Japanese Zen: Kyoto Green

Post No. 50 is short and sweet with lots of photographs. Very green. Very Zen.

If you live in Tokyo, a place that has its own way of instilling inner peace given its orderly everyday functions, I would recommend that you take the 2-ish hour Shinkansen Train* to Kyoto to find Zen or tranquility or your heart center rather than a foo-foo yoga class.

The sprawling gardens surrounding the wooden temples inspire serenity, not religion. The grass and sand are so neatly manicured that you are almost shamed into checking that you dust the dirt off your shoes before walking around on temple grounds.

Green? Oh yes. Lush, lush green. The trickle of the streams is pleasingly soothing and the ever present mistiness and moisture is abundant, seeping out from invisible creeks. Moss covers trees, rocks, and logs and lines pathways. Moss takes about 50 years to grow into a small, impressive pile. Pick at a piece of moss and you've likely removed more than your life's amount of history.

Whether wandering through city center, the Geisha/restaurant district in the southeast or the temples and parks east of the river, Kyoto is a place worth enjoying slowly. Usually in silence.

*Link takes you to Hyperdia, the best website I used to find trains times/connections to fit my schedule. If you have any questions about getting around in Japan, feel free to drop me a line.

Three slide shows...

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