Friday, 11 January 2013

Day 23: Revisiting a few temples of my familiar

Day 23 (28 Dec) I've become rather an independent traveller over time; I prefer to duck down a side street than pursue the tourist trail; spending time in a local secondhand bookshop to get a sense of a zeitgeist...

I've been to Kyoto a few times before, though not for some years. I guess if I were coming here on my own I'd have taken a few different paths but nonetheless Jinko was keen to revisit a few of the familiar temples. She is very good at these travel schedules, it is something of a hobby of hers so the days were pretty clearly planned out. By this stage, I'd told her of my 12 past 6 blog and what I was doing so she wasn't surprised by what I might be doing in the morning, at 6.12am/pm. 

The Shinkansen at kyoto station,
6.12am on a wet morning. 
By this morning, I was back to taking the photo at 6.12am local time. There was an expectation of rain today so I was looking out of the hotel room window to see the Shinkansen sitting at the station. Also now have tv/news again so watched news of Abe's new cabinet last night as well as interview with deputy PM and former PM himself, Aso. I have learnt I get rather tetchy without news sources (radio, newspapers, tv, internet) for more than one day. Also, political rhetoric doesn't change across languages. Japanese politicians have even adopted the 'moving forward' phrase...aaarrgghh.

Nonetheless, we trekked off to our first temple of the day (after breakfast), Kiyomizu. The architecture here is spectacular. We were planning to get to one or two others too, weather permitting. 

Dinner, at 6.12pm,
including all the key food groups. 
We got around to three or four on on the day as it happened and back in town in time for dinner (my travel companion has far stricter eating times than I do) and so was about to get into a rather lovely meal at Kyoto restaurant precinct Manshige at 6.12pm. 

The big news in Japan today was the retirement of a pro baseball player, Matsui. Nearly 15mins of the top NHK news. It was a bit of a surprise. 

'Kin': gold, or money at Kiyomizu
Perhaps the nicest surprise for me today was finding the Japanese 'word (kanji) of the year' on display at Kiyomizu Temple.  Each year, one of the teaching bodies announces its 'kanji of the year' and the high priest of Kiyomizu writes it for display. I generally get to see this on the internet each year, but it was nice to see it 'live'. 

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