After crossing paths with the kindly stranger and the kittens along my walk, I found myself at a smaller temple. Nestled upon a small hill shrouded in forest, this temple was particularly mysterious with the absence of tourists (who were amply abundant at most other sites throughout the city) and, unfortunately, my less than stupendous grasp on kanji. Smoke billowed lazily from a small smoldering fire near the front, and while an uninterested man tended to the grounds it was quite quiet. I explored the area a bit and found my way to the top of the hill, which offered a wonderful view of the city. A change of perspective is rarely a bad thing, really.
As the sun began to dip lower in the sky, I started making my way back towards the more occupied areas. I walked through many residential streets and enjoyed the small glimpses into daily, normal life for the people here. One of the best parts of traveling is the exposure to other ways of going about the same basic things all civilized humans must tend to, be it architecture or chores. Strolling along on foot provides ample opportunities to notice small details and surprises during your journey. That, perhaps, is why I try to walk as much as I can when I travel. Driving, taxis and trains are all fabulous means of getting to a location, but once you're there try to enjoy it and live in the moment. The smokey charr of the fire as it crackles, the rustling of the wind through the leaves and grasses of the forest, quiet chatter of school children...these provide the tapestry with which we can weave memories.