Ladies and gentlemen welcome back to our Boken Japan trip blog! At this point I would hope all our circadian rhythms have fully accommodated to Japanese time. Als0, rest assured that we still are searching for evidence 0f Dowdle Sensei's "mass identification fraud" plan, though with little success. He's a crafty one.
[Today we had a very special start to the day with an ever so hearty, yet simple, meal of toast, cereal, and bread. With our bodies fueled and our legs aching to take us on an adventure we... did a lesson. Because who doesn't like a lesson early in the morning.
During our lesson we learned the essential skill of ordering at restaurants, quickly learning how to count and listen for large numbers we were ship shape and ready to go eat Mcdonalds. After our lesson we quickly prepared to go to San Jyuu San Gendo, an ancient and beautiful Buddhist temple home to 1001 Buddhist statues.
Getting to the San Jyuu San Gendou was a challenge in and of itself though. Fullmer Sensei and I were in a deep conversation about World War II before we realized we had actually missed our stop so we were forced to go to the next station and turn around. Dowdle Sensei was "detained" again so I think that counts towards evidence of him being either a Russian spy or that he may be trying to commit "mass identification fraud." Nonetheless we finally were able to get to the San Jyuu San Gendo.
Standing proud and opulent, the architectural design of the building filled with ancient Japanese treasures was nothing less than astonishing. An ancient history was enraptured in a single wooden frame, demanding respect and admiration, all surrounded by a welcoming yet proud courtyard. Even more impressive than the outside buildings was what lie within. Home to the peaceable 1001 Buddha and 33 furious spirit guardians with eyes made of crystals and expressions as strong as fire. The presence of these Buddha statues is a testament to the lifetime of skill and purpose needed to create this landmark The spirit guardian's crystalline eyes staring down upon us demanded respect for the sculptors and the Buddha. Perhaps the most astounding part of the temple is walking through the hall of the Buddhas and arriving in the center, seeing a colossal bronze Buddha in meditation accommodated by an entourage of 33 hands in various mudra or hand positions. It was godly sight to see so if you ever find yourself in Kyoto: San Jyuu San Gendo 10/10 would recommend.
We made our way through the antiquated yet new streets of Kyoto making to a hill that led to the Kiyomizu Dera. Much to the annoyance of my peers I dropped a coin every five and a half minutes on average, pro tip: don't constantly play with a dime in your hands, so of course I was absolutely required to buy myself a coin purse. I can say that the coin dropping isn't as bad a problem now. As bad.
The hill to Kiyomizu Dera was filled with shops eager to sell cheap goods to visitors and with that tourists. I recall being struck by a myriad of different languages and peoples all here to enjoy the astounding Japanese culture, and there's a good reason for them being there as well; the imperious Japanese architecture laden in a backdrop of a dense and mysterious jungle was something to behold. Each building, plank of wood, and stone on the walls told the tale of hundreds and hundreds of years of Japanese history. Stories of love and strength and war and death; a human drama for the ages that is told throughout the world but will truly be known to none, only leaving behind its magnificent legacy for its descendants and those throughout the world to enjoy.
Speaking of stories and histories, histories are stories that occurred in the past, but we were more interested in what may happen in the future. Several of us went t0 go get our fortune told, some of us got good. Nicole got bad because she may have displeased the Kami, but my favorite one was Adrianna's. Adrianna's fortune told her that she would find something dear to her and Adrianna exclaimed, "I hope its my finger!" Apparently she's missing one of her fingers for some reason so that's that but she could potentially say the Yakuza took it or something along those lines.
Our group eventually came encounter the "magic water snake," a strange, esoteric being which derived its powers from the magic water fountain. Its a worm. Anyways, the magic water was a thing. Three fonts said to contain a blessing of love, livelihood, or wealth, but a curse upon you if you are greedy and drink from more than one fountain. Personally the left most font called to me the most so whatever that means we'll find out. Although we discovered that the best way to win your crush's approval is to challenge your greatest rival to a duel and bring them your rival's head, one of our own could really use that advice.
Sight seeing the Kiyomizu done, we moved on to enjoy the book fair in the city. The walking may have been tiresome but there was a lot of laughter exchanged as we shared jokes and memes, mainly of me dropping my coins constantly but that's fine.
For dinner we ate at Mcdonalds, as foreshadowed earlier in this blog, and although I myself had sworn off Mcdonalds I just had to get the shrimp burger. To my shame I have broken my Mcdonalds fast. It was a pretty good burger and Megumi caught one of the greatest gifs of the group I have ever seen.
Dinner eaten we headed towards our final activity, the Book Off. I was under the belief that the Book Off was supposed to be some sort of bidding or reading competition but nope it was just your regular old book sale. After searching and buying what we wanted we left the book store or honya but once more we lost Brianna and Mckenna. Because of this we ended up having to wait, search, and attempt to contact them for the next 30 minutes and it didn't help at all that Kade and John were basically high at this point. There must have been something in their burgers. Nonetheless they found us and with no harm done to them or any missing body parts, though no one found Adrianna's finger.
Exhausted from a day of exploring we needed to find our way home. We boarded a bus to get there and over a long ride we got off early in the wrong area. Unfortunately I, who was barely awake at this point forgot to pay my bus fare.
In Japan most transportation facilities utilize a card based system allowing you to quickly pay for services by scanning an ICOCA card which makes a distant beeping sound. Being so tired, I was floating basically inside my own head before I suddenly woke up to the yelling of an angry bus driver and Dowdle Sensei who is furiously screaming, "KENJI BEEP OFF!" over and over. I quickly went to pay but not before having to pay with my dignity, I doubt anyone ever is going to let that down but suffice to say I did in fact, "beep off."