Last night Kazo, my host, and I worked out a deal that I would go meet his couch surfer at 1 since he wasn’t getting home until late. He left me with the keys so I could get in and out as I pleased but they weren’t used much.
I was feeling a bit templed out so I went to check out the Manga museum. Manga is a type of Asian comic book basically; the museum is closed on Wednesdays. My next stop was the Kyoto Municipal Museum of School History. Unfortunately the place is so well hidden or so poorly labeled that I was unable to find it. On the way back I asked a young lady the way back to the main road and she replied in nearly perfect English. She has been living in Canada for the past 7 years but came to visit family for two months.
At one I met Weronika, a Polish girl from Warsaw who could have passed for 18. I offered to carry her enormous bag but she only let me carry a small bag. She said her bag was so big because of a tripod and camera gear; if her personality didn’t already tell me, I knew from this point on that we would have a great day or how ever long we manage to stay together.
She is filming a documentary about a Japanese,Buddhist monk and his wife who is Polish. and also started another project about a strangely dressed man she met in a McDonald’s. she came to Kyoto to film in a specific temple, Hegoshi Honganji, where the monk in her film became a monk. After dropping her bags at home I went along, she seemed like a person who creates adventure and I was feeling in the mood to experience the unknown plus she is great company.
When we walked in we were told no photos. Weronika couldn’t accept that for an answer so she went to work fenageling her way into something. I left her be and wandered around outside. About 10 minutes later she came and got me with another guy from the temple and said we were going to the main office to get permission to film inside the temple. We switched our shoes for some green slippers and the guy led us through a maze of hallways that most tourists never see and even stopped to open one of the halls where they hold meetings.
We were greeted by 3 young women all taking notes at every word said. The boss guy was interacting through the girls translations. After making several inquires it turns out that the monk in Weronika’s film actually is from the Temple next door which goes by the same name. They called over and then accompanied us to the other temple. The boss of that temple was rude, and uncooperative.
Afterwards we crossed the road and got lost in a labyrinth of old wooden, Japanese buildings, Taking photos of things that go unnoticed by People from here. We found a baseball field where some little kids were practicing hardcore , looking like mini professionals, winging balls from the outfield to home plate in just a split-second. Weronika has been shooting with only a 5omm lens and lets the film roll constantly and capturing everything; most of it looks pretty Interesting. We were hoping to find a market so we could cook back home but hadn’t found any .A locals only type of place caught our attention due to the interesting lighting; we went in and sat down at one of the tables making up the “L” shape of flat cook tops. The menu was posted on the wall in Japanese’. We sort of pointed and gestured and we ended up with a Japanese pizza/pancake or “okonomiyaki”. I guess we had already drawn quite a lot of attention being the only non Japanese in the place but Weronika’s filming of every detail of the place got any remaining attention that we hadn’t already attracted.
Leaving we found our way part way home; we stopped an already stopped, young couple on brake-less bikes to ask them directions. The girl pulled out an Iphone and helped us orient our selves. After walking away we turned the corner and found my car-back-home’s twin which Weronika and I approached and the lady inside locked the doors, I just wanted to see if it looked the same inside.