Kyoto December


A Different Green

So now we know it. There is no time of year in which Kyoto doesn’t look stunning. Even in the middle of a snow-less, tepid winter, when all the other cities in moderate climates don a grey, torrid coat of slush and bone-soaking drizzle, she just takes another lovely dress out of its infinite wardrobe – one of eye-watering bright azure sky and evergreen leaves, and tops it with its best hat yet, a lavish pyramid of citrus fruits and camellia flowers.

Sometimes it powders it all with a smattering of snowflakes, but not too much; she’s all about understatement, after all.

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Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 11 – a visit to Kiyo


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Day 11. Today something a bit different – a photo gallery.

 

 

 

 

This summer I went to Kyushu, Japan, to see how places I’ve written about in “The Shadow of Black Wings” look like today.

Many locations are still standing or are easily identifiable. Naturally, the Suwa Shrine is still sprawling majestically over the city’s northern district, not far from the largely reconstructed Magistrate. The location of the Keisuke house is fictional (although not the family) but the hill district near Sofukuji Temple is still criss-crossed by a labyrinth of indecipherable narrow streets.

The Takashima Residence was, sadly, blown away by the nuclear bomb, and only the foundations remain. The island of Dejima is being painstakingly reconstructed, and you can walk its streets freely – it’s now one of the city’s main tourist attractions. It’s also no longer an island.

Fukusaya Bakery is now a noble institution, with tiny bits of moist cake sold at extortionate prices.

Day 5 – Weekend


Libertarians often claim that if there were no or lesser taxes, the rich people would make up for social services with their charity money (I know, I’ve been one).

City AM today reports that the president of Chartered Institute of Marketing organized a charity bash for his friends, directors of marketing of such companies as Virgin Media and Barclays. There was free champagne and chocolates. Together, 140 guests have raised a staggering sum of… £5400. That amounts to £40 per person.

On the same page there’s a bill for three hedge traders amounting to £740 for champagne and some lamb chops.

Last week there was an editorial which claimed there’s no point giving tax cuts and rebates to the poor because they would only spend it on groceries, and it doesn’t drive economy forward. This week, we have news that Tesco has the lowest results in 20 years, while Louis Vuitton, Dior and Hermes fare better than ever. For some reason, the Tesco news seems to worry everyone more. I thought groceries don’t matter for the economy?

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Overheard on tube: ‘Yeah, we had a pet lizard in our class. We named him Jimmy – for Jimmy Choo shoes’

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Went to a Jodo Shinshu ceremony at Three Wheels temple. Not my cup of tea, I’m sorry to say. Rev. K.T. Sato looks like a thoroughly remarkable person though. Interesting lecture on difficulties of translation of holy texts.
For some reason, a Jodo Shinshu temple has a Zen garden at the back. Makes one question the loyalties of the owner 😉