it has been a bit cold and raining. Very wet. Of course I decided to travel to north from central Kyoto. There is a small zen temple called “Shisendo” and this place is famous for its garden. There are 2 rooms you can sit or meditate facing well-maintained and cared garden. I sat there for about 30 minutes just to enjoy the garden, hear birds, feel the breeze. Just to be.
I am just proud to be Japanese especially today.
13.5miles. I walked 13.5 miles today. My feet and legs are a bit sore but I’m planning to walk around the city today again. This is my friends’ first time to visit Kyoto and they wanted to visit Rokuonji (Kinkakji). Not my favorite but yet still impressive. My highlight of my the day was to visit Ryoanji zen Templar for the 4th time. This is my another chapter of my life started. I’m forever grateful for that. This is cherry blossom at Ryoanji.
It’s just before 7 in the morning. Let’s see what’s waiting for me to explore in this amazing city.
4.9.2015 Kyoto vacation started. The first stop is Honolulu, HI. Waiting for my flight to Kansai Airport. I am sitting under the shade and enjoying the sun and lovely Hawaiian breeze. Not a bad start at all 🙂
I called our dog sitter today and she told me she was going to take care of my overweight Chihuahua. Right after getting off from the phone with her, a flush of excitement went through my body. It was quite strong.
I am leaving for Kyoto exactly in three weeks. My parents and my brother’s family still live in Tokyo and I am not telling them that I am coming to visit Japan. This is a huge deal. Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoy visiting my family every time I go back. I have to admit however, I don’t feel like I “travel” when I visit my family. I enjoy the food, hanging out and catching up with them but it is visiting my family, not a travel experience.
Kyoto’s history starts in year of 794 when Emperor Komu stated Kyoto as the capitol city. It is 1200 years old and there are over 3,000 temples in the city. Millions of old buildings are still intact. Not like in Seattle (ugh! Ugly new developments!), they don’t demolish old architecture. During World War II, the Allies actually did not bomb Kyoto because of the conscious choice not to destroy tons of historical sites. In a way, it is like Paris. Kyoto tries very hard to preserve the way of living and Japanese historic culture. It does not mean they are not open minded. It just means they embrace and respect its history.
My grandma was born in 1906 who passed away in 2004. She had been through a lot. She was a strict Asian grandma yes. I remember she never wanted to do things in a convenient way. For example, she taught me how to make bonito/kelp stock (dashi) from scratch instead of buying ready-made packets at the store. She showed me how to filet a fish yourself instead of buying fileted fish. Those thing take time. To me, people in Kyoto in general seem that they choose traditions over convenience.
I am beyond excited. I have my passport, Green Card and the bestest travel companion that I can ever ask for. I am all set.
What would you like to do if you have a chance to visit to Kyoto?
I was crying for help inside for weeks. I had been experiencing some hardships that I was not really able to figure out and had been frustrated about not knowing what was going on. As a result, I was being so short with a couple of people, especially my poor best friend, he had to be my punching bag for a while. Even though he bought tickets to San Francisco Ballet (3rd row from the front) and traveled with me. What did I do for return? I snapped at him a couple of times during the trip, which he does not reserve whatsoever.
8 am Sunday morning, we got on to MUNI to headed over to Ocean Beach area to get a nice breakfast. On MUNI, it felt like my chest was being filled with dark emotion and I didn’t want to talk to him at all. We got out and walked toward to this restaurant called, Outerlands near the beach http://outerlandssf.com/ . I was already frustrated because there was a long line even if we got there 20 min before their opening time, 9am. When we sat down on the wooden bench outside while waiting, I started telling him about I need some time for me to be alone for a while. He was very supportive of that. As he asked me a couple of questions about work, all of a sudden, my thoughts are getting clearer, as if clouds are moving and I started to see sunlight. I found the core problem of what’s been eating me this last 2 to 3 weeks.
Of course Outerlands’ food did help me out. Beautiful looking corn bread with crumble of goat cheese, cheerful looking chicory open sandwich with eggs and salad, and fun looking rice porridge with pork belly, pickled veggies. They were all luscious and I could taste their dedication and passion.
After this inspiring (for food and for my soul) breakfast, I felt revitalized and uplifting. I was getting out from that dark spot to a sunny and hopeful place.
Thank you, Outerlands and Archie for pulling me out of my cave. You guys are both beyond wonderful.