4th April 2005

todays pictures 2005:04:04

Sitting in a Tonkatsu restaurant in Kyoto Station.
It is way better than it sounds as the station is HUGE. Nearly a city in and of itself.
After drying out last night I asked Tani-sama where a local Yakitori/Tonkatsu palce was and she redirect me to a yakitoria just around the corner.
The chef was very friendly and spoke some English.
When he found out that I came from near Liverpool, he ran into the back, took off the J-Pop CD, and put on a Beatles compilation!
He was also convinced that Prince Charles is 70, amongst other interesting things.
Later on, near the end of my meal, a Canadian Expat called Jack came in with a Japanese friend and her son.
We started chatting and he invited me for breakfast coffee this morning.
Although initially reluctant, I went anyway.
He is a teacher of the Japanese Tea Ceremony and he doesn’t speak any Japanese.
He lives in a small traditional paper Kyoto house, converted for use in the ceremony, close to Tani House.
He has about 30 students, mostly from outside of town, and regularly has guests stay at his house.
He is not impressed with Tani, he thinks it too expensive for what you get.
But I am OK with it.
After having breakfast with him and Hiromi, and after exchanging cards, I went off to do the three sites in the North-West of the city.
Daitoku-ji was a bit of a dissapointment. I had hoped for more.
The ,em>Gold Pavillion was magnificent, even though it was over in a little over 5 minutes!
And the final Zen garden, well it was just raked sand.
Peaceful, but that was about it. (But, around the corner from the famous stone garden was, for me, a much more impressive moss garden.
I find the chaos and order of nature itself more pleasing.
Then it was off to town to located tomorrows lodging and buy a carnet of public transport tickets. (I could not work out the pre-paid cards!)
A comment I made to Jack and Hiromi was amusing.
They were lamenting the fact that old-style paper houses were being replaced by souless ferro-concrete apartment buildings when a paper recylce van announced it’s presence at ear-splitting volume.
They complained that it was too loud, and I said “Perhaps that is why people move into ferro-concrete apartments”
They thought it was insightful. (or amusing 😉 )

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