Shipping deadlines are coming. Gift original in time for the holidays.

Yashima Temple, Ritsurin-Koen Garden, Koi Carp and Pachinco

Yashimaji Temple (Yashima) is the 84th of the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage – after a breathtaking bus ride up a steep cliff side we arrived to the see all these amazing pilgrims praying and worshiping – The air was heavy with incense and votive candles burning. It was atmospheric and hypnotic listening to the rise and fall of the chanting with the incense whirling through the air burning in such large amounts burning in the huge brass urns.

The two pilgrim ladies were truly beautiful spiritual people – they were chatting to us in half English half Japanese and they gave us lovely little handmade gifts to take around the temples with us and tie to the different shrines.

The little badger is a dearly loved and revered god here in Japan and he brings on good luck for families and restaurants – the pilgrims were rubbing the larger badgers for good luck – we come across the badger often.

Ritsurin-Koen Garden is one of the finest gardens in Japan beautiful bridges, tea houses and Koi Carp – monstrous carp which we fed ( For those of you who know us well enough you will be able to translate this one and it has a bit to do with a chant – head like a potato lips like a duck – the carp unfortunately remind us of someone we all once knew – whopping lips – collagen implanted fish lips)

Pachinko/Pachinco – this is a form of gambling – flashing lights and very loud slot like machines with people in a zombie like state feeding them coins and in return they are drip fed small rewards to keep them hooked – just like the pokies back home.

The cultural attache strikes again and decides to photograph the poor afflicted souls feeding the pachinko machines but is quickly evicted lest the punters should be distracted from the main game.

Butchering – this is a male hairdressing/barber in a very upmarket plaza not opposite Gucci, Bulgari and Vuitton – Total sophistication with your freshly butchered hair ready to match the latest fashion.

Check out the manhole her at Takamatsu – it is an archer – each Japanese prefecture has elaborately designed manhole covers – stay tuned for the series.

Todays T-shirt designs read

“Be in confusion – Produce an infinite variety of sounds”
“Workaholic – The sound of healing” – a big musical note drawn on the sleeve.

The only T-shirt that was remarkable yesterday was far too rude to write up and I am sure the young girl has no idea what the English translation really means.

Well back to my endless G & T – I have discovered these huge cans of gin and tonic with a twist of lime and it is time to kick back and admire the cultural attache who is looking more like Norman Gunston right now as he has nicked himself shaving and has little tissue blotters attached to his handsome face. He is also becoming quite the skilled noodle slurper which is apparently totally acceptable here but not in my book apparently the louder you slurp the more skilled you are at eating the noodle – I fail miserably.

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