituality in the old capital

November 26, 2017

More than 2 weeks have passed since I came back from Osaka. In Germany, I returned rapidly to the boring translator everyday routine under the November cloudy and depressing sky... But thanks God, the next trip to Japan is only 5 months away!


As long as the memories of the automnal trip are still fresh, I'll now write about the last two weeks in Osaka and surroundings, full of excursions, great food and a really bad cold. There is so much to tell, I'll split the story in 3 or 4 parts. Here the 1st one!

10.25. Trip preparation, flea market & spirituality in Kyoto

For my journey with 2 customers on May 2018, I had to check the possible accommodations of the trip. Therefore, I went with my wife to Kyoto. I found a western-style hotel at a perfect location (2 min. on foot to the Imperial Palace Park). We had a very positive impression of the place, it'll be a great place to stay!

We strolled around a bit in the really huge Imperial Palace Park and went then to the Kitano Tenmangu. On the 25th of every month, this popular shrine hosts a flea market. Around the grounds of the shrine, hundreds of vendors are selling everything from used kimono to antiques and crafts, joined by several Yatai (food stands). After visiting this colorful shrine, we fought our way through the hordes of tourists, bought a few nice sake cups and ate succulent Sembei (rice cracker).


Then, we took a nice old tram to one of the several attractions of Kyoto, the Ryoan-ji Temple. This Zen temple is the site of Japan's most famous rock garden (karesansui). This garden is indeed beautiful, but for us not the real highlights of Ryoan-ji!
First, the garden is much too crowed to be able to enjoy the atmosphere and take proper pictures. Then, every tourist just come for 5 minutes and then leave. What a pity! Just behind the garden, there is a big Japanese room furbished with splendid Fusuma (slide panels) with a dragon motive, ignored by most of the tourists... And then, the park surrounding the temple, what a beauty, with gorgeous automnal sceneries reflected on a pond.


Last stage of our day trip, Ninnaji, another Buddhist temple near Ryoanji. After the tourist hordes at Ryoanji, we can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this serene and holy place. Sadly, we were pretty late and didn't have enough time to visit every part of the huge temple grounds. For sure, I'll come again with my customers next year!



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