Japan 1983 (Part 3)

October 3

I can take pot or leave it. I got busted in Japan for it. I was nine days without it and there wasn’t a hint of withdrawal, nothing. ~ Paul McCartney

[Reiyukai Shakaden Temple, which translates to “Inner Trip”, is the headquarters of a modern Buddhist religion that sprang up in Japan in the 1930s. With pacifist goals of promoting world peace, the organisation welcomes anyone to visit the headquarters free of charge. As part of its mission, the organisation also offers free Japanese lessons for foreigners. And oddly stores 400,000 litres of drinking water in case of emergency (rethinktokyo.com). In the lower right of the photo is the starship building. But I seem to recall hearing when we were there that the roof is designed like a shogun’s helmet.]

[Tokyo Tower (“Japan Radio Tower”) is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo. At 332.9 meters (1,092 ft), it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Built in 1958, the tower’s main sources of income are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower (Wikipedia). The above photo was taken from the tower . . . ]

[I suspect this shot was taken from back at the New Otani Hotel because the next shot is definitely.]

When you go to Japan, there is such a talent shortage that the debate about AI taking jobs is almost non-existent. The debate is, how can we automate this so we can get all the work done? ~ Andrew Ng

[Tokyo Tower from the New Otani Hotel . . . ]

[The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 11.4 meters, it has long been the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, surpassed only by the statue in Nara’s Todaiji Temple (which we will see later) and some recent creations. The statue was cast in 1252 and originally located inside a large temple hall. However, the temple buildings were destroyed multiple times by typhoons and a tsunami in the 14th and 15th centuries. So, since the late 15th century, the Buddha has been standing in the open air (japan-guide.com). Daibutsu or ‘giant Buddha’ is the Japanese term.]

Do not what is evil. Do what is good. ~ Buddha

[FOB’s, i.e., Friends of Buddha . . . ]

Never speak harsh words. For they will rebound upon you. Angry words hurt. And the hurt rebounds. Like a broken gong. ~ Buddha

[Our party on the left of the Dharma incense burner in front the Daibutsu. Although it is a significant piece of work itself, I could find no particulars on it . . . ]

[Road trip. Absent specific info, this may be when I start making things up. All information points to a bus trip south of Tokyo to Hakone along Sagami Bay and the Pacific . . . ]

[So, here are some maps showing the general area of our trip . . . ]

The Japanese chose the principle of eternal peace as the basis of morality for our rebirth after the War. ~ Kenzaburo Oe

Japanese maps tend to come in two varieties: small, schematic, and bewildering; and large, fantastically detailed, and bewildering. ~ Charles C. Mann

[Seaside resort?]

[An island seaside resort?]

[Reminds me of the East China Sea shots I took in Okinawa a dozen years previous . . . ]

[I wish this photo would have focused a little better. I remember thinking at the time she was very attractive . . . ]

[I’m not sure what the goal was here. But we are now inland in the realm of the Japanese Alps . . . ]

[Our goal, which upon further review, I believe to be Lake Ashinoko (or Hakone Lake).]

[Our bus has “landed.” And I finally got a photo of Toku Kamei (nearest the camera). She was part of our trip clique with Randy and Marsha. Toku was from Oakland and worked in San Francisco. Roy kept in contact with her for many years and said she would be 90 this year . . . ]

[We cluster (pre-COVID) to board our boat for a tour of the lake . . . ]

[The goal of the cruise boats was to not be captured by the pirate ships (OK, also known as tour boats) . . . ]

[Kinda why we retired to our chain of lakes . . . ]

[Randy poses for Marsha . . . ]

[The pirate ship, and its supporting row boats (?) . . . ]

Animal smell is beyond philosophy. ~  Kōbō Abe, The Woman in the Dunes (a personal favorite)

[Odakyu Hotel de Yama (Hakone lake side), a feeling of the Austrian Alps . . . ]

[That is Mount Fuji (Fujiyama) in the background. Unfortunately, this was about as good a shot I got of Japan’s premier mountain the entire trip . . . ]

[Well, it was November as me, Randy, and Marsha pose resplendent in our hoodies . . . ]

[Closer upper of Hotel de Yama . . . ]

[Suspected to be the hot springs ryokan where we stayed? (A ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn that typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner (Wikipedia)). I peeked ahead – we do get a peek of the sun in two more days . . . ]

[Hot springs, definitely . . . ]

[Onsen and sento (public bathhouses) are an indispensable part of Japanese bathing culture. There are around 20,000 onsen facilities across Japan due to its many volcanoes. Rural regions especially boast many hot spring resorts with clusters of onsen and traditional inns (matcha-jp.com). Remember, when enjoying an onsen you may run into a person of the opposite sex wearing a similar amount of clothing (i.e., none) as you. Roy and I had such a pleasing experience . . . ]

[After much review, I cannot for certain identify the ryokan where we stayed. There are many in the Hakone area. The view from our window . . . ]

[But they are all quite lovely and comfortable for sitting in the window with a brewski.]

[And the cool part, you dress for dinner . . .

[Yukata (literally “bathing clothes”) are a traditional garment, similar in style to kimono, but lighter, much more casual, and made of cotton. Yukata function both as a bathrobe and loungewear, which can be worn at all times during your stay, including to the bath, to both dinner and breakfast, and to bed as sleepwear. In some onsen resort towns it is also common to see guests strolling around town in their yukata and geta (wooden sandals) (japan-guide.com).]

[Science-deniers will say this is proof we were not in Japan. The cow on TV shrieks Wisconsin . . . ]

Japan is a model already to the lie that economic growth is the key to our future. If they can really show an alternative to nukes and fossil fuels, then they will be the poster boy for the renewable energy for the future. ~ David Suzuki

Up Next: Part 4, or the kitties . . .

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