søndag den 22. juli 2007

Sunday Nov. 5 - Temples in Size XXXXL

I sit with my green tea, waiting for the caffeine to take effect, as I hear Danish voices say ‘Nimbus’ outside. It is three Danish architects, on one of which once had a Nimbus, and even knows who I am (I used to be the editor of the club magazine). Now try and figure out the odds against us meeting here. Later, over breakfast nearby, I note the full city buses and people rushing about, despite today being another national holiday. Wonder to what extent the concept of ‘time off’ exists here.

Two major temples, the first one unbelievably crammed with tourists, are on today’s program. Kiomuzi-dera takes up about 20 acres area, has over 20,000 altars, and there are more graves up the mountainside than I have seen ever in one place. Not even the soldiers’ graves in Normandy top this for sheer numbers. The second temple – Kimani-joja - is just very large, as in the Godzilla slogan ‘Size matters’. Mainly painted in a garish orange colour, and I see several young women with white-painted faces and even more elaborate traditional dresses.

Then a short tea break in the company of a Japanese gentleman (watchmaker, kimono enthusiast, quite interesting to talk to), and finally the Nanzin-ji temple which is less ornate than the other too, but makes up for it in stoutness. Back at Taro café I catch up on my writing, until a Canadian – Jakob - shows up and wants to talk bikes. Then we all do the traditional beer ceremony again, I fire up the bike, but the smurf next door is nowhere to be seen.

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