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Beyond Osaka 大阪以遠

March 26, 2012

I did my usual trip or two to Kyoto; once on my own and again with a dear friend (you know who you are).  She had never seen Rokkaku-do temple where the art of ikebana (flower arranging) was born.  It’s a six-sided temple, or “six corners” if you translate directly.  Do you think I could remember what a six-sided object was called in English?  No!  Had to look it up in the dictionary.  Evidently teaching English actually turns one’s brain to cottage cheese (the word is “hexagon” for any other cottage cheese brains out there).  On my solo trip to Kyoto, I also happened across a nice surprise at the Museum of contemporary art in Gion: an exhibition of French photographer Robert Doisneau.  Though he died in 1994, he shot some of the most important reportage photographs of the 20th century.

In recent years, I’ve come to take the Hankyu line from Umeda as opposed to the JR line.  It’s not as fast, but it’s a much nicer route, not to mention less expensive.  Plus, I like the cars better; they’re just… nicer.  Old-fashioned and comfy.

相変わらず、この旅行間に2回で京都市に行きました。最初の特別な友達一緒に行きました。彼女は六角堂には行った事ないです。そのお寺には生け花が初めました。六角の形は面白いですね。でも、その時英語でぜんぜん覚えなかったんですよ。僕は英語の先生のに。少し恥ずかしかった。次ぎに、自分に行きました。面白い写真展を見出した。京都現代美術館でロベール ドアノー展を見ました。素晴らしかったですよ。ドアノーさんは20世紀の大切な写真家いました。


The other trip of note I took this time, with another good friend, was a 400 km round trip, by car, out to Ise Grand Shrine in Mie prefecture.  My first time to drive a right-hand drive car!  No worries, though why did they have to put the windshield wiper lever where the turn signal lever is?   Renting a car in Japan is definitely something I will keep in mind for future trips.


Ise Grand Shrine is arguably the most revered Shinto shrine in Japan and supposedly houses the mirror, one of the three Imperial treasures.  The unfortunate thing is that the main buildings are enclosed behind fences so that all the general public gets to see are the thatched roofs.  Sadly, we got started a bit late and had to have the rental car back by 8:00 so we didn’t stay as long as we would have liked.  There are more areas surrounding the grand shrine that I would like to have seen, especially the famous “wedded rocks“.  I think it will wait until the weather’s warmer though – we froze our bits this time around!


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