First of all Nara was one of my favorite places to visit. I loved the city and and the deer:) I never thought I would walk nonchalantly next to numerous deer at one time. It surprised me how calm I felt next to a bunch around me because if I were back in Nebraska I would most likely be scared out of my mind. It was a great feeling to overcome a fear of mine.
When we were waiting outside of Todaji to get our tickets I was expecting to see a normal sized temple that we’ve been seeing. Instead I was blown away by the size of this temple. It was breath taking. The temple was not only beautiful but also the landscaping and all the green around it.
Nara was the first place I experienced green noodles and green tea ice cream. Green tea ice cream may be my new favorite because of how refreshing it is. I have never had more desserts than I have has in Japan. It’s weird because usually back home I feel to full and sick to even look/think of eating more. In Japan I felt wonderful after eating, even after dessert. I miss that.
When we first walked into the philosophers path we had to walk through an amazing green entrance just to get our tickets before we even entered. The first thing my attention was drawn towards was the zen garden. It was a site to actually watch the guy use the take to form the perfect patterns. You always see the garden when it’s perfectly done but never see how it’s made in the process. How things are done is one thing that I always want to know more about. The guy went very slow and was careful not to make any mistakes. As I looked around I noticed other workers in the trees and water doing their job to keep the place nice and clean. I think in the states most people with that job might not take their job seriously but think of it as a chore. When I watch people doing their job in Japan they do it with an attitude that makes it seem like they enjoy every minute of it. They care deeply about their culture and following the values that have been carried down to them.
This picture was taken at Shunkō-in. The painting represents the Japanese aesthetic flatness. An interesting thing I didn’t know about Japanese art is that the correct way to view it is through natural lighting. When I saw the difference between having a light on and then seeing it through the sunlight I realized why. The gold stands out lighting up the painting making me see it in a new way.
This was a cemetery we came across on our walk up hill to Kiyomizu Temple. I thought it was beautiful setting in the mountains. It’s different than what I know in the states. I’m always going past cemeteries that are spread out with grass and tombstones. This one almost seems like you’d need a map to find your loved one.
10am headed to the tea ceremony. Taka ran us through the history and steps of a tea ceremony. We were presented with 2 rice cakes served on rice paper. They were delicious. A few moments later the tea was brought to us. You’re supposed to give the bowl 2 nice turns and theres enough for about 2-3 drinks. Be sure to slurp on the last drink so you don’t stain the bowl with any tea that may be left over. The tea was awesome as well and very refreshing!
Meditation…… Peaceful but a little painful. Painful because my legs ache being crossed for long periods at a time It was nice to sit in silence, hearing the wind and gathering all my thoughts. I tried to focus on my breathing a lot. In through my nose feeling the cold air. I’m still not convinced that Taka had us go the full 20 minutes.
Our trek to Kiyomizudera was at first a little long and tiring but once we got to the very large cemetery that wasn’t an issue any more. I thought it was beautiful being placed in the mountain. If I had a loved one there I might get lost trying to find them but well worth it. After the cemetery we made it to Kiyomizudera and wow what a view!