Teaching In Socks


Light-up situation
December 2, 2009, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Two weeks ago I went to (and this verbatim from the ticket stub) “Scarlett Maples Leaves At Night in Eikando Zenrin-Ji” in Kyoto. Eikando Zenrin-Ji temple is famous for its brilliant fall foliage (and a buddha statue with it’s head turned round like an owl).  Apparently, a few years ago someone at the temple got wise to the fact that the Japanese love technology + everything and realized it would be a great idea to charge people 600 JPY to see the autumn foliage lit up at night. I, on the other hand ,was intelligent enough to pick a holiday weekend in right at the height of tree-viewing season (if such a things exists–which it does) to pay 600 JPY to see trees at night, because I also wanted to wait in line outside the temple beforehand.

I also had the great misfortune of going on a cold and rainy night–which only makes the line-waiting better. Inside, the leaves and lighting dynamics were stunning. I was worth the prcie of admission. However, it was hard to appreciate them while dodging umbrellas. For all the emphasis the Japanese place on respect and social protocol, when a large group of people are gathered in a small public space it might as well be a Metallica concert. Elbows are thrown, common decency is tossed out the window.

Also, my height–compared to that of the average Japanese person–doesn’t bode well for me when umbrellas are involved. It somehow always works out that the rusty brim of the $1 umbrella (so that’s unregulated Chinese rust) that the guy in front of me is holding  is sits right at eye-level.  It’s at times like these that I am thankful that I wear glasses but curious about when my last tetanus shot was. The rule of thumb on tetanus shots of course is: if you have to be curious, it’s been too long.

Still, in retrospect, fun and danger go hand in hand.  While I probably appreciated it less at the time, there really is something to leaves in Kyoto. I’m by no means and expert on the quality of autumn foliage, but the mountain air seems to enhance the saturation of the color in the leaves–or it could just be the lighting.

injury free, master of this domain

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