Temple (check), Shrine (check), Karaoke (check), Homework (…)

Sara Portesan

( Quick note: Sorry the formatting on this is strange- I will work on getting more familiar with this as time goes on. On the plus side, pictures! Hurray!)

There are too many things to do here. And so far, I have really only been checking them off a list.

There are the normal college activities; the classes, the homework, the commute (though I would prefer my Whitman commute time of two minutes of walking), clubs (which I have yet to join).   Eating, of course (soooo much eating, at least for me). Attempting to make Japanese friends despite the communication gap. Luckily, I already have two wonderful  Doshisha friends who came to Whitman last year and the year before, and because of their kind patience, and excellent  English  skills on occasion, I am able to have Japanese friends.

Aside from all the usual benefits of having a friendship, really great Japanese friends in Japan can give you something more! … They can help you fill out your alien registration form and apply for national health insurance and figure out your phone plan and help you buy a monthly subway way past and all the other activities that kanji and technical vocabulary can sometimes make difficult. These are among the many things there are to do here that one has to do.
But then, but then.
There are the temples.
Me at the Kiomizu temple in Gion when I went with Mie, I think on September 15 or 16. How fast time goes here!
…and the shrines…
This shrine was on the way home from Gion 9/22 with Amanda, Josephine and Liz. It was a little eerie, in a good way.
…and the rivers…
Kamogawa on the way to Kiomizu tera with Mie!
And then, what’s more, you have all these wonderful colors!
View at Kiomizutera at sunset 9/21 (with Amanda, Josephine and Liz)
Fa la la
Walking back from Kiomizutera. Look at the colors reflecting on the srufaces! I want this in my art...
So beautiful.
If you were unable to tell, these last three weekends have been dominated by sightseeing. However, at each place, I have yet to spend much quality time. The Inari Jinja is close to where I live though, so I am hoping to become more familiar with it. Thus far though, my weekends have been right out of the guide book section “Kyoto in a day!”
To end this post, I have a delightfully awkward photo that I think may sum up at least one kind of experience I will often encounter here.
Does anyone else see how terribly awkward this is? I mean, first of all, these poor Maiko, just trying to make it to their job, and all these crazy people (us included) asking them to take photos with them (seriously, every time they turned to go, another throng of people would approach. Sorry, Maiko,  for I took part in this trend). Aside from that, look how adorable Liz is, and how she stands between them as they lean slightly towards her, almost fitting in. Me, off to the side, but still in the shot because I wanted proof of this stereotypical experience. Hmm, interesting indeed.