#97 Richard


Temple: Tennoji – there’s a large impressive shrine you walk through to get between the main halls and the temple administration here. The temple was moved site when the shrines and temples were separated.

Dedication: Richard is a member of the Stoke Newington lot. I went on a date with him a while ago and it turned into friendship. He’s great to have coffee with so I can avoid work and he can avoid study. He has a masters in Japanese history so should be able to tell me more about the shrine and temple split when I’m back. Hope you are good Richard, looking forward to catching up.

I try to greet everyone I pass with a cherry “ohaya gozaimasu” or “konichiwa”. Observing how I react to people is interesting. Today most people have grunted or looked away. I’ve been walking through city so that always reduces the friendliness. One woman stopped me though and after looking in her shopping bag and almost giving me a raw octopus she gave me over 700 yen from her purse. I’m so grateful.

I’ve got all my food for the day already as the last two temples of the day are on a mountain. Normally I eat: three or so rice balls, onigiri, my favourites are natto (fermented stringy tiny soy beans), seaweed, pickled plum, rolled omelette and plain; caloriemate, shortbread type stuff that comes in different flavours; peanuts and those crispy nut-like snacks; a bowl of noodles, normally kitsune udon (fox udon – with a block of fried tofu); whatever raw fruit or veg I am given or pick up at a stall and either candy or chocolate. I’ve been working my way through some hard candy which has counties and capitals on each sweet. More a test of my kana reading skills than my geography.

I’ve also been eating wild berries I come across. They’re delicious and I haven’t poisoned myself yet. Fingers crossed.