Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day 9 - Keeping up with the drums

Even in Kyoto, people can’t keep their eyes open on the subway.

We were so happy with our foursome picture the day before, we decided to make more of an effort to take them.

Once a month, on the 21st, there is a flea market at Toji Temple. We were so happy that our visit coincided with this event.

The most amazing part was all the vendors who were selling used kimonos. Huay and I each bought one for six dollars.

We had a snack of takoyaki – fried octopus balls. Yum yum!

Our big event for the day was visiting Saihoji temple, or the Moss temple. I wrote in about 2 months in advance requesting permission to enter. We made it to the temple at our appointed time.

We had to take off our shoes before entering the temple.

The cost was $25.00 per person, and we had to write sutras beforehand. We weren’t allowed to take photos of this part, but it consisted of us tracing a sutra with brushes. At one point, we chanted the sutra three times. The priests kept beat with a drum. I tried my hardest to keep up but my Japanese reading is a little rusty. My mom told me later that they read the chant super fast so I didn’t feel so bad.

The Moss Temple was amazing. The best part was that everyone was spread apart so you felt you could take your time and really enjoy the garden. The garden was just as much about the details as the overall impression. Here are many great photos that Rob and Huay took.

When we took the bus back into town, Rob saw a video game that had you do taiko drumming. Of course we couldn’t resist and drew quite the crowd while we battled it out.

We had dinner at Omen, an udon restaurant that is famous for its udon and miso eggplant.

I pretended to sleep while at the restaurant – a homage to my Aunt Kanchan, who laid down because she wasn’t feeling well at a dinner my mom had with her siblings while we were in Tokyo.

We couldn’t keep from laughing!

Finally, I had a hard time sleeping with the pillow the machiya provided us, so I improvised and used an extra blanket. It was super comfy.

Next – is a cult of beauty a bad thing?


yumi said...

That temple is so beautiful!!! And the udon and eggplant look so yummy. And Mari, you look comfy, like you did when we where at Obachan's...ha ha.

MinaG said...

I love the photos from Saihoji, seeing all the lush green... then the photos with the purple irises was a pretty surprise!
How did the eggplant taste? Looks delicious!