TRAVEL: Chokokuji Temple in Winter @ Nishi Azabu, Tokyo

I often wondered months after my trips why I did not keep a journal of thoughts to go with the experience I had each day.

But I guess the interesting part, is the aftermath of thoughts that goes with the photos taken in that moment.

For this particular temple, it meant something to me. Because it was the same place, different season.

The one pace aside from work where I can observe the changes in time comparably, without interruption.

Like calling on an old friend. Seeking comfort.

A place I go to for solitude, to enjoy eating in peace and to very quietly observe the changes in time. Literally, during the lunch hour. None of the mad rush and queue and chatter.

Same but different.

Do you have a queasy feeling when you revisit places of familiarity? Even more so when you are in a different country.
In this case it was with the differing seasons and moods. And each time, a new insight. Even with the people there.

An old monk who have seemingly noticed me the few times I was there. I laugh at the funny scenario of a foreign female trying to each her lunches in front of the pond or interior sometimes wondering if I was doing something wrong. In fact we have glimpsed each other before. I remember. A moment.

A conversation for 20mins even though I was running a little late to be back at the office, yet still inside the temple. One afternoon. Communication was at its best, when there is a language barrier. Trying to teach me about Japanese manners, the language and simple questions.
I learnt a few new words (I forgotten them now!) and at one point little old grand mama with her sniffling nose spoke a word or two in English! We laughed. Aah~ My heart melted.

The third time I was back to say goodbye. Grandmama wasn’t there. The old monk saw me outside the temple and said with a smile: “Aren’t you going to come in for abit?” How can I reject? Shyly I came went in and sat in front of the giant buddha reflecting.Funny how it is, when you come back over and over again.

You discover new things about yourself, people and the changing landscape. And yet.. Some things will never ever change.


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