Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Path of Philosophy

Since morning, I have been cracking my head, thinking how I should write this posting. According to Merriam-Webster, philosophy is a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means. Its meaning requires further elaboration if you are able, but the subject of philosophy is just too vast for me to handle. Meanwhile, the Path of Philosophy (or Tetsugaku-no-Michi) is a 2 km traffic-free public path beside a canal, once frequented by monks, priests and scholars, as a perfect place for long walks spent in quiet reflection. Nishida Kitaro, a significant and influential Japanese philosopher of the 20th century, used to walk this path to meditate - thereafter the path is called the Path of Philosophy. Lined with cherry trees, be prepared for large crowds of tourists during early spring.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Well, the Golden Week holidays came and went so fast, but I was still in a total holiday mood. I left the lab earlier than usual on a saturday and decided to take a walk down the path. Slightly before dusk, a maiko - a geisha in training was seen strolling down the Path of Philosophy. Behind the closed doors of exclusive teahouses and restaurants, these women of exquisite grace entertain gentlemen - they pour drinks, light cigarettes and engage in charming banter. Please be reminded that geisha are not prostitutes.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
The path does not only lead through a quiet neighbourhood but also allows visits to several important temples along the way.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
The western word 'rickshaw' is derived from the Japanese term jinrikisha, a mode of human-powered transport, where a macho-man draws a two-wheeled cart which seats one or two passengers. Many tourists explore parts of the city in jinrikisha.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
I was hoping to see a variety of beautiful flowers blooming but it seemed that I have missed them. Here is one nice flower picture dedicating to my net friends - ai ling, kuishinbomeow, primrose, angel, arglene, emotionalistic, charlene and nanmetta (sorry, girls only).
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
There are both japanese-style (top) and western-style (bottom) tea houses, where you can sip tea and quietly converse while admiring the surrounding beauty.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Walking alone sometimes makes us feel awfully alone, especially when you see romantic couples walking around holding hands. But sometimes it is good to be alone in contemplation - not all the time. Oh God, I sound so sad !
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Koinobori - the colourful fish pennants which wave over countless home in Japan in late April and early May, in honour of the household's sons. People express hope that each boy in the family will grow up healthy and strong by flying koinobori. Kodomo no hi (Children's Day) is generally said to be a 'boy's day'. Meanwhile, the girls have their own festival called the Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival).

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Haha, thanks for the dedication. Btw, I suspect that she is not a maiko at all but a girl who dressed up as one and go strolling along Philosophy Path. I always see one or two nearly everytime I was there. I think they are there for the tourists.
Ai Ling

emotionalistic said...

Thanks for your dedication. I already right click and save that nice flower picture. Haha...so lucky, first time visit your blog, i get a flower dedication already.....so what's next??

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Patrick

May i request to link your blog to mine? Appreciated it..Thank you.:)

charlene.

Anonymous said...

thanks for letting me know the derivation of the Path's name.

arGlene said...

The flower is lovely...thanks for such a warm gesture! :-)

By the way, what is its name?

fish fish said...

Kekeke... hana arigatou~ so romantic ar~ but only 3 wor~ how to share among all the gals? :P j/k

Patrick Leong said...

ai ling : probably you are right but she didn't allow me to take pictures. i nearly followed her home.

emotionalistic : whats next ? nice pictures lor.

charlene : thanks and i link yours to mine as well.

arglene : aiks. flower's name ? i am not sure. i think some sort of lilies ? i dont know. anyone knows ?

fish fish : ya wor. 3 flowers only hor - share share ?

Anonymous said...

Good evening Patrick

Hehehe..thanks again for the link..u know what, i need a bit of time to enjoy all e pictures..it's just so awesome beautiful..hehe, glad to know you and thanks to blogger! Be back here for comment..nite..

charlene out.

MooPig said...

Kyoto, one of the most beautiful cities in Japan, imho. I went to Shimitsu Temple twice,in winter. The scenary never failed to amaze me.

I like the temples in Nara.

Kobe is my favourite place because it was where I was during my days as a youth exchangee. it was where I met my host families and I like it there! Sannomiya, shopping, Habour Land- beautiful night scenary. :)

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Patrick

Going to Brain Exhibition..nice exposure!..I am still travelling your photoblog from January onwards, slowly2 enjoy and see from different aspect though..Nice read, i am so enjoy. Lovely weekend to you too. :)

charlene.

Lrong said...

Good shot of the maiko. I too, think she is a 'sakura', planted in those strategic tourist spots to enhance the flavor. Was at Kiyomizu. There was like, four of them there. I said, hey, how come they have so much time to hang around these places ah... Anyway, the matsalleh tourists almost went wild with their 'accidental discovery' of the maikos...

Patrick Leong said...

charlene : thanks for all nice comments. more postings on the way.

eileen : hi. thanks for visiting my blog. kyoto and nara - nice place to stay. i have been here more than 3 years. will check your blog too. have a good weekend.

lrong : i almost went wild too. i was after her like for a good 10 minutes.