So dinner was wonderful, simple and really not that unfamiliar since it was a lot like other Kaiseki meals I have had at Ryokan’s before. The only difference was the absence of meat. It filled me up for sure and gave me the energy to get moving again.
I slowly made my way back up to my room to grab my tripod. I forgot that it gets darker earlier here so I was going to need some support to shoot in the dark. I started shooting around the darkened temple first. It was so quiet. I then headed out to the streets and wandered up a bit into the town. Not much to see though as everything was closed. I did however start to hear a loud crowd coming my way which turned out to be school kids heading into the cemetery for a little nighttime tour. I decided to go into the cemetery as well.
There were a few lamps to light the way but they really didn’t do anything. I pulled out my iPhone and switched on the flashlight app and it helped a little in lighting up about three feet in front of me, otherwise- pitch black darkness. So, I was ahead of the kids when I entered the cemetery and it felt a little weird. Not in a ghostly sort of way, but rather it started to weird me out with all the unfamiliar animal and bird sounds I was hearing. Add to that, the mosquitoes that were starting to eat me and I decided that maybe I should call it a night. I actually went pretty far in which I realized the next day, but that’s for the next entry. Oh, the other reason I decided to head back when I did, was that the bath was only open until 9pm so I had to get back to so as not to rush that. A bath in a ryokan is always something to be savored.
So, as I made my way back to the entrance of the cemetery, the school kids began to pass me. And as they did, many of them took the opportunity to wave and say “hello” and “hi”. I responded with the same and it was a nice exchange. It lasted a while as there about 100 kids in a line passing me on the narrow pathway.
When I returned to the temple, I found the little door, climbed through and headed to the room. I changed into my yukata and went to enjoy a relaxing bath. Funny thing about the bath here in Japan, is that even when it’s hot, a good soak in a hot bath is extremely relaxing. The tub was all wood and the water created a great optical effect of making the tub look concave. It made my tired legs feel a lot better, that’s for sure.
After the bath, I took time to download my photos and just relax. There was actually a TV in my room so I watch the Track and Field games going on Korea. Good stuff. Then, around 11pm, I fell asleep.
I guess I should mention that I left the TV while I slept. Was too creepy otherwise. I slept fantastically on my futon!