I am NOT a tourist.

February 19th: Today Matt and I headed to Kyoto on a Sunrise Tour. There we saw Sanjusangendo. It houses 1001 statues of Kannon, Bodhisttva, dating back to the 13th century. If you are caught taking a photo your camera is confiscated, so I have included a photo from japaneselifestyle.com.au.

“Sanjusengendo, means "33 spaces between columns hall." There are 34 columns along the length of the room, creating 33 spaces between them, and 33 is a significant number in that sect of Buddhism. The temple is filled with statues: one big Thousand Armed Kannon, known as the main deity, set up as the main point of worship in the center; 1000 Thousand Armed Kannon statues lined up in the hall; 28 guardian deities who protect the Kannon; and 2 gods of wind and thunder adding their fierceness. While the temple is a popular tourist and school field trip attraction, it is still a working temple, with appropriate services conducted by the resident monks during the day. In front of the main deity, there are drums, bells, incense bowls, and kneeling cushions that are used every day. “ (Tomoko, Sunrise Tours)

Next stop on the tour was Heian Shrine. It was breathtakingly beautiful. A portion of the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, 2005 was filmed in this garden. Heian Shrine was built in 1895. It is dedicated to the first and last emperors that reigned from Kyoto.

Here I am crossing Garyu-kyo, a walkway across the Soryu-ike pond. Garyu-ko is made from stone pillars.

Last stop in the tour was Kiyomizu Temple Complex. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water. The name is taken from the water fall near by. The temple complex includes several other shrines.

Boo-Yaow! It was only a matter of time. A pink and green temple! I love my A-K-A! I love it! I love it! I love it!

After 6 hours, we were templed out. Osaka is known for its food. So I could not leave without tasting Okonomiyaki, a Japanese Pancake.

After 3 cities in 3 days, we were exhausted or “broke down” as my cousin says. It was time to return to Tokyo! After boarding the Shinkansen, it was lights out for me.

What had happened was( LOL I love starting a story like that).

Mattilyn and I were standing at the cab stand when I noticed the gentleman in front of us was unsteady on his feet, and before I could say, “ Get Him!", BOOM! Into the shrubs he goes. After a few people helped him to his feet, he was still unable to stand without assistance and was bumping into me. So I told him ,“ Look brother, I am going to stand here and hold you up until your cab arrives.” I was praying he didn't regurgitate. When his cab pulled up, I walked him over and pushed him in as best as I could. I mind you plenty of MEN were standing behind us. But according to what my cousin could tell (she knows some Japanese) they were embarrassed. It wasn’t the first time I’ve had to do that, come on I went to college.

What that exchange taught me is The Golden Rule, Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you, is trans-cultural.

Daijoubu, Oyasuminasa!