I’m Sorry, What’s Your Name??

You think you have trouble remembering names? Just try remembering the names of a few dozen of the 1600 temples that are here in Kyoto! After dozens of years of visits, I’m still often in a state of confusion when it comes to identifying which temples I’ve visited. It frequently happens that I don’t think…

Less than Two Miles in 4.5 Hours

When Danny suggested that we walk to an antique store we like to visit here on the opposite side of town, it seemed like a fine idea.  The weather was mild, the mid-November sun warm and inviting.  And we both could use the excercise. Taking an A to B walk in Kyoto is hypothetically an…

Serendipity Strikes Again

A small blurb in a local magazine caught my eye and I  thought it would be worth checking out: Autumn Book Fair is held by the Used Book Society of Kyoto which consists of many of Kyoto’s used booksellers at Chion-ji Temple in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto city. Throughout the event, the usually quiet temple compound is…

In Search of Beauty

I awakened in Japan this morning to learn of the terrorist outrage in lower Manhattan.  It’s not the news any of us want to see wherever we are.  We live in times that can easily be called disheartening.  I have felt the encroaching darkness  for several months for reasons that don’t require illumination. Anyone with…

Morning Blessings Received Years Ago, Not Forgotten

(This is a recently found account of a tour to a morning service at a Zen temple in Kyoto.) It was still a dark and cold early spring morning when we arrived a bit nervously at the impressive Zen temple in Kyoto. A young monk greeted us pleasantly. His obvious assignment was to instruct us…

In Praise of Friendship

As many years as I’ve been coming to Japan, there are experiences to be had here that can only happen with the help of caring friends who have contacts and relationships that open doors that are not  available to the casual visitor. When our friend Masa invited us to spend the day with him at…

Jolly Time for Matcha

Taking a Stroll Yesterday late afternoon, the sun was still warm as I strolled/sauntered several blocks south of our apartment, to Bukko-ji, a progressive neighborhood temple, well off the tourist grid. I decided to say “saunter” because it indicates a growing self confidence and jolly spirit I have while navigating the streets of Kyoto. Design,…

Hail the Chrysanthemum

Had I visited Daikokuji before? Though I’ve visited dozens of the thousands of temples that remain in Kyoto, I’m often guilty of forgetting their names.  Once I’ve visited, I remember it on sight, but often before I go, I’m not at all certain. I’d read a listing in the helpful Kyoto Visitor’s Guide that captured my…

Witness and Pause

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” ― Alan W. Watts It takes several minutes of walking to approach the humble thatched gate at the Honen-in Temple.  When…