The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Sunday, November 27, 2005

November, Pt 2

[Read pt 1 if you haven't already]

On Sunday, we headed into Kyoto and began our quest to see as many temples as is humanly possible in one day. We started by driving up Mt. Hiei to Enryakuji, one of the first Buddhist temples in Japan (I'm too lazy to research this properly!) Although many of the buildings are not originals, it is astonishing to think that there has been a temple operating on this site since the 9th century or so. Here's a picture of yours truly ringin' the bell.

Enryakuji wasn't particularly crowded, but I did notice what was to become a common theme throughout the day: despite the fact that Buddhism is all about charity and selflessness, people in Buddhist temples can be pretty damn pushy, even if it's just to elbow their way past you so that they can light some incense and pray to the Buddha statue before you do. Kind of crazy, and very surprising when you get hip-checked by some 70-year-old woman.

Next, it was off to Nanzenji, a major zen temple. It was quite impressive and very large in scale. Then it was Ginkakuji, which is not particularly old by Kyoto temple standards, but has a beautiful garden and a nice reflecting pond which people really like. It's a great place to see the leaves turning, so it was ridiculously crowded.
Fall colours at Ginkakuji

Finally, after a very tedious quest for parking, we made it to Kiyomizudera, the most famous temple in Kyoto (probably). It was insanely crowded. What's worse is that is consists of a large wooden temple clinging tenaciously to the side of a cliff. There were about 1000 people leaning on the railing of the temple, trying to get a picture of the fall colours; I was sure that the railing was going to give way with a mighty crack and hundreds would fall to their deaths. But that's the kind of worry-wort I am. Nobody died as far as I know.


That evening, I said goodbye to Mori and his family and sped off to Nagoya. I stayed with another friend (Tada, for those who know him) because the next day, Monday, I had a job interview in Nagoya. The interview went pretty well, but took 3 hours. Is that normal?

Before the interview, I took some pictures of Nagoya castle...

So anyway, a busy 4 days. It was great to see my friends Mori and Tada, and Kyoto in the fall is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Plus, I managed to squeeze a job interview in there, so it was a very fruitful trip all around.


At 2:39 PM, Blogger Zambo said...

Hey Jeffy.

Very nice pix, buddy!

Mori's daughter is cute.
(You didn't look too bad as the violet ninja either).

From that one picture and your description, Kiyomizudera appears to be a testament to architectural excellence. That seems like an incredible amount of weight to support...

Which reminds me, I'd better dig up my stretch pants as the Christmas season is upon us...

Take care out there!

Your Pal,



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