Meeting the Vikings in Kyoto

5 10 2009

One of the temples/shrines that we hadn’t visited yet was Sanjusangen-do. While not a big complex, the one big wooden building houses 1001 statues of Kannon, each with 42 arms (which each save 25 worlds and somehow that adds up to saving 1000 worlds each). There are 500 statues in 10 rows either side of a larger central Kannon. At the front are 28 life-size statues of guardian deities e.g. thunder god, wind god etc. The kannon, made in the 12th century, were carved from wood and coated with gold leaf.

Unfortunately, photos were prohibited inside the building. However, there are heaps of photos on the internet so someone(s) obviously took photos anyway…

We were feeling hungry so decided to go to viking, which is a buffet in Japanese. We went to Obanzai and enjoyed fake meats, potato croquettes, salads, rice etc. Most of the food offered was vegan. While we were eating we met the director of the movie ‘The Cove’. He was in Kyoto promoting the movie, then heading to Tokyo for the film festival where ‘The Cove’ is being shown.. We also met the 2 main people behind the ‘Vegan Society of Japan’. After a long lunch-time chat we went with them to Nishikidori Markets and to Mumokuteki that has vegan ice cream and desserts. The icecream was totally delicious, as was the cheesecake we had. We wandered around the markets, got some yaki-tofu for dinner then headed our own way back to Atsu’s. We had BBQ for dinner and skyped his younger sister so Benno could practice his Japanese.

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