5th of March: Running up the hill… or not

Welcome dear readers. This is the first article, that I write on the day it all happened. Right now we’re watching the Japanese Academy Awards and that’s little bit difficult to follow. So I’ll tell you what I did today now.

Nozomi had to work today again, so I was on my own. My plan for the day was to walk to the mountains east of Okayama, to have a view over the city. Unfortunately, all of the tourist maps don’t cover that area anymore, so I had to navigate a little bit blind. At least mountains tend to be high, so one can see them from most places :D

Like yesterday, I took a way beside the main roads to see more from Okayama. I could start a photo album here, but you’ll have to be ok with two pictures. The first one is a shrine, surrounded from higher modern buildings on a narrow road, which might be considered typical for the japanese co-existence of traditional and modern ways. The second one is a parking tower and caught my eye because of the form, size and name. You might also try the katakana-table from the 4th of March here ;)

This is where I wanted to go:

While searching for a way to get up there, I actually ended up in front of the Shorinji-temple, after passing a japanese graveyard and wandering between on lot of narrow and winding roads. An elderly japanese women asked me if I wanted to enter the temple and I said that I’d like to do so really much. So she showed me around and when we reached the garden of the temple she brought me a cushion, tea and some sweets. A monk appeared too, who was her sun and we sat there for a while and chatted on Japanese. Where I’m from, what I’m doing in Japan and more. It was really nice :)

I was also offered a ride and tour to the not so far away Sogenji-temple. Of course I agreed to this nice gesture and Gen (the monk) and I went there. He explained me everything in full detail and I learned details, that I would have never learned if I had gone there on my own. This temple watches over te graves of the daimyo of Okayama and a worldwide reknown zen-master resides here. Therefor I saw a lot of international monks at this place. Just some pictures from the temple now:

Afterwards, Gen even droven me back to the city, to eat some cake and drink coffee with me. I was invited to visit them again before I fly back to Germany and I’ll definitely try to do so. Maybe next week’s weekend will be a good time to do this. In the end, I never reached the mountain that I wanted to climb. But I think, that this was a more than good alternative. It also was the first time for me, to talk a lot in Japanese. I might not have spoken professional Japanese at all, but I was able to understand and I was understood, which feels great :)

Let’s see what the weekend will bring!

4 thoughts on “5th of March: Running up the hill… or not

  1. it seemed you’ve already explored a lot in the city okayama, so whats your plans for the weekend since its getting cold? will you visit other cities?

  2. That has to be the coolest shit, dude. Gotta love that temple-crew! Guess they don’t see a gaikokujin every day, huh? :)

    Anyway, really glad to read this. Japanese people seem to be quite open-minded, don’t they. Also I think Gen seems to be a pretty cool dude.

    MOAARRR!

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