Take, for example, the Funaoka Matsuri. Northward and west of the imperial palace is the Kenkun Shrine, which is where Oda Nobunaga is enshrined. Oda Nobunaga is the warlord who essentially united Japan, bringing the Warring States period to an end. I'm not much on history, although with several thousand years of it, I find Japan's much more interesting than America's. However, I've been watching an anime about swords that have been turned into young men (yes, I know it makes pretty much no sense, but they're cute sword boys and I've watched enough anime at this point to be able to overlook most of the homoerotic overtones). Their purpose is to protect the time stream from being changed, and in one episode they go back in time to make sure Nobunaga's assassination actually takes place. When they were reminiscing about him, they didn't seem particularly fond, but at the end of the episode they were all kind of nostalgic. I'm telling you this to give you some sort of background...if you really want some hard facts, you can wikipedia it. Suffice it to say that he's kind of a hero.
Sit under cherry trees watching the moon through their petals? Sounds like fun to me. In the fall, they kind of do the same thing, except with the changing colors of the leaves, and they call it momiji. I may be missing the best part of it (again, WHY do I have to go home???), but Friday night the first temple on the schedule lit up their grounds, which they will continue to do til the end of November.
I love visiting temples at night. They just have a different ambiance than during the day, as if the youkai are out to play. Kodai-Ji was no exception, even with everyone wandering up and down the paths. Even with the light show in the Zen rock garden....
However, it is possible that my subconscious is neither a fan of Frost or else just didn't care, because it may have tried to sabotage me into actually staying this morning. When I finally went to bed last night, I set my alarm for 6:30. For some reason, the last time I looked at the flight schedule I scrawled into my travel journal, I locked onto my arrival time in Incheon (11:20), thinking it was my departure from Osaka. When my alarm when off, I asked myself if I was feeling too lazy for one more walk - I never made it onto the Philosopher's Path, or got further into Fushimi-Inari-Taisha than the first knot of tourists. And then I looked up my e-ticket, just in case...only to realize that my flight left at 9:30. From Osaka. Which was an hour and a half away.
From thence proceeded a string of profanities that probably woke up everyone in the house as I stripped and redressed in a panic, shoving my pajamas into my soon (I hoped) to be checked luggage - but I'm calling it payback for the snoring from the next room. Blondie was right when she said that you can hear everything through traditional Japanese walls. I clomped down the stairs, threw on my shoes and socks, locked the door and dropped the keys in the mail slot, as Taka-san requested, finally walking around the corner and on my way. And then I realized I'd left my iPad on the counter. For one moment, I thought, "Forget it - I don't like the darn thing anyways!" but that seems wasteful, even for me. I got back to the door and was wondering how loud I would have to get to wake someone up when I realized that I was able to get the keys back - they hadn't slid all the way into the mail slot, and retrieved my technology. A quick walk out to the street and a moment of panic ensued when I wondered if there were even any taxis on the streets at 6:50 on a Sunday morning, since that was my plan...spend a gajillion yen on a taxi, rather than miss my flight. Fortunately the very kind driver who picked me up a minute or two later convinced me to take the airport limousine bus, and even though it seemed to be the slowest thing on the road, somehow I made it with just enough time to check in, get through security with the help of the very kind Korean air agent, and get to the gate before boarding.
Considering the number of mishaps I've had this week, you may be thinking, "Wow, what a gong show! No way I'd travel with you!" (Unless you're my dad, in which case you are probably thinking - for neither the first nor the last time - "Get your head out of your ass!") But for the record...well, you're not entirely wrong. I'm not usually quite this bad, though, and at least now you know that it's possible to get from Kyoto to Osaka and on your flight in less than three hours.