One Month to Figure out my Future
It was already the second day at Kyoto. Fortunately during the night I wasn’t interrupted by any snoring and the bed felt really good. I wonder if Megumi will be enjoying this western style beds since she basically only allowed to sleep in futons.
I noticed that Hayato was still sleeping even though the alarm already rang. I guess I still have the opportunity to throw at him my pillow.
“Ay! What’s going on??”
“Wake up, we have to go have breakfast.”
“Give me five more minutes…”
“Don’t go back to sleep or I will have to throw many more pillows.”
“Alright, alright no need to start a war in here.”
We headed to the kitchen and we sat on the same table of Rihoko and Saki.
Rihoko commented Hayato’s messy appearance: “Looks like someone here still thinks to be in bed.”
“Yes, making sushi drained too much energy from me.”
I thought I was the one that usually says those things…
“Do you girls know what we will be doing?”
“Of course!” It was Miss. Kamuro who replied from behind my back. She was holding her tray with the breakfast.
“This morning is all about shrines so be ready to travel a lot.”
“Will there be a day when we will be visiting something like a pillow factory?”
“Come on Narukami, put yourself together!”
“Yees Miss. Kamuro.”
After breakfast we had to get ready fast because there where many things to visit over the course of just one morning, an I had to drag around Hayato who didn’t show any sign of actually waking up.
As we were getting on the bus, Miss. Kamuro told us that our destination was going to be the Kinkakuji Temple. I didn’t know anything about the temple so instead of looking it up on the internet I wanted to see if Saki knew why was it special.
“Ehi Saki, what can you tell me about the Kinkakuji Temple?”
“It is a Zen temple wrapped in gold leaf, with the top floor gilded both inside and out. It’s also placed right next to a small lake and surrounded by trees.”
A temple covered in gold? That sounded super fancy, and expensive…
“Thanks Saki, but how do you know so much stuff?”
“I read many tourists’ guides of Kyoto.”
“Do you usually like to read?”
Now I focused my attention on Rihoko: “Hey Rihoko why did you ever ask Saki to join the literary club?”
“Well, you see… It’s not like we talk a lot:”
“I think she would be a great addition to our club, what do you think about it Saki?”
“I like it.”
She sounds so much like a robot.
“As the vice president of the literary club I ask the president, Sonoda Rihoko, to invite Saki to join the club.”
“I guess I have no other choice than. When we get back we will make it official.”
It’s crazy how a month ago the club was ready to die and now it already gained three members.
The temple was even cooler that what I expected, it was so shiny but we had to endure all the historic references explained by our history teacher. The only thing I remember is that it was originally a villa for a powerful statesman, after that my mind started wondering off.Before going back to the bus we were allowed to go around and take some photos.
While I was having a look at that little lake Saki mentioned before, I saw Rihoko asking Saki to take a picture of her in front of the lake. Rihoko was basically at the edge of the lake when she made an extra step to get less closer to the camera once she started to fell. I was really close so it was easy for me to grab her preventing her from falling into the water.
“Oh god, I thought I was done, thank you Satoshi.”
“No problem, I was just waiting for it to happen.”
“What do you mean!!! You should have stopped me before I took the last step.”
“I’m just kidding.”I realized I was still holding her hand that I grabbed before. I quickly let Rihoko go as if it was nothing and went to look for Hayato.
“Wait a second Satoshi.”
“What is it?”
“Come take a picture with me.”
A picture? I don’t think there is any other person in the world that looks worst than me in photos.
“Do I really have to?”
“It’s your club president who is asking it!”
“Ok but just one picture.”
I got closer to her, in the meantime Saki who was still waiting to take the picture, signed us to get closer. This time it was Rihoko who grabbed my hand and pulled me closer to her. Saki took the photo and I run away as fast as possible to not be able to see it.
“Guys! Now we have to get to the next temple! Come here!”
This time it was the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Rihoko asked Saki: “Tell us what you know about the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.”
“It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site surrounded by cherry trees. It is said that if you walk between two stones with your eyes closed in front of the Jishu Shrine you will find true love. The shrine is also connected to the Otowa Waterfall, drink from the stream and you will get good luck.”
That was a lot of stuff, but one thing in particular caught my attention. I took out the piece of paper Miyo had left me in my pocket and looked at all the destinations she suggested me. Indeed the Jishu Shrine was one of them. She actually did a proper research.
Once at the temple, the first thing I noticed was the huge queue there was in front of the Jishu Shrine, I guess everybody really wanted to find their love. The teacher’s couldn’t contain all the girls who immediately all joined that endless queue.
“Miss. Kamuro, aren’t you going to try and find your love?”
“Do I seem that desperate? Maybe you should do it.”
“I’ll pass, I think I will just settle for the good luck offered at the Otowa Waterfall.”
“Drink a bit more also for your teacher.”
The queue here was a little less long, but it was still a pain. All this people, including me, are all here just to try something that is completely fake and everybody knows. We humans are really weird sometimes…
Once it was my turn I was presented with a choice: he waters are divided into three separate streams and I have to drink using the provided cup. They explained to me that each one of the streams is believed to have a different effect such as bringing success, love and longevity. You should only pick one of the three streams though, as it is considered greedy if you were to drink from all of them.I wasn’t really interested in longevity, I always thought the sooner the better… Love? Not my thing, let’s hope to have some success. I drunk a cup completely full of water and hoped for the best.
That was out last stop for the morning. Hayato finally recovered and we had free time during lunch. Rihoko and Saki stuck with us and we got some food at a local restaurant, nothing too crazy.
Hayato started a conversation: "So girls, did you try the challenge of the Jishu Shrine?"
Rihoko answered: "Yes we did even though I had to basically frag Saki in order to make her do it too."
"And you all completed the challenge?"
"Yes, it wasn't even that difficult, and these words come from the mouth of a really clumsy girl. Instead, what did you guys do?"
Hayato said that he also successfully completed the challenge at the Jishu Shrine, while I was the only one there who did something different: "I tried the water of the Otowa Waterfall, as Saki said, it is supposed to bring luck and success."
Saki intervened: "But which stream did you choose? The food luck one is the most popular but it's not the only one."
"Yes, I went with the success one."
"Rihoko asked me what were the other streams of water supposed to bring. And I explained what I was told a couple of minutes before. For some strange reason Rihoko didn't say a word for the rest of the time we stuck together. Back to Miss. Kamuro we were told our next destination: the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.
One again we all jumped to our personal moving encyclopedia name Saki.She started spitting out all that she knew: "The Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine is the most iconic among all the shrines in Kyoto and it is located at the end of a flamed colored walkway made up of thousands of traditional torii gates. The Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine honors the Shinto god, Inari, known as being the god of rice."
Indeed when we reached the shrine, the most impressive thing was the endless amount to torii gates. Everybody spent time taking photos and wondering off, I decided to sit in a corned where nobody could find me. I was just tired of seeing traditional Japanese shrines and yes, I was also tired of walking.
"Kamizami! You think I wouldn't notice you all crumbled up here? Why can you just join your friends who are having so much fun?"
"I'm good thanks. I guess we are pretty similar."
"Me and you? And what makes you think that?"
"The fact that you are here means that you also like to escape the others."
"Interesting way to put it, but maybe it's just my duty to check on everybody and make sure they are all safe."
"If you say so..."
"When did you learn to read into people's minds?"
"Observing from a distance. Even if you don't interact with other people, you can still learn a lot about one person. You need to focus on their moves and the expression that make. That's the key."
"You never stop to amaze me Kamizaki. Anyways, we should really head back, we still have one place to go..."
This time the destination was the Kyoto tower. This is what I was really looking forward, a modern fancy and extreme building! There wasn't much to say about it from Saki, it's just a tall building. On top of the tower we had the opportunity to have a panoramic view of the city extending all the way to Osaka! It was particularly cool especially because the sun was setting and the colors in the sky where constantly changing.
But when I was looking out of the Kyoto tower, I wasn't feeling my arm, and the reason is because Rihoko was using it to fight her fear of heights. I don't think there was any more blood passing through my arm. I gave Miyo's list another read and as I correctly remember there was also the Kyoto tower but this time it was a flop.