Sorry to have been absent recently. I had the great opportunity of welcoming an old friend of mine who I met through a karate circle of friends, students, teachers, and writers. He came to Japan for the very first time with his wife last week, and I was their host.
A 40-year long wish came true for my good friend, and it was an absolute delight to show him and his wife around. We spent a few days in Kyoto. Kyoto, as you may know, is rather spectacular.
That was pretty great. I don’t think I have every met anyone who went to Kyoto and did not enjoy it. The city is full of life, temples, shrines, the Gion Festival, Gion district, Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, Fox Shrines, tasty cinnamon flavored mochi snacks, tea ceremony, Kiyiomizudera, Touji, rock gardens, zen monks, guys on the street playing the shamisen and sanshin, and beer.
My good friends had a very nice time in Kyoto. Kyoto is pretty great.
But then… we took our friends here to Kagawa-ken. We just had a couple of days and we checked out Ritsurin Garden (of course!) and they also wanted to check out the Shikoku Mura, which they LOVED! They said that Kyoto was awesome, but here in Kagawa there were so many things that they could get very close to, to touch, to smell, and to really enjoy. That caught me off-guard a little, but I was also very glad to hear that. Over the years I have grown rather attached to Kagawa, and very fond of Takamatsu. This is my home and it was great to have friends come from so far away who felt that there was something very special here. I am glad that we could share this time together.
The walk through Shikoku Mura, which is very close to the Yashima Temple on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage is a hidden gem here in Kagawa. A historical walk through history you can check out old farm houses of the past, view the various kinds of indigenous trades and civilization advances. This is very much an anthropologist dream.
When we walked through the Shikoku Mura we were almost completely alone as we walked through. We met a few groundskeepers as we walked through the area, peeked in all the windows, and got great looks at every display in the place. My guests were astonished that everything was so open and accessible. Such a thing, I was informed, was not to be found from where they hail from.
Check it out! Shikoku Mura is easy to access from downtown in about 20minutes by car.