05 January 2012

Amida Buddha, Malls + Melonpan

LB + I decided to keep our shrine/temple visiting today low-key since:

1. Yesterday, we walked like motherfuckers
2. We're leaving Nippon tomorrow, a fact which continues to depress us every time one of us brings it up to torture the other person

So, we decided to take the bus to Kinkaku-jin where I learned that you board a Japanese bus in back + also pay your fare at the end, just before you get off. Another thing, bus stops, at least the ones in Kyōto, have these little traffic boards with cute bus icons letting you know how far away the next bus is + how many minutes the wait will be--so fucking considerate + smart. Kinkaku-jin was fucking amazing, absolutely one of the most striking temples/UN Heritage sites I've ever seen, so beautiful in fact, that you feel as if you're peering at some collective mirage. I must have taken 25 pictures, each time trying to capture the magical floating above water + each time failing. After receiving beautiful goshuen calligraphy stamps in our goshuen-cho books, we ate tempura udon for lunch (always fucking satisfying!) + then walked to daitoku-ji, which is this beautiful, slowly disentegrating Rinzai megatemple with a number of subtemples inside of it, each one with its own character, style, aesthetics. Eventually, after petting a cat with a mustache, we took the bus back to Shijo-Kawaramachi, walked around the covered shopping malls in the Teramachi Shopping Arcade--by the way, between stores, there are these sudden Buddhist temples that come out of nowhere--before we walked to 7-11 (which are really cool in Japan, by the way), lingering there as if we weren't ready to say good-bye to one of our favorite countries in the whole world. I ended up buying some adolescent male magazine with pulp style manga drama, tasteful Moe centerfolds + lots of gadgets. And then, after buying a melonpan that was fucking delicious (the kind with the sweet, gushing custard inside) we walked back to our hotel + moped, sad, pissed off, bummed out.

Here are the pics, first starting with Daitoku-ji:

















Kinkaku-ji:









Teramachi Shopping Arcade:





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