Wednesday June 7th, 1995
Japan (Kyoto): Shrines for a Change.

We bought a small book at Ryoanji
on which we have some writing made by monks
everytime we visit a new temple.
We still don't know much about this habit
but it is rather satisfying to have some portable original artwork made
for a couple of bucks several times a day.

We see many young boys and girls
in school uniforms
visiting Kyoto's temples and shrines.

They usually go by groups of six (3 girls and 3 boys),
we think for safety reason,
and sometimes talk to us
asking questions for their English finals.

Heian Shrine is a little disappointing.
It is painted in almost safety orange
and is too obviously designed to accomodate tourists.

The Ginkakuji Temple on the other hand is another of Kyoto's beauties.
The Zen garden is the reason of the visit.
It sports very unusual (for me at least) gravel designs
which I would compare
to some of the earth works of the 70's in the West.
It seems to be known for its gravel truncated cone
which is about 3 feet high.

The rest of the garden was worth the trip too.
Funny that it is not permitted to visit the temple itself...

The taxi drivers have a little remote control
which allows them to open and close the back door on the left
for the customers.

It took us three days to understand
that we didn't have to open the door
and another week to get the closing option!

yesterday tomorrow