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Saturday, April 2, 2011

KYOTO TO TOKYO ON THE SHINKANSEN

I chose to stroll through Kyoto before catching the Shinkansen to Tokyo.  Some sights, starting with the front of the Kyoto Westin with some Sakura in the background:


But first, a quick tutorial on temples and shrines.  Anytime you see one of those Pi-shaped gates, but with two horizontal beams, called a torii, fronting a religious structure, it is a Shinto shrine.  If there is no such gate, then it must be a Buddhist temple.  Both churches look about the same, but the Shinto version is generally not as ornate, although the torii is usually a bright orange red.  Interestingly enough, both Shintoism, which originated in Japan, and Buddhism (India) started 500 years before Jesus Christ.  If you live in Japan, you probably follow both beliefs.  You can go to my religion chapter in SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, but fewer than 25% of Japanese really believe in an afterlife.

The following is the Heian Jingu Shrine torii:



The torii with some art pieces in the foreground:



I dropped off Pearl's ashes at this Sakura tree in the Yasaka Shrine.


And another Sakura:


As a change of pace, the color violet:


And a couple of Geikos:


I had some time, so I creatively plotted my Shinkansen meal, shown here:


Two musubis, japanese cucumber, salmon belly, fried chicken and tsukemono, with a Kyoto shochu (glass and ice donated by the Westin Kyoto) and Carlsberg beer.  The salmon was particularly good, mostly healthy fat. Yes, my most satisfying Shinkansen bento ever.

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There are two tropical depressions, one east of Vietnam and a second on the north coastline of Australia, with the latter looming to become a tropical cyclone.

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