Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More Eastern Snippets

Our trip to the temple was very interesting. It is hard to tell where everything is, as it is all in Japanese. We walked in on someone praying in one temple and were chased out. Beth was convinced this was the temple and kept trying to go back in, and the fellow kept chasing her out. We walked further along and came to a gate the first gate. Lining the gate are vendors selling temple souvenere. The main gate is closed for repairs, so were unable to enter that way. Thank heavens for big red arrows!

There are three temples. We were able to see two of them. Unfortunately, by the time we finished our shopping it was a bit late to see the third. There is a sense of awe in the lesser of the two. The largest is so much a tourist location now that it is overshadowed. In the lower level of the temple, you walk in pitch black until you find a brass plate set in the wall. It has a hinge that is attached to the pinky of the Buddah. It is supposed to bring you what you wish for. Beth got frightened as she thought it opened a door, so insisted we turn around and go back. It was pitch black and I discovered an inordinate fear of the dark. I would have prefered to go on, but sure didn't want to get abandoned in the dark!

Yesterday we spent shopping with Kirk and Hitomi, partly for their wedding and partly just to shop. I found a wonderful cabinet that was actually free. It would work well for thread, so Kirk is going to wrap it up so I can bring it home with me. Good thing I only brougt one check on bag with me! Beth isn't doing much better, she bought a small suitcase for a granddaughter, so will have to bring a Hello Kitty suitcase as carryone. Oops, I think she already had two. Hum, I have two, promise.

In the evening, we went to a village outside of Nagano where Kirk used to teach. His english students had a potluck for us. We were served amazing food. I did find out that the giggling accompanying my use of chopsticks is pleasure. The Japanese laugh when you do something from their culture. Beth was given a kimono by one of the women. It is beautiful silk and very wonderful.

Today we learned traditional Japanese flower arranging. Greenery and flowers are placed in a flat dish filled with water. The flowers are held in place with a flat metal plate with prongs. It was very interesting. The teacher went around the room fixing our mistakes. The end result was very interesting and it is too bad that we had to leave them behind. After lunch, Hitomi gave Beth and I a bra fitting. She insisted that we each accept one. Fortunately, I found a shirt I liked as a shirt seemed less expensive and they are already doing so much for us.

Tomorrow, we will vist a forest with 300 year old Japenese cedar trees as well as a monkey bath. Today--more shopping. Shoes, I can do shoes.