I woke up this morning aiming to go visit Sakai, but soon discovered there seemed to be no intuitive, straightforward way to get there. So what the hell, I went back to Kyoto, this time to the east side. I sat down in my old favorite coffee shop, and could almost see and hear my old friends across the table. Wandering through Japan again is fantastic, but there was something special about being able to explore it with other people.
Because Kyoto has special regulations on building height, and the city retains its ancient grid pattern to a degree most Japanese cities don’t, the downtown streets have a strange canyon effect to them. I decided to retrace the path I took on my very first whole day in Japan so long ago, and climb the unnamed mountain behind Maruyama Park by way of Yasaka Shrine, so ancient it predates the city of Kyoto itself.
Behind Yasaka itself is Maruyama Park, apparently a bit more modern of a development from the 19th century. This was actually the first time I had passed through Maruyama in the autumn.
I took a back route through the mountains to emerge literally right into the midst of Kiyomizu Temple, one of many very old and famous Buddhist sites in Kyoto. I had visited it before, but there was something about coming back…
I will be incognito for a little while now, as I’m going to Tokyo to meet some old friends, acquaintances, and mentors. More will follow, at some point.