Japan 1983 (Part 9)

November 16

Japan has somehow managed to achieve the ideal attitude to eating: an obsession with culinary pleasure that is actually conductive to health. ~  Bee Wilson

Johnny awoke with a start. He had had another nightmare. Oh, he’d had the standard nightmares through the years – falling from a high place, unable to run from the monster, or the bar had run out of malbec – but this one was the worst. He was in a cold, clammy sweat, thinking he was trending toward becoming a . . . Republican?

[I suspect we were in Shirahama . . . ]

[ISO . . . an ama?]

[In the above photo, we were obviously in a glass bottom boat somewhere in open water. Yet, this next photograph we were at our next hotel overlooking an oyster farm in Shirahama (I believe) . . . ]

[Shirahama Onsen area is considered one of Japan’s top three hot spring areas. It has a history dating back over 1300 years, but the town saw a boom in popularity as a hot spring destination from the early 1920s onwards (japanpropertycentral.com).]

[Shirahama, a beach destination . . . ]

I want to go to Japan. I feel like they love blonde girls. ~ Gigi Gorgeous

[Marsha, Roy, and Toku as we settle into another traditional Japanese dinner . . . ]

Maitake mushrooms are known in Japan as ‘the dancing mushroom.’ According to a Japanese legend, a group of Buddhist nuns and woodcutters met on a mountain trail, where they discovered a fruiting of maitake mushrooms emerging from the forest floor. Rejoicing at their discovery of this delicious mushroom, they danced to celebrate. ~ Paul Stamets

One glass of water doesn’t equal another. One may just appease the thirst, the other you may enjoy thoroughly. In Japan, people know about this difference. ~ Jil Sander

As far as food goes, I’m pretty easy. I love Japanese food. I loved meat loaf and mashed potatoes. I love spaghetti. I’m pretty easy. ~ Frank Oz

Sushi is something very exclusive. It is not like a McDonald’s, not like a hot dog, not like a French fry. It’s very high-class cooking in Japan. ~ Nobu Matsuhisa

[Hotel [K]oganoi (103 rooms) and the Shirahama Seaside Hotel (91 rooms) were both built in 1961. Despite having operating ratios of around 70% between April and August this year, the continued operation of the hotels has proven difficult due to their age and the fact that they were built to the old and out-dated earthquake codes. The company had considered retrofitting the buildings, but the 1 billion Yen (8.4 million USD) cost was considered too high. Both hotels will close at the end of March 2016 (japanpropertycentral.com).

Tempura-style batters were originally brought to Japan by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century. ~ J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

[Did I mention before that Roy (i.e., Roy-san) became a real Nipponophile after this trip, turned his backyard into a Japanese garden, and developed a fine collection of bonsai trees (as below) . . . ]

[Bonsais on display . . . ]

[So typically Japanese, the staff from the hotel come out to say sayonara to tour groups . . . ]

[“Engetsuto” is a small island in Rinkai-ura Ocean in Shirahama-cho. The name “Engetsuto” means “Island of the full moon”, and is a nickname given to the island, inspired by the moon-like round hole in the center of the island. The island’s official name is “Takashima”. The island measures 130 meters (from south to north), 35 meters (from east to west), and 25 meters (in height). The hole measures 9 meters (in height) and 8 meters (in width) (thegate12.com).]

[You can closely experience the stunning steep coast at “Senjojiki”. Facing the Pacific Ocean, Senjojiki was denuded by raging waves and boasts a magnificent view. The rock of Senjojiki was formed about 1.8 million to 65 million years ago when the stratum was gradually eroded by the waves. This place took its current form over a long period of time, and boasts a superb view of nature (thegate12.com).]

[The sign above indicates this area is Yoshino-Kumano National Park . . . ]

One of the things that slaps you in the face when you arrive in Japan is their obsession with everything cute. ~ Stacey Dooley

King of the Mountain . . .

Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.  ~  Ambrose Bierce

I couldn’t imagine living in a state that didn’t reach the ocean. It was a giant reset button. You could go to the edge of the land and see infinity and feel renewed. ~ Avery Sawyer 

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. ~ Jacques Cousteau

[Looking very much like the north coast of Okinawa . . . ]

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams. ~ Werner Herzog

[A Shirahama overlook . . . ]

[Likely just a pan to the right . . . ]

Sayonara, Shirahama!

[Either the bus or train station – who can recall . . . ]

[On the road again . . . ]

[Little did I realize at the time, but we were on the road to . . . ]

[What would become my favorite city – Kyoto . . . ]

[Kinkaku-ji (literally “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), officially named Rokuon-ji (literally “Deer Garden Temple”), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto.  It is one of the most popular buildings in Kyoto, attracting many visitors annually. It is designated as a National Special Historic Site, a National Special Landscape and is one of 17 locations making up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites. The name Kinkaku is derived from the gold leaf that the pavilion is covered in. Gold was an important addition to the pavilion because of its underlying meaning. The gold employed was intended to mitigate and purify any pollution or negative thoughts and feelings towards death. Other than the symbolic meaning behind the gold leaf, the Muromachi period heavily relied on visual excesses.  With the focus on the Golden Pavilion, the way that the structure is mainly covered in that material creates an impression that stands out because of the sunlight reflecting and the effect the reflection creates on the pond. (Wikipedia).]

[Unfortunately, we had a cloudy day. So . . . ]

[I borrowed one off the internet so you could see it in the sunshine . . . ]

[The Ship of Pine of Kyoto (with lattice work supporting the prow): Kyoto was the capitol of Japan from A.D. 794to 1185. Even after the government moved first to Kamakura and then Tokyo, Kyoto remained important to Japanese society for its many important Buddhist temples which are still in active use and frequently visited by foreign tourists. The most well known of these is Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Temple because of the stunning metallic-yellow color of its main shrine. A small pond acts as mirror in front of the temple, creating an added effect and rocks are positioned deliberately to create a seacoast effect. This coastal imagery is further enhanced by the nearby Ship Pine, a white pine, known in Japanese as the “Rikushu-no-matsu”, and is one of three famous pines in Kyoto. This tree was originally a bonsai trained in the shape of a ship, and belonged to the Shogun, or military ruler, Ashikaga, who was a great patron of the Temple (arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/).]

[I suspect the rest of these photos are in the Golden Pagoda complex . . . ]

Psychologically, Japanese women depend largely on each other. In their sex-segregated society, they could be criticized for living in a female ghetto, and yet they have what some American feminists are trying to build, a ”women’s culture” with its own customs, values and even language. ~  Kittredge Cherry

While he mused on the effect of the flowing sands, he was seized from time to time by hallucinations in which he himself began to move with the flow. ~  Kōbō Abe

Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning. ~ Bruce Lee

The concept of “delicious” was born in Japan in 1908 when a chemist called Ikeda discovered a “fifth taste” called umami that was neither bitter nor salty nor sweet nor sour but something more wonderful and compelling than any of these. ~ Bee Wilson

Up Next: Part 10 . . .

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