My impressions on Kyoto

18/February/2023 in Tokyo

I had never expected that 2-week-stay in Kyoto brought me such vivid impressions

Will write about 2 things; Rivers & Names

"River is a community where people gather & where culture is born/evolved"

This is just a common knowledge & sense that people in Europe know, or are completely unconscious of because it's just too obvious

Kyoto made me remember this simple, too obvious notion

Tokyo has several rivers, but the point is whether or not the river is part of people's everyday life Rivers in Tokyo are completely separated from daily life

Kyoto's 3 rivers were unforgettable;

Kamo River for its closeness, friendliness & surprising water clearness

Katsura River for its naturalness & shining wildness

Uji River for its motherly nature for cultural prosperity

Besides the river, water itself is very abundant in Kyoto

Kyoto has many shrines where local people come to get natural groundwater

Never saw people doing this in Tokyo

Kyoto people must know water is a part of our life....., actually a fundamental element of our existence

As a Tokyo person, I have contact with water only when turning on a water tap

Never go out to get a water, or even never appreciate it

Kyoto is surrounded by mountains

No direct contact with the sea or lakes

But still Kyoto is such a water-rich city and looks certain that this water fertility is the prime reason for richness of Kyoto's cultures & history

Around Kyoto-Osaka-Nara regions used to be the Japan's capital cities for centuries

Many old traditional Japanese words remain as town/city/district names

They sound very beautiful & highly attractive to my ears, such as

Rokuhara Mitsuji/六波羅蜜寺

It's just a name, but it brings a strong sense of depth & profoundness behind, in other words, romantical & historical sentiment

And it reminds me of this another obvious fact that I'm tightly tied with this country's history & traditions

Most probably this sense is something only native Japanese persons can get

But I'm certain anyone of any country can have the same sentiment regarding names/words of their own country & feel the deep connection with it

And probably this is the significance & precious-ness of one's own essential part of oneself