I’m back from my trip to Kyoto. What to write? What to write?
It was such a sensory overload I feel that filtering my experience is going to take weeks and hopefully I will be able to pull out a stack of visual memories that will drive some new work for years to come.
Based on my interest in Japanese food, culture and the Arts I decided that I wanted to understand Kyoto with the help of someone who understood all these elements. So I decided to go on a tour! No, not one of those tours where you sit on a bus and get moved around the city from temple to temple with a bunch of loud, singlet wearing yobbos.
You see, a few years ago I was given a book called, Zenbu Zen written by Jane Lawson and it really hit a chord with me. Jane is a food writer and provides different types of small group tours in Kyoto with food being the predominant focus. She is a woman full of local knowledge and if what I am writing sounds of any interest to you please take a look at her blog and endeavour to read some of her books. I highly recommend one of her tours. Well organised yet relaxed, Jane will take you down laneways to secret restaurants; shops full of vintage wares; into local houses; introduce you to the ideas of Buddhism and Shintoism and I guarantee that you will be immersed into a feeling of zen and come away with a better appreciation of the East. Jane, your professionalism, energy and insight were faultless. Thank you.
Beyond the eating, drinking and food shopping were 10 days full of cultural, historical, and artistic eye openers shared with plenty of laughs and smiles.
The food, the textiles, the colours, the flora etc. Walking the streets and pathways both narrow and wide you can’t help but notice the details in the urban landscape and architecture.
For those who think that you should only go to Kyoto to see the Cherry Blossoms, then think again. The streets were quiet, the parks, shops and temples peaceful. Infact the entire city had a peaceful energy about it. And as far as the trees and gardens go being naked…absolutely striking!
(see and read more from Tiel on her site TSK TSK)0