Archive for May 22nd, 2008

Holier Than Thou?

First of all, it’s nice to be traveling with friends (and friends of friends), but starting every morning at the Starbucks right near our hotel is a bit much guys! Not to mention it’s right beside a Krispy Kreme, where the line runs way out the door every night. For fairness and full disclosure, I did indulge once, just to support a North Carolina original.

Fortunately my friend Larry (who planned out his Japan trip to every, last, excruciating detail) had highlighted many of the same things I wanted to see. So I have done my best to hang with them, until, invariably, I stop to do some photography and they move on. That’s ok, really, I am fine on my own. So anyway, we have been to lots of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, which is one of the things I want to see.

On the surface, these various religions and faiths look very different, but at the core they are strikingly similar. Sure, when the Japanese Buddhists put there hands together to pray, that make a loud slap, as if to wake the lazing Buddha before them, but still the hands are reverently together. Same same – as they say in broken English all around the world.

Yesterday, we took a trip south out of the city to the seaside town of Kamakura. Which is famous for this giant, if not a bit green, Buddha:


These temples are very interesting, often with long pathways leading to them, sometimes very dramatically. Thare are usually large gates that overhang the pathway marking the entrance to the temple grounds. Incense are a big part of the ritual of these temples, very much like with Catholic or Orthodox Christianity, and these were burning in a spherical container in front of the big B himself.

At another temple, we were fortunate to encounter a wedding being performed. Who would have thought I would come all this way to shoot a wedding! It seemed like I was working harder than the official photographer there. Meanwhile, the guys were impatiently waiting for me back at the entrance, but I wasn’t going to miss this.

In a place like this!

Sorry guys.