When I first got here to Japan I was really excited to take the bullet train. The trains move as fast as a speeding bullet, so fast that superman would have trouble keeping up with it. In terms of comfort and service compared to an airplane, it wins in comfort because there was much more leg room and better cushions, but it looses in service because the trolley guy does not speak English. Uncle Tom said that the bullet trains are never late but ours was 15 minuets late and it might not sound like much, but when a train goes that fast, it should have no reason to run late. What did it do, forget to set the alarm clock?
As an American, the thing that astounded me was that the temples were shrouded in nature. They all had a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. The temples all had something that made them special, the
Kinkakuji (Golden temple) was, well gold. The Kongobuji temple had the largest stone garden in all of Japan. The Kiyomizu temple was very big, had many large buildings, a place to drink holy water, and a (insert a Berry White voice over here) Love stone (end of voice). While they all had their own main attractions, the all had one major thing in common, a money box. They have them everywhere at the temples. They use them as ways to trick you into giving money as tribute to the gods of as a spiritual blessing.
Shrines are the little buildings inside temples where you pray your face off. They usually have a statue that people put food under, at one of them I saw an watermelon! Do you know how expensive they
are in Japan? About 100 dollars! I'm not a spiritual kind of guy, but I can understand the religious importance of these temples.
One good thing about when I went to the temples is that I went in the middle of the week so we bypassed the BIG crowds, but even so, the place was still crowded. There where people from all different countries like France, Germany, China, and the good ol' United States. While the languages were different, the thoughts were the same, "This place is beautiful!".