Wednesday, July 7, 2010

fortune in many forms

We made it Kyoto, my favorite place in Japan, and promptly illegally camped alongside the Kamo River. The wonderful thing about being so familiar with a place is knowing when and where something like this is possible and convenient; our campsite was just down the street from a subway station, a supermarket, and a public bath.

Our first few days in town involved us walking around quite a bit. From Nanzenji on the east, the Imperial Palace in the middle, and Arashiyama on the west, we covered quite a bit of Kyoto, although not all in one day.

One of Sam's favorite things about Japan were the tanuki. Statues of these well-endowed, magical, lucky raccoon-ish beings stand in front of stores everywhere. One theory why is that because they are so well-endowed, they will bring a similar bounty of fortune to the store. True or not, they're fun to look at. I took Sam to the largest one I'd ever seen, and he seemed to enjoy it.

I much prefer the many stone statues of Jizo Bosatsu, the bodhisattva who protects children, who usually is clothed with a red bib. This one is from a small temple in Arashiyama.

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