Our fifth day in Japan found us waking up for a second morning in beautiful Kyoto.
DH and I woke up at 5:30 am to ride our bikes to a temple about 10-15 mins away from our ABNB into the mountains of Kyoto.
A dear friend had recently visited Japan and recommended we check out this temple that held prayer services at 6am by Shinto (?)monks.
While it wasn’t the easiest having to leave my warm bed so early on our final day in the city of Kyoto, DH and I managed to get out the door by 5:45am . We left our daughters to sleep in( teens and preteens absolutely need theirs 😴 while our sons were still traveling with their school trip group.
As we step out of our door from the quaint home we were renting on the Arcade area, we are greeted by a most beautiful morning. The city was barely awake. The spring temperatures was refreshing , unlike yesterday when it literally rained all day long, there is no rain in the forecast today…yay!
We rode down a main road punctuated every now and then with the most cherry blossoms striking their beautiful poses amidst the sky lines.
My leg muscles and cardiovascular system was warming up fast and getting a serious work out , as we rode our bikes up those mountains. I’m trailing behind DH, as usual, and I’m close to panting for more breath.
This exertion is a good reminder for me to keep up my physical fitness, if I plan to keep being able to visit and see wonderful parts of this amazing world.
Anyways , we make it up those daunting mountainous roads through quiet neighborhood, while hardly seeing people on the road.
DH is diligently following his google map directions and I’m doing my best to just keep up .
Finally we arrive at this ancient temple built in 400AD era, and it’s intimidating with its’ charm, architectures and peacefulness.
We were the only humans in sight. There were no prayer ceremonies going on, at least not today. There are many signs posted around , except there were mostly all in Japanese sanscript, so not too helpful to us.. oh well.
DH is in his exploration haven, he seems bold as he leads the way wondering around this ancient temple grounds, as if he’d been there many times before.
My cautious African self is wondering if we REALLY are welcome to be wondering about these parts so freely, but I keep following behind DH.
It looked like we literally had the entire place to ourselves, except from the rooster busy with his wake up calls and a bird that sang out so beautifully, so boldly.
There were signs that shrine worshippers visited often, papers inscribed with prayers hanging on shrine walls, offerings made to the shrine gods, and a parked Toyota van that perhaps belonging to a temple worker.
Finally , I settled in more after several minutes of walking around and seeing beautiful reminders of peace and tranquillity. If morning had a sound of nothingness, then this was it.
Breathing in the freshness of this morning, I surrender to the creator of the day. I was no longer worried that I was intruding on another’s place, instead I started to feel like I too belonged to this place, to this morning. I was no longer afraid and questioning.
I was feeling more at home with the sounds of the mountains, although I couldn’t tell what bird or insect or animal each sound belonged to.
It no longer mattered now, I was just appreciating that that we were all there together this very morning.
In that moment , there was only one thing left to do, just BE in the moment. So I did. I found a stone bench , propped up my legs and began to attempt a meditation.
It was mostly a time for me to breathe in all the gratitude in the air around me. Grateful that I get to be in this place , at this time , with my DH, grateful for my family , for my friends, and for all the many reasons to be thankful for the life that I do have !
I hope and pray that you too can look around and breathe in some reasons to be grateful.
As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences .
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