05/28/2009

Night Falls.....

P1010416.JPGDespite what any calenders or men of weather may be telling you let me assure you,

Summer is Here!

The days are hot (t-shirt weather) but not yet stifling, the nights still pleasantly cool and Kyoto Natives have regained control (at least temporarily) of their Ancient Capitol as the armies of tourists have retreated (at least temporarily) to the comfort of their homes.

Yes, K-Friends and Visitors, roam the streets at night around now and the City is yours- Wide Open, mostly free, lushly serene and maintaining a degree of public privacy that anyone could/should cherish and enjoy.

Submitted for your approval just one minor example- Okazaki Jinja.P1010386.JPG

My neighborhood place to unwind in the cool of the evening and away from the madding crowds, cameras, cars and general cacophony.

This Shrine is actually, and specifically, for Mothers-to-be and offerings for the healthy births of their imminent offspring and perhaps because of this vibe it always makes me feel giddily hopeful as I lurk under the moon and breath in its tranquil air.
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If you happen to be in the Family Way stop by and say hello to the Rabbit, drop a note, say a prayer or just fake it.

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And my point is that at this very time of year (and especially in the evening when everyone else may be chasing their own or someone else's tail) K-Town is chock full of these gentle pools of peace and blissful escapes from the ubiquitous hubbub of our 21st Century Ratrace so why not shake a leg and poke your nose around a few corners?

In Kyoto you really never know what secrets you can find.

So throw away those maps and explore!P1010378.JPG


posted by Billy at 18:52 | Kyoto (Japan)

05/18/2009

May the Road Rise with You.....

How does one sum up 10 years of a Man's Life?

Words are inadequate...

Thanks are thin...

Reviews inappropriate.

And then it happens and we must all face the future together and alone as our new hand is dealt.

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Well last Tuesday night we did our level best to express our gratitude to our comrade-in-arms, now moving on to a brighter tomorrow, and attempt to demonstrate our thanks for a decade of dedicated service, invaluable labor and faithful teamwork including all the blood, sweat and tears that building a future brick by brick entails.

Doubtless we came up short but we tried.

We gathered at Sekaiya, http://www.manzara.co.jp/sekaiya/index.html

one heckava decent joint, where Wine was poured (and gulped if you believe the rumours), beer chugged, delicious food gratefully consumed,

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cigarettes inhaled and wry smiles exchanged.

Greg-kun treated us all to an illuminating dissertation on the use/usage of English colloquialisms, Our Fearless Leader moved us all with a speech that hit you in the heart, we had at least one lovely girl in our midst and the Man of the Hour stepped up to the plate and delivered a home run.

Farewells are bittersweet and perhaps best remembered rather than performed.

Or as that eternal Roman Marcus Aurelius wrote-


"all that is of the body as coursing waters, all that is of the soul as dreams and vapors"

Thanks K-Man.


posted by Billy at 14:58 | Kyoto (Japan)

05/11/2009

Struck by "Lightning"!

If you happened to be in K-Town this weekend then I hope you bought a lottery ticket 'cuz you (and me and everybody else) were officially In Luck.
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The perfect weather (wonderfully warm but not at all hot, bursting brilliant sunshine without the sweltering scorch) definitely arrived in time for Mom's Day and Team Kyoto had a date to catch the cool breezes off the Kamogawa with a group of Mommy revelers but We first made a quick swing by Heian Jingu to catch an Ikebana (traditional Japanese Flower Arrangement) Exhibition by a friend of ours (Thanks Sueko-san and Ryo-kun!) on display there.
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It was the final day of the show by about 12 local Artists so We were grateful to get in under the wire and sorry to all the Ikebana Lovers out there for the late notice but we did at least manage to snap a few pics of the goods.
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Great happy crowds were drinking in the voluptuous displays of floral beauty, however, and I was very pleased to see that everyone seemed very pleased.

Sueko-san's work was titled "Lightning" and it was a real jolt, easily distinguishable even amid the many lovely pieces surrounding and enhancing it.

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We lingered longer than perhaps we should've as we basked in the warm glow and inviting allure of the work but I guess that's the Ikebana Effect-
A seemingly simple yet beguilingly subtle study of the Natural/Planned Perfection/Imperfection Human desire, an experience central to so many and the love and appreciation of these attractive opposites as painstakingly practiced then graciously, openly offered by these Artisans of one of J-Lands oldest Traditions.

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So........yea.

Sometimes it's a good thing to get hit by Lightning.


posted by Billy at 13:02 | Kyoto (Japan)

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