Friday, July 24, 2015

Day 6 - Lucky Rain

So, as today was a really really rainy day, we decided even though not to stay at home and get depressed, but to go outside into the pouring rain - and get depressed. Unfortunately, many people are so regardless to let their umbrellas drop on your clothes so that you will be freezing to death in the next air-conditioned place. Okay, it was not so cold, but I did not like getting wet either. And there were SOOO many people visiting the temples and gardens even in this uncool weather. Fortunately we knew about the weather being bad today, so we just wore short trousers and flipflops. This is much preferable to wet trousers and wet shoes. It really was bucketing the hell out of the clouds. I've never experienced such a heavy rain in Switzerland.

Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Temple

At the end the rain was not so bad. At the latest in the amazing (and already more than 500 year old) rock garden of Ryoan-ji, we were enjoying it. If there hadn't been so much rain, you wouldn't have felt the way you did by looking at these rocks. Because actually the rocks are meant to be mountains on a island around which the gravel is harked in the manner of moving water with its breaking waves. It creates a sense of meditation that I did not expect. You just sit barefoot on that bench and everybody around talks very quiet or even remains silent so that you can hear every single raindrop singing happily til the ground. You feel so clean and feathery when you leave. Even the garden around this rock garden is stunningly perfect and really big! We even saw some gardening workers who picked out grass and weed with tweezers and cut the little bushes with scissors... I believe this perfection and precision is what characterizes Japan in some way.

Ryoan-ji: The gravel sea with rock mountains on moss islands

Heated toilet seat and baby seat
As a last note, because yet I've mentioned earlier the traditional Japanese toilets. Whenever you find a so called Western Toilet, don't expect them to work like those you are used to, e.g., from Switzerland. Nearly all of them are high-tech toilets. You don't need toilet paper because there exist several ways for cleaning with a water fontain in numerous strengths, directions and heat levels - including a blower to dry and, if you're lucky, artificial sound to cover embarrassing toilet noise. And of course the toilet seat is heated so that in winter it must be hard to get people off the toilets.

What I learned? Never accuse something as bad fortune at first sight. It might turn to be the opposite (for me: the rain).

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