Went to Kyoto with the English Club this weekend. We stayed at a place in Shijo.
Two or three times every year, the club gets together and does an English retreat somewhere. We have gone to Toba, Yunoyama and some other places. This year was Kyoto. I was up at 4:30 on Friday morning, and on the 6:09 train, heading for town. We all met in Kuwana, and headed to Kyoto on the JR line. That day we split into four groups, each with a different itinerary. My group went to Nanzenji, Chionin, and Kiyomizudera. I had never been to Nanzenji before, so that was a nice experience. I had been to Chionin and Kiyomizudera before several times, but I don’t think I had been to Chionin since I went there with my brother nearly fifteen years ago. Good memories there.
Later that day we headed for the hotel, dropped off our bags and went to dinner. We ate at a nice Japanese style pub, and returned to the hotel for baths and bed. Not all of us went to be, however. Several of our members stayed up all night playing cards for canned drinks. (No alcohol of course.)
On Saturday we went to Higashi Honganji and then back to Shijo for lunch. I headed back home after that. We had a pleasant meal with some English Club alumni and were going to visit two more places, but that would put me back home very late, and I had work to do on Sunday.
All in all is was a great trip with some great people. I enjoyed it more than any other retreat we have done. I think, however, that if I go back to Kyoto again, it will not be to just walk and look. Been there, done that many times. I think it would be time to get into one temple or another for a good initiation into that particular brand of Buddhism. My not work that simply, but it would be worth a shot.