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Japan trip – the finale

April 26, 2007

The second week of my trip was primarily an opportunity to meet up with other friends who live in the Osaka area though the one really exciting aspect was the overnight stay as Shojoshin temple on Koya-san in Wakayama prefecture of which I wrote in a previous post.

I had been to Koya-san once before so had seen most of the sights before. Still, I went up early in the morning to see them all again and do some tromping around. The benefit of having been there before was that I knew which spots to spend more time at.
僕の旅行の二つ目週間ではたくさん友達を訪問しました。相変わらず楽しかった。ほっかの面白いことは高野山に一晩泊まりました。

Kongobu-ji gardenKonpondai-to PagodaPagoda interiorJizouGrave stonesPilgrimsHall of lanters - Toro-do

I was curious what it was going to be like eating shoujin ryouri (vegetarian temple cuisine) and I have to say that it was amazing. Of course the presentation was stunning but the food itself was great. Didn’t miss the meat or fish at all. It’s amazing what can be done with vegetarian cuisine when the chef actually knows what to do.
事前に「精進料理はどう?」と思いました。僕の友達は「やさいだけだよ」と言いました。本当においしかった。もちろんその懐石料理はきれいだよ。

My roomDinnerBreakfast

I met some interesting people as well. In my dining area (one of the historic rooms of the temple) were a young couple from the United States, an older couple from England and a family from Denmark. By the look of things, I was the only single person out of the 20 or so Westerners at the temple. Once the people in my dining area found out how conversant I was in Japanese language, the food and culture, I ended up getting peppered with questions as none of them had ever been to Japan before.
お寺にたくさん外国人がいました。僕はだけの一人がいました。アメリカ人と英国じんとデンマーク人を会った。皆さんは優しかった。

Goin’ down (and up)Very serious

The other highlights of the trip (aside from seeing my friends) were the couple of trips I took out to Kyoto. This time around, I didn’t spend much time in seeing temples (which is what I usually do). Instead, I just spent time walking through the parts of the city that I enjoy. Since it was the height of cherry blossom season, people were out in full force, particularly in Maruyama park in Eastern Kyoto. I went through on a Monday and the place was packed as though it were a holiday weekend.
京都にも行きました。その旅行でお寺に行かなかった。それは珍しいだよ。代わりにいろいろの所に散歩しました。東山のあたりは大好きです。びっくりした!月曜日に円山公園はすごくにぎやかだった。桜はまんかいでした。そして、皆は花見をしました。

Sakura!!Kyoto in Spring

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