Bumblebee Girl on Mission Possible

Posts tagged ‘Japan’

Day 4 and 5 Kyoto

I had to do a lot of the boring stuff like washing clothes and pack so my luggage didn’t weigh to much *yarn* 😀 It actually turned out to be quite a challenge since I’d almost 50 kg luggage when I arrived to Kyoto (some was food too) and had to reduce it to 37 kg. I’d to leave some stuff behind I wasn’t happy about but the world is still working 😉 As soon as that was done I left for Arashiyama in the western outskirt of Kyoto just by the foot of a mountain.

I was lucky again that JR-railway had a train out there so ones again my JR pass gave me a free ride. It took about 30 minutes to get there from the center of Kyoto.

First I went to the zen temple Tenryu-ji  and it had some spectacular temple rooms and an amazing zen-garden really to die for but unfortunately this clearly was a money machine for them in a way that made me leave without having seen it all. Every little thing cost and I prefer to buy a ticket and then I’ve access to it all. I don’t mind paying the price but when you for “every step” you take have to pay more I get irritated. In all a very beautiful place but I’ve seen more beautiful temples than this in Kyoto.

The Bamboo grove was just at the end of the Tenryu-ji famous garden and I came for the bamboo forest and I loved it. I love bamboos and even in rain weather it was still amazing.

On the way back I went through the shopping area and walked the bridge to the other side to get some interesting pictures and it was really lovely. It’s a tourist street but in the cute country way.

I had one of those clumsy days so I managed to poke several people with my umbrella 😀 fortunately Japanese are very polite and the tourists didn’t say anything 😀

I also managed to see the imperial palace and to my huge surprise the out door area around the castle was open to the public. It was so interesting to be inside the wall and get a glimpse of the lifestyle. The biggest surprise was that it was free in spite of all the staff they had on the place. Even without entrance to the castle it had been amazing just seeing the garden around.

Let me present: Pierre Black

IMG_6690This unique fellow (the guy in the picture with the hat) has in just a few weeks made a major impact on my life.

I’d now idea about who Pierre Black was before I arrived at the Zen Retreat at the temple near Kozaki. Pierre is a naturapath specialised in diet, CST (cranial sacral therapy) and energy work. This guy is interested in the scientific researched angle. Nutrition wise he uses a mix of ayurvetic and Chinese medicin combined with genetics so he makes a diet that is realistic to follow and which takes you native habits in consideration.
He has a very direct approach which I appreciate because beating around the bushes doesn’t change things.

For the first time my reactions to food has become logic and it has been such a relief. A lot of the problems I’ve, which danish doctors have denied exist or just made mental is now connected to problems with my immune system and digestion and by eating the right diet and supplements it’s already changing.

Beside that for the first time I’ve been taught how to train my body after my body constitution and it makes so much sense and it’s a huge relief to hearing a person telling me what I’ve sensed on many areas but was told was just because I had to get into the habit and ignore the signal.

The first he did was making some adjustments to my diet and putting me on two supplements which strengthens the immune system and digestion.

Then he helped me get more grounded. The life I’ve had since 2011 has been one big crock pot of stressful experiences so when I arrived to the temple I was exhausted and I had a hard time relaxing and getting a good night sleep. I started using theta-wave music and experimenting with different kinds of meditation. Until a racoon took our pet duck, I had the responsibility for taking care of the duck both according to take time petting her and feeding her and that was major quality time for me.

A bit into my stay Pierre also started speeding up the healing of my nerve lanes in the body (got damaged after a flue in 2011) with CST and DIY ayurvetic oil massage with an oil blend added frankincense and st. johns wort. I got so surprised because when he practice his cranio sakral therapy og energy work this huge man gets so gentle and kind that I felt safe putting my head in his hand and I don’t trust easy.

In the “few” weeks I was on the temple it made a huge difference f.ex. I’ve no more heat flashes going on, I feel more grounded. Beside that I know a lot now and I can handle a lot on my own before I need help and that is so amazing. Pierre has given me new hope that I can get a really good life.

I can highly recommend Pierre Black as a practitioner.

Since I lived at the temple for 45 days I also got to know Pierre in private and as a person I’ve experienced him as direct but also very kind, caring and ready to help people. While I was at the temple I’d a rock to lean on and that was a huge gift to just being able to let go of the usual life for 45 days and being able to concentrate on getting the foundation for my life started in a good way.

Thank you for all your help.

I have become a squatter :-D

This is one of the best thing that have happened to me in Japan – becoming a squatter and I love it.

When I arrived I saw old people around 80’s squatting and my eyes were close to popping out of my head. The western lifestyle makes us disabled without us knowing it and we are given that lifestyle from we’re babies.

I’ve now become much better at it but in the beginning even though I was rather flexible compared to other European I had my challenges. Guys this is serious for your health so please carry on reading.

Yes I’ve become a squatter both because of the health issue but also because of the comfort in it … and no I haven’t cracked  a vein in my brain ;-D I won’t lie it was hard in the beginning but I’ve gotten used to squatting while staying here in Japan both going on the toilet, taking my bath etc. even sitting with the leg crossed.

Squatting is better for the body and has many benefits like:

  • you stay flexible and if you can’t do it now get started. When I started I had to hold on to the water pipe to keep my balance. I look ridiculous and sometimes I wondered if there were hidden cameras.
  • it’s easier to empty the bladder and the gut while squatting because it give a natural position to do that, instead of cloaking it all and then have to pressure to get it out. This cloaking up  also helps you to get more problems when you get older.
  • your legs doesn’t fall asleep while sitting on the toilet (mine does)
  • your rear end is easier to clean after a #2
  • nobody uses the bathroom for 30 minutes before getting in scape ;-D

I actually miss having access to a squatting toilet now because here in Tokyo everything is so westernized compared to Oita.

Again if you can’t it’s not to late to start squatting 😉 and don’t give me the I’m to old or I’m to stiff – all excuses – just start doing what you can and you’ll get there. When I can do it, you can do it 🙂

Day 1 and 2 in Tokyo

The first day I arrived in the evening so much day it wasn’t but I found the hotel and love it. I found some food and went to bed.

Day two was a wizard day – the only plan I had was to find the tourist office and then take it from there since it was pouring down. I didn’t understand where people were on the street but I found a system of under ground streets and there people were, lots of shops and very efficient. Since I started my day a little late I went for lunch and found a fruit restaurant where I got beef with fruit and rice. It actually tasted amazing.

At the tourist office I got a city map and decided to visit a very famous hot spring / onsen in the area of Obaida. I also learned that I can ride for free in the JR lines because of my Japan Rail Pass.

Going to the Obaida area was a good choice since it wasn’t raining there. The onsen was easy to find but since I’ve two very small tattoos I was asked to leave so that was a bummer but nothing is so bad that it’s not good. The area was amazing and got some good pictures. I got my feet done, got a new umbrella since the old one died suddenly.

Around 16 I took the boat back to the mainland and enjoyed the incredible view from the water front. From there I found the subway and went to a huge temple where there was a ceremony and 10 monks was chanting. It was so uplifting to listen to. After I went to the Tokyo Tower where I reach to get up before the daylight disappeared. Up in the tower mayhem was on because they were producing a TV-show but I found a place to sit and waited for the darkness so I got pictures in the night too.

Since it was a long day and it had started raining again, therefore I headed back to the hotel, but first I needed some more food. It was so happy when I was in my cell again because I had been walking a lot and my legs and bag was hurting and needed the rest 😀

Tokyo is definitely a big city and the mentality of people is different but they are still very helpful when I ask for help.

Day 2-3 – in Hiroshima – What do you focus on?

I love Hiroshima and I’ll return since I’m leaving today and I haven’t seen half of what this area has to offer.

Before I went to Hiroshima I met several people telling me, that the 2 days I chose to stay in Hiroshima was more than enough, because Hiroshima is a sad place to be. Why? – because of the many reminders of bombing back in the second world war. Of course, I saw the peace park and the places under rebuilding, but I get inspired by it since people here are living their lives and rebuilding the city. Even the castle is being rebuild so I see a city that is raising itself from the dust with pride and what could be more inspiring? I haven’t met one Japanese talking about the bombing or treated anybody I’ve seen with disrespect, hate or like. This is something a lot of other nationalities could learn from. I haven’t met anybody taking on the victim role instead I see the mentality of a people standing together.

It’s all about how you choose to see life and things. Do you hang on to the past or do you focus on the present and future? Do you stand together in dark times or do you sit down and chose to become the victim? It’s all about choice. We might not be able to change the circumstances but we’ve the choice of how to react. Yes admitted sometimes it takes a little time and even a friendly kick to turn a situation around to a positive perspective but it can be done and it makes life so much easier.

Today I’m leaving for Tokyo and I’m so excited even though I could have used 3-4 days more here.

The food here is amazing and even with my challenges I’ve been eating well every day.

The hostel K’s house is recommendable for everything – it’s really a good place to stay.

If you’ve a Japan Rail pass you can ride for free in the loop sightseeing buses.

So see you again Hiroshima

Living at a temple

This has been an amazing and life changing experience, which I haven’t been close to another place.

This Zen retreat is one of the few, where foreigners are accepted and allows long-term stay. You also become a part of the place and are expected to participate actively in the temple life.

Our basic daily schedule looked like this:
My alarm went of at 5:00 – yes together with the chickens 😉
5:30 the monk start chanting and this half our is the best time of the day for me.
6:00 Meditation
7:00 Tea time and private time (bath time etc.)
8:00 Yoga
9:00 Work started (all from domestic work, preparing rooms for new arrivals, chopping wood, weeding, collection vegetables from the garden, projects like building shelters that are “typhoon” safe, gathering bamboo from the forest)
11:00 Cooking, lunch and dishes
13:00 Private time – but most of the time we went on excursions, napped, had activities at the temple, did private stuff etc..
17:00 cooking, dinner and dishes
19:00 2 hours of social/private time – and also the time where treatments were done
21:00 Quiet time – most of the time we went to sleep if we wasn’t sleeping already.

2-3 times a week we went to the local onsen (hot spring) at 16:00.
1-3 times a week we went on longer excursions so we skip yoga and start working early and leave early to f.ex. Yufuin, Usuki or Beppu.

Oita was where we go to do our shopping which couldn’t be done in the local area and to get massages when the body is to beaten up. They have amazing shops.

I stayed 45 days and now I miss sleeping on futons, sitting on the floor and having access to squat toilets 😀 funny how fast habits can change or rather how fast my body realized that this was really good for me.

During my stay I learned a lot both about nutrition according to body constitutions, different types of meditation, which types of exercise that suits my body constitution, posture and mental training over to the more basics like chopping bamboo in the forest, caring for a duck, cooking Japanese food, Zen gardening, Wabi sabi (seeing the perfection in the imperfect), healthy lifestyle, Japanese lifestyle and mentality (no wonder they can be tough cookies but also is amazingly helpful and caring), unity in society etc.

All this has made me look at a lot of things in different ways and I’ve already made changes or rather major changes in my life that I are going to stick to. When I get my own place I’ll have futon’s instead of beds if possible, use the practice of sitting on the floor etc. (I saw people in their 90’s squatting with the heals in the ground – guys we so limit our bodies and lives big time by the way we live).

Right now I’m sitting in the common area on the hostel on a chair with cross legged because it strengthen my core, is more healthy and I actually prefer to do this now by reflex 😀

The best part has been seeing the wabi sabi practiced in the home, garden, lifestyle yes a lot of places. Things doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful which a lot of Western people has been taught by society.

At the same time I got 45 days where I could relax and I had people that cared about me and I had a network which was so nurturing for my heart and soul to experience. I’ve got in contact with some amazing people and I’ve got some new friends and a network to take with me and I so appreciate that.

I hope I can return sometime or in time maybe work on a retreat like this.

Day 1 touring Japan

Ok yesterday was one weird day but in the good way and it ended up showing how amazing the Japanese people are.

Yesterday I left the temple I’ve been staying in for 45 days. Next stop Hiroshima where I’m staying for 3 nights.

I was accompanied by Pierre from the temple to Oita and Jiho had a ceremony close to Oita so we only had to take the train for a short while.

In Oita station I was gladly surprises because I had ordered my Japan Rail Pass after I entered Japan and that is not according to procedure but no problem at all. This is an amazing thing because now I can travel around in Japan for the next 14 days as I feel like. Here in Hiroshima I even can use the sightseeing buses for free.

I locked my luggage in a locker and we used a couple of hours in Oita together and ate at one of my favorite places (they have an amazing orange jelly).

Then the fun started 😀 I got on the wrong sonic train – apparently there were two trains going at the same time so I found the conductor and he places me in a seat that wasn’t reserved and all was good until I woke up heard Kokura on the speaker and the time was correct according to my ticket. I jumped up and took my stuff and managed to get out of the train before it left again … on the wrong station (one to early). I went down to the ticket booth and explained that I made a mistake and without anything but a smile I got new tickets to Hiroshima.

Here there were a tourist information and I showed this lovely lady the address on my hostel. She told me to take the sightseeing bus to the Bomb Dome and explained me about the free use of the bus because I’ve my Japan Rail Pass. I was a bit confused by it because I thought I had booked a hostel close to the train station. While driving there it began to rain massively. Wrong place 😀
Ok what to do so I took a cap and it wasn’t much fortunately.

The hostel (K’s house) is amazing and mainly European and American guest so it’s social too. The standard is high but it’s so weird to sleep in a normal bed again. I miss my futon and tatamis 🙂

The evening went with getting settled and find some food and making origami with 3 other guests. That was so lovely because I’d prepared myself on being “alone” the next 14 days because I’m traveling alone and the hostel I stayed at in Osaka had guest that didn’t socialize.

I went to bed at 10 pm when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any more.

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