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Quick note

I don't have much time to write tonight: I've been spending my time catching up on correspondence and studying Japanese. But suffice it to say all is well: my work couldn't be more interesting, the week has been chock-full of social engagements, and I'm getting to the gym at least twice a week, which doesn't seem bad.

This weekend I'm going to Kyoto. Several years ago, when I lived in Osaka, I used to travel to Kyoto every few weeks and wander about. It's a place where my heart feels oddly at rest. But I fear this weekend will be a lightning trip to try to revisit all the places I loved before. Among these are:
Kiyomizudera: Probably the most famous temple in Kyoto, it's also the source of a famous expression. The platform at Kiyomizudera drops several hundred feet, which leads to the old saying, "To tumble from the platform at Kiyomizu." It's sort of the equivalent of 'crossing the Rubicon.'
Arashiyama: On the outskirts of Kyoto, this small collection of temples and tourist areas doesn't get the traffic that the rest of Kyoto does, which makes it particularly beautiful. I'm hoping I can get out there on Sunday morning, quite early, when the sun is barely showing over the mountains.
The Unknown Teashop: But mostly, I want to return to this little teashop that sits between Kiyomizudera and Gion, a real hole in the wall that you might not find if you weren't looking for it. It's got a beautiful back garden with a carp pond so full that it might be better described as a pile of fish with a little water sprinkled over the top. Tokyo commuters who have been very bad in this life are, I think, liable to be reincarnated in that pond.

On Saturday, when the heat is at its highest and I'm sipping a cold drink and looking out over that garden... I hope to be a very happy man.


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Tony, you don't know me and our politics are opposed, but I just wanted to drop you a comment to tell you how much I enjoy your blog and your writing talent. Also, I had the great fortune to live in Japan for about 15 months when I was in my late teens. Years later, I was able to send my daughter on a student exchange program for a month while she was in high school. I envy your time there. I know you're enjoying it. Continue working to learn Japanese -- it's great! Keep at it -- blogging and living life fully! :)

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