Moon Scooping

November 9, 2008

I’m up to my eyeballs in swollen sinuses (sinuni?) drippy noses and general rubbishness at the moment. After follow up training which was fricking awesome (Hi guys!) I’m pretty much dead…Last night I slept for 14 hours without waking up and today I feel disorientated but rested at least. I’m off to Sogo soon to go in search of tree tea oil… Anyone know where I can get hold of some in Japan?

Follow up training was a pleasant haze of model lessons, card games and nostalgic hugs thanks to the soft cottony pillow my Japanese cold medicine seemed to provide. lol. Even having to take onsen with the company shibuchos was a pleasant haze despite all the ‘gomen nasai’ – ing and nude bowing it entailed. lol.

Last weekend my friend Stacey and I went down to Shikoku, one of the four large Islands of Japan…And first I just have to talk about The Seto-Ohashi Bridge. Its fricking huge. It was a little unnerving to say the least, to be suspended above the choppy waters of the inland sea for the 20 minutes it took to get over. Biggest bridge Ive ever been on is Forth…but oh no…this does not compare. Jealous Jim?

We were terribley lucky to bump into two of the most wonderful people I have ever met. These two elderly Japanese people who spoke the most perfect English guided us around the gardens, showing us a thousand things we wouldnt have seen otherwise and taking us to a tea service. The old guy also happened to have a wicked sense of humour and a filthy laugh. The jokes he was making about Japanese teenagers, post war Japanese birthrates (‘Well, there was no electricity….I know what I’d be doing in all that dark. hahahahahahahaha’) left me speechless and almost weeing myself with laughter. In the above photo, you can actually see them at the bottom of the stairs waiting for their crazy gaijin charges to hurry up. I love his hat and briefcase combo.

These photos are from the Moon Scooping Pavillion in Ritsurin Park, Takamatsu City on Shikoku. The teahouses are all alligned to match the Big Dipper Constellation around the autumn equinox. The premise is, that during the day one can watch the changing leaves and drink tea and at night, the moon will be perfectly reflected in the pool that surrounds the main tea house. It’s a phrase borrowed from a Tang Dynasty poem I have yet to find. All the guidebooks speak about its timeless grace and beauty but all I can honestly rememeber is giggling with this old couple as we drank out Sen cha.

Maybe because we were with Japanese guides maybe because it was the more remote Shikoku – about a million small children came up to me over the course of the day to ask my name or just to talk about the Koi carp. This wee boy was super cute – gave me some of his bread stick to feed the fish with and babbled on at me in Japanese.


  1. did you have udon??

    was great to see you last weekend. hope you feel better soon!

  2. Udon to clear the cold or just udon in general..lol..
    I actually ate some delicious Udon at the gardens.
    It was equally awesome seeing you last weekend. I need to come to Kobe sooon.

  3. that old man looks like Jim.. hahahaha!!! With Mark’s hat on.

    Jim’s willy probably blew up when you mentioned the bridge..

    Big Love! xo

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