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An immersive experience with a monk in Gion


Updated at: 2015.10.04


How do you like Gion area (Chion-in)?

The temple itself is quite not well-marked, and you can't really see what's where. But people are really friendly. I asked the monk that was just there, "What's happening right now?" He couldn't answer me, I found another one. He explained it very well: on the very top is the place where you can copy sutras, in the...this, like, old temple from [the] 1530s, and this very nice, actually, let me check... This very nice monk, very, ultra nice, explains everything to you, and I hope more people go to him, because that was like, really, really expanding... I can't find it. A really immersive experience of knowing the culture, knowing everything. Oh! Yabuki Shodo. Yabuki Shodo-san? I don't know how to call him. But I think he's like a chief monk there, and I strongly recommend: go there, go to him, copy sutras. It's [an] immersive experience. Yes, everything was explained in English. Everything was translated very well, and I had no trouble getting around.

Why did you come to Chion-in?

[It's] a very close place to where I live in Gion. I have seen Kiyomizu-dera, I have seen the Golden Pavilion, Ryoan-ji, the...the castle, and um, today is my last day here, so I wanted to go somewhere close. As it happened, I chose very well.

Have you been anywhere else in Japan?

I actually came a few days ago from Sapporo. I'm doing [an] internship there. In Sapporo, I've been [to] Hakodate, and... this volcanic lake. I can't remember. Very famous. Um, but except that, I've been only traveling through Osaka, but like, in a train, so no. I'm going to Osaka tomorrow.

What do you like the most about Japan?

Food. Food. Food. Soba, udon, yakitori, matcha, different types of tea. The sashimi. Tofu. Tofu is great. Everything made from beans, from soy. Food. Food is the best.

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