This weekend I decided to go visit Ben, another English ALT who lives in Shiga Pref. on the edge of Lake Biwa (Biwako) in Otsu City. It was great to see him, and to be able to make sarcastic comments without fear of offending (a glut of angry and insulted faces in my first month here made me realise that this is probably a particularly British pastime).

Friday night was relaxing in a local bar, Otsu is just a very chilled out place compared to Wakayama. Saturday, well, I visited another temple: 石山寺 (Ishiyamadera - Stone Mountain Temple) the Hondou, or Main Temple of which, apart from being the oldest building in Japan, is also where Lady Murusaki wrote 'The Tale of Genji' - try to remember this in case it comes up in a Pub Quiz. You might be wondering if I'm temple fixated. I have about 400 photos took in temples for god's (Buddha's) sake! But the thing is, they're such cool places to be, all emanating an infinitely more spiritual feeling then I've ever really enjoyed whilst wandering round a Christian place of worship. They look lovely too, so more photos I'm afraid:

This is the best Ramen I have ever eaten in Japan mainly because it was actually as spicy as advertised, which seldom happens (not related to the temple, but I ate it in Otsu):

This is a night view from Ben's apartment balcony. Those bright arcs visible halfway down are the spray from a huge fountain pumping out of Lake Biwa. This is also not related to temples - what am I playing at?

Here you go, a temple photo. This was through the gate to a closed-off section of garden. Probably the monks wanted to keep it for themselves:

This looks like a remake of the movie Dolls with pensioners:

Always ready to fuck about in religious buildings, Ben wastes no time in posing for the token sight gag photo:

This is my favourite photo out of those I took. After I finish this entry I'm gonna go see if I can flog it to Lonely Planet:

Later on that Saturday we both went into Kyoto, only 20 minutes away from Ben's place. A 'few drinks' turned into a bizarre all-nighter, culmanating with me spending the whole of Sunday alone in the apartment of someone I only just met and who wasn't actually in the apartment with me. For hours I was thinking of the title of that Air song 'Alone in Kyoto' and then couldn't get it out of my bloody head. (Head was literally bloody - I had cut it open on a karaoke booth door handle earlier in the evening - stupid bastard). Thought I'd never get back to Wakayama, but I did - at 1am Monday, after getting extremely lost and panicky in Osaka.

Must study more Kanji.


Blogger Hayato reckons...

Another crazy night coming this weekend?!?! I am too old to do it....yeah, too "old". :)))) Wait... it's TOMORROW I am flying!!! Ashita ne. :) ヾ@(o・ェ・)・ェ・)・ェ・)・ェ・)@ノ~~~ババ~イ

8:30 午前 JST  


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