Friday, July 2, 2010

A Japanese temple and more

In the morning I woke up at 9:00 am. Then I went to the kitchen where one of our hosts named Tokoshima told us that today Michael and I would go visit the Fukuoka, Japan temple. We got their by car. While driving, our hosts told us some facts about the temple. The temple was not very old, it was made on May 7, 1998. At its time it was the second temple built in Fukuoka.

Today the temple was open for public tours for free. From the outside I could see a golden statue on the top of the tallest tower. When you stared at it, it gave a bright yellow gleam of the sun. The hosts told me that that statue was made out of real gold! There we were able to see the celestial room, two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms and baptistery, and were able to learn more about Mormon beliefs. Inside they have regular services of, teachings, meditation, and chanting. First we had teaching and then we went and sat outside to do some meditation. Michael and I did it for about 20 minutes. After the peaceful and silent meditation we went inside, but we did not know how to speak Japanese so we just stood there silently. After that we went outside to the car and left the temple in silence.
This is the Fukuoka Japan temple.

 After the visit to the Fukuoka Japan temple we went to see some old houses. First we went to a large house, once owned by an emperor in 1710.When we first entered we had to take our shoes off in the genkan. The genkan includes a small area, at the same level as the outside, where people arriving remove their shoes. As they take off their shoes, people step up onto a raised floor. After the tour guide telling us what a genkan was we moved on to the next room. We went inside the actual home and the walls were painted in a soft beige color. You could still smell the wood. Then we went through a long hallway with beautiful Japanese paintings.

Then we arrived at the dining room. There was a long table with about 16 tatami mats on the floor. The wooden table had been buffed and polished. In the right hand corner I saw the tokonoma. It was a big space in the wall and was in a shape of a rectangle. Inside of it were an impressive flower arrangement and a scroll. The tour guide said that if you opened the whole scroll it would be 1.5 m long. After that the tour guide took us to the tatami room. It was not a very big room. There was probably enough space for 8 people. Then we saw the kitchen, which was huge. The kitchen had all these big stir fry pans, different types of knives, wooden containers to keep the fish in, and some rice cookers. That was all we saw there, then we went to a modern house.

When we entered the house, we were amazed. Everything was really big. The modern Japanese kitchen features appliances such as stove, a narrow fish grill, and an electric fridge. The stove top may be built-in or may be a self-contained unit on a counter-top, and it is usually gas-burning. Common units of all types of stoves include two or three burners. Broilers designed for cooking fish are usually part of the stove and are located below. Then we saw the rest of the house.

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