Tuesday, January 02, 2007


In keeping with our new diet we've been trying to get healthy fresh produce. Now, you wouldn't normally think this would be a problem when there's a city vegetable farm every three blocks or so, but apparently every grocery store in 京都 (Kyoto) is closed from Jan.1 to Jan. 3. So we've had to really on 7/11 cup-o-noodle miso soups. Sad. Since everything's closed we decided to go to the one place that would surely be open, やさかーじんじゃ (yaska-jinja) shrine. Everyone goes here for はつーもうど (hatsu-mode), the first shrine visit of the year. You're supposed to buy a little piece of paper with your horoscope on it and tie it to a tree to bring good luck. Or at least that's what I gathered from what we saw happening. You could also buy a wooden plaque and write things on it, resolutions or wishes lets say, and hang that up too. It's very strange being in a crowded place where everyone has an extreme sense of purpose for being there, but you are really unsure about what that reason is, and can't communicate to find out either.


Anonymous said...

Love the pictures, the bird is beautiful. have you connected with a university - here's a site that may be helpful www.homepage2.nifty.com/oshgg. This is an organization, Goodwill Guides, some are university students who want to practice their English and volunteer as guides. I don't know where this is, it was in a new magazine I got - Transitions Abroad. You are both doing so well with all of this - keep up the good spirit. mom

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison and Matthew;

I just read your entire blog! Silly me for not doing so before! Seems like yesterday that Alison and I were having a beer in Providence and she non-chalantly told me she'd be travelling for several months.

I just wanted to say that it's truly inspiring to see and read about what you are doing, and a wonderful feeling to be able to feel close to people who are thousands of miles away.

All the best, and I'll jeep reading! :) Allison Coley

Anonymous said...

er, I'll keep reading. No jeeps here. :)

Anonymous said...

that would be weird...must be how my dogs feel about people :)

Anonymous said...

love ember.