Swamiji makes friends wherever he goes. Yesterday Swami was shopping for a traditional men’s Japanese kimono. We were greeted by an elderly shopkeeper who took an immediate liking to Swami. He pointed toward Swami and said with a smile “Oh, big belly!” He then said “Triple-XL!” We all had a good laugh, including Swamiji. Premodaya tried on several kimonos and commented that he truly felt Japanese when wearing them. The shopkeeper assessed Swami after the first kimono was on and exclaimed with glee “Samurai!” Swamiji had our translator and friend tell him “No, I’m a lover not a fighter.” The man understood and bowed with delight. Swami was impressed with the quality of the kimonos, but this particular shop didn’t have enough options in size or color, so we moved on.
We also visited Sensō-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple located in the Asakusa district. The sights and sounds were exhilarating! Smoke was billowing in the air from a large incense burner called a jokoro, which was located in the middle of the square as we approached the temple. Many people gathered around the jokoro, fanning themselves with the smoke, as it's believed to have healing properties.
Today we are traveling to the city of Kyoto, which is best known for it’s classical Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and traditional wooden houses. We are looking forward to being in this city that represents ancient Japan, and in fact was Japan's capital for a thousand years.
Stay tuned for much more!