Hi. Guess what? So much has happened today I don’t know where to even begin. I’ll start with an edit from yesterdays blog. I have made an incredible amount of friends and met so many new people but I did not mention everyone in the blog post from yesterday. I kind of felt bad about that. I also didn’t mention my FAVORITE part of the symposium which was when I found out Manami (our partner) listens to Paramore and Fall Out Boy. I’m aware these could be average facts for most humans, but for the human, (me) they’re game changers. Manami and I are now best friends. It happened. It’s real. She might not even know.
Moving swiftly along. TODAY we did some pretty incredible things. First, we went to Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto which was like a temple trail. I’m not entirely sure how to explain this without being incredible disrespectful but there was this orange temple and then smaller ones all around it. Then you could follow these trials that slowly worked itself up a mountain with more private and serene temples. I guess they could be compared to checkpoints on the way to the top. What was really cool was the bamboo growing in the forest alongside the trail. We actually never made it to the top but what are you going to do.
After that we took a train to a different part of Kyoto to see the temple of one thousand Buddhas. This was easily the most amazing thing we’ve seen on this trip. You have to take your shoes off at the door and put on slippers that the shrine provides for all the guests. You walk into this long room and there are seriously no less than a thousand gold statues lined up for what goes on for what seems like 70 miles. They’re all a little bit different from the one next to it, but the rustic look and the detail is incomparable to anything I’ve ever seen before. The first thing that immediately popped into my head when I saw them was the chess game in the Harry Potter movie. Totally different, but that’s the vibe I got. In front of the rows and rows of statues, there are I think 12 different stone statues of the deities with descriptions of where they are believed to have come from and what they symbolize in the Buddhist religion. Some of the statues had crystals for eyes and it made it look like they were living people trapped inside stone cases. (A little like Mr Krabs when he’s trapped in the ice in The Spongebob Movie.) Anyways, in the middle of the 12 statues there is this enormous Buddha that looks like it is floating in the air. It was easily two stories tall. The entire thing in unable to be described with pictures or in words. If anyone wants to ever see it, I’ll just have to bring you back to Kyoto. It’s worth the flight, I swear.
While I loved the two places we were able to explore, my favorite part of this day was afterwards when we were lost on the train So we board a train back to Osaka (where the hotel is) and until we get off the train, I honestly had no idea if we were even heading remotely in the right direction. Long story short- 4 hours later we made it back home. It was supposed to be a thirty minute trip. Between you & I, I thought I was going to die in the Japan train station. I could see my end and I’m lucky to be alive. You’re lucky I’m dramatic, otherwise this blog would be all about facts. The thought bores me.
All in all, it was a good one. I’ve been throwing around the idea, in my own head, that I could see myself one day living in Japan. It’s such a stunning country filled with the kindest people. I don’t have to take into consideration the fact that I dress differently because I would stick out anyways so why try to avoid it. I do think there are a lot of things in the culture and society that would clash with my own personality and beliefs. Honestly, who knows. Right now my number one place to live is Africa where I can ride a giraffe all day, everyday. THAT would be the life.
Get ready for whatever lies ahead tomorrow.
Current seating arrangement- tucked in bed.