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Kyoto: Temples and Sleep Deprivation

There comes a time in every traveler’s path when she must cease and desist freeloading off a kind benefactor’s floor. To this end, I spent 9 hours of last night “sleeping” on the night bus from Tokyo to Osaka. Read: Night bus = cheap place to stay, and cheaper transport than the bullet train. Also read: I am perhaps the only six foot tall human in this country.

Long story short, I was a bozo and forgot my travel pillow in my checked backpack, and thus had zipper teeth on my cheek all the livelong night from nuzzling up to my zip sweatshirt. FYI, I am still trying to suppress the memory of how the woman in the seat in front of me picked at her skin rash.

Nine hours later we arrived in Osaka! I think I slept, but it’s really all a haze of zippers and bathroom pit stops and furious blazes of envy towards all the other travel-pillow-laden passengers around me.

Kind, sweet Gordon welcomed me, let me put my sweat-infused backpack down, then, as I was about to collapse in an exhausted stupor, Gordon looked me in the eye and said, “You MUST go to Kyoto. It is the heart and soul of Japanese culture, and the temples are SO COOL.”

As I looked longingly toward the pillow, Gordon grabbed my shoulders, thrust fifteen color-coded maps into my hands, and yelled, “YOU WILL REGRET IT IF YOU DON’T GO!”

Geez. No regrets, man! So I hopped on 4 trains then another train, and in a bit over an hour I was noodling around the heart and soul of Japan.

One useful technique of neo-yoga: If you feel something insane, IDENTIFY the feeling, and SIT with it. If you are ablaze with rage, say, “I AM FEELING ABLAZE WITH RAGE!” and sit with that fire. Feel it, name it. It’s ok.

You can imagine my mantra. “I. AM. TOO. TIRED. TO BREATHE.” was intoned, as was, “My brain is at 2% function and if I don’t identify that, I will do something dumb like try to eat that temple!” It worked: I stayed tired, but it became sorta melodramatic and fun.

Kyoto was lovely! All the tourists were Japanese and a lot of the signs were those characters I don’t understand, so truthfully I sort of floated and swizzled around in a misguided and uninformed fashion, snapping pictures and liking the views. Hope you do, too!


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Julie T.

Wednesday 7th of January 2015

I found this article to be very interesting to read. I liked how you described how you felt and it felt like i was there watching it happen. It was very detailed! I loved reading this.

Emi F.

Wednesday 7th of January 2015

I find it difficult to believe that you were in Kyoto! It really is the heart of Japanese culture! I wish you had taken more pictures of the temples so we all could see their true beauty!

Triston X.

Friday 13th of April 2012

The temples look so pretty. I like how they have those unique roofs. The temples are very pretty because they have nice colors. I wish that one day I can go to Japan and see those magnificent temples in person. I wonder if people still use those temples.

San Dam

Sunday 16th of October 2011

I have never been to Japan but the temple are so similar to Vietnam and China. I would like to go there one day because I would like to see what temples in Japan feel like.

Huabao Huang

Thursday 28th of April 2011

The temples are very pretty and they kid of look like the ones in China. It sucks for you to hop on trains, trains, then trains. If I were you, I wouldn't want to move and just sit there until I am charged up with energy.


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