Languages Magazine

Explore Mystical Japan

By Tlb
English: Ginkakuji-temple in a snowy day, Kyot...

Ginkakuji-temple in a snowy day, Kyoto, Japan. (vía Wikimedia commons)

I have always liked the Asian culture. It’s totally different from European culture. In Asia, they put a strong emphasis on values, rituals and tradition. I especially like how they try to preserve traditional way of life. Europe almost has no tradition left. The Europeans think, that new is always better. Nobody considers traditional values.

I also like their different way of thinking. In Western civilization, they think they know the truth about of everything and have to spread that around the whole world. In Asia there is not only one truth. They always search for the truth and they can live with many truths. Asian people are very tolerant, like the Confucian way of thinking:” You don´t have to love us, you have to accept us.”

One day I got my hands on a book from a Japanese author. I couldn’t put it down. After reading the book I wanted to get to know Japanese culture at any cost. With my friend, I decided to go to Japan, more precisely to Tokyo. To get to know the language, we signed up for a Japanese language school in Tokyo. We wanted to stay there for 2 months. Unfortunately, we couldn´t experience the old way of life and tradition. Tokyo is very modern. That’s why we decided to go on a little road trip to the old capital city of Japan: Kyoto. I had heard about the city the first time I read the book from the Japanese author. But not until I was in Japan, did I find that Kyoto was the old capital city. On our way to Kyoto, we could see wonderful landscapes, rank vegetation and vast fields as far as the eye could see as well as a lot of small villages. Sadly we couldn’t stop in a village because we had to check in at our hostel. But in Kyoto itself, we had enough to see.

English: Silver Pavilion (銀閣, Ginkaku) at Gink...

Silver Pavilion at Ginkaku-ji (vía Wikimedia commons)

The whole city has nearly 1900 places of cultural interest. We had hard decisions to make regarding which sights we wanted to see. In the famous geisha district of Gion, we saw the silver pavilion of Ginkaku-ji. The intelligent decoration and the pond- garden in the Zen- style were just spectacular. The sanctuary Kongosammai in Koyosan holds the oldest pagoda of Japan in the middle. The cemetery- temple Adashino Nenbutsu- ji is an old and mystical graveyard which was made by a Buddhistical priest. Another must see is Yasaka.

These 2 months really were a great experience and I hope I can keep some of the mystical atmosphere with me. I have already built a little Asian garden at home.

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