Sailing!~

Let’s take a break from the trip.

Lately I have been updating the blog with all the adventures from my trip to Kyoto and Osaka, but there are many other events that have been going on in since I came back from the trip that I thought, why not take a break?

My friend Ty bought a sailboat back in April/May and we have gone out on the Seto Inland Sea for the past month almost on a weekly basis. I had never been on a sailboat before, I have seen them on the Marina in Port Credit and always wanted to go out for the day in one of them, but I don’t know anyone in Toronto that owns a sailboat so all that was wishful thinking… until now.

Sailing is like putting a puzzle together. The whole process from taking the boat out to bringing it back in is full of steps that need to be completed properly. There is also a lot to be learned; from the meaning of the flags around the port, the distance between boats as well as their direction, and of course the direction of the wind (if there is any).

I have learned quite a bit about sailing in the last few weeks too. Ty likes everyone that goes on the boat to know how it works in case that at some point we need to take control of it. So we have learned how to stir it, how to put the sails up and down and the whole process of taking the boat in and out of the port.

We have also gone swimming on the Seto. Unfortunately the Seto is pretty polluted, and every so often we find all sort of rubbish floating around us. At the same time it is incredibly beautiful, and I have to say that I have never seen such sunsets! You can also hear and see the school of fish as well as huge jelly fish.

I am posting some of the pictures from the last couple of weeks. As you can see we have just way too much fun out there!

IMG_0822IMG_0803IMG_0808IMG_0817Keeping you posted!

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Kyoto Day 3

During my third day in Kyoto I visited Ginkaku-Ji and Eikando Zenrin-Ji Temple.

Ginkaku-Ji (not to be confused with Kinkaku-Ji) is also one of Kyoto’s main attractions. This used to be a villa, and translates as ‘Silver Pavilion,’ but is actually not covered in silver and now it has been converted into a temple.

Once again the garden was breathtaking, with tall pines and a pond in the middle of the temple.

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One of my favourite temples is Eikando Zenrin-Ji Temple.

I was at first shocked to find it almost empty, but I really enjoyed that aspects of it as it gave me the chance to really explore and walk and see without feeling rushed, or in someone else’s way.

It was founded in 855 by the priest Shinsho, but the name was changed in the 11th century. It has a beautiful pond with the biggest carp I have ever seen! You will notice the pagoda (Taho-to) in the background of some of the pictures. I really love pagodas. I guess is because I find the architecture so intricate, so I wanted to go take a better look, but I could not for my life find my way up to it! It took me a good 45 minutes of going up and down stairs that would lead to many other places except the pagoda before I actually found it.

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Keeping you posted!



Kyoto Day 2

Kyoto Day 2.

During my second day in Kyoto I decided to visit the 2 places that I had been looking forward to seeing for quite a while; Kinkaku-Ji and Ryoan-Ji.

Kinkaku-Ji is the famous Golden Temple and one of Japan’s best-known sights. The original building dates back to 1397, but it was burned to the ground in 1950, so a full reconstruction was completed in 1955. Being one of Japan’s most famous sights, this place was packed with people, but I managed to get some decent pictures in there. The thing that I loved the most in all the temples were the gardens. They are just so intricate that you feel as though everything is placed the way it is for a reason… which is probably true.

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Close to Kinkaku-Ji one finds Ryoan-Ji.

I had been really looking forward to seeing this temple. Founded in 1450, this temple belongs to the Rinzai school of Zen, and its main attraction is its garden arranged in the dry-landscape style. There are 15 rocks, positioned in such a way that they appear adrift  in a sea of sand, with no explanation given as to why the rocks are positioned the way they are. Is up to each one of us to come up with our own interpretation. I think I spent over 1/2 hour just sitting there trying to figure it all out.

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IMG_0203Keeping you posted!

Kyoto Day 1

Kyoto Day 1

I’ve been trying to think of the best way to update the blog with my trip to Kyoto and Osaka and I think the best way to do so is to go day by day so I can give you detailed explanations. Don’t want to miss ANYTHING!

On my first day in Kyoto I decided to explore Kyoto station area because my hostel was near by and there were plenty of things to see around

Kyoto station is impressive.

Like with anything in life, when the building was unveiled in 1997 it was met with mixed feelings. I personally really liked it. There is a huge atrium that overlooks the main concourse, and many levels to explore. Actually there are 15 floors and from the 15th floor you get an incredible view of the surrounding area.

I decided not to be lazy and actually climb all the stairs, so I was sweating buckets by the time I got to the top. Well worth it though!

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After exploring the station I moved on to Higashi Hongan-Ji.

This temple was rebuilt in 1895 after a fire destroyed it, and is pretty monumental in size. Nowadays the temple serves as the headquarters of the Otani branch of the Jodo Shi-shu school of Buddhism.

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Two minutes walk from where I was staying one can find Nishi Hongan-Ji.

This temple is the headquarters for the Hongan-Ji branch of the Jodo Shin-shu school of Buddhism. I really enjoyed this temple because I was able to take part one of their meditations, and since then have become interested in learning more about Buddhism and its teachings.

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Keeping you posted!