[The American Years]

Monday, March 05, 2007

Greetings from Japan, where to misquote Forrest Gump, you never know what you're going to eat.

We spent the first weekend of my brother Daniel's visit in Kyoto. Our first stop was a temple called the 'moss temple'. Supposed to be great. We got there, and it seemed great, except that there was a nice Buddhist priest telling us that we couldn't come in, pointing to this sign. I think they wanted to actually be a place of worship, not just a place for tourists. How dare they.

So clearly we weren't going in. Though it sounds lovely and I can alternately chant or sit quietly as needed, we never sent in our postcard so no moss for us.

Luckily a few hundred steps down the road was another temple. So we went there. Reading the name of the temple and the Kanji, it had the word for 'bug' in it's name.

Moss temple turns us away, and Bug temple welcomes us. Lucky for us!

When we entered, it was a bit odd. Usually you get to wander the grounds of a temple complex at your own pace, looking at what you want, admiring the gardens and architecture, etc. At this place, we paid our admission and they hustled us into a room where we sat at low Japanese style tables with about 50 other people. We were immediately served tea and little pink and white cakes.

A lecture was going on. I thought we had mistakenly entered the Timeshare Salespitch Temple. I caught enough of the talk to realize he was talking about bugs. I noticed the bugs in little habitat cages against the walll. Then I looked at the wrapper to my little cake, and yes, it had the word for bug on it (mushi).

Then looking at the flecks in Veronica's cake, I could tell it had bug bits in it.

So for my brother, welcome to Kyoto, have a nice bug for lunch! Video of Veronica drinking tea and Zane eating pink bug cake! (We decided not to tell the kids until after they ate up.


Mata Ashta


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