Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Choa - BYJ in Kyoto 1

Hi hi sisters ....... how are you? Hope everyone is well. Our dear cloudnine always keeps us overseas sisters in her mind. From time to time, she would bring us some interesting tidbits on Yong Joon so we won't have to miss him too much. Remember our prince took the chance to tour beautiful historic Kyoto after his acceptance of the DATV Dream High award last month? Hehe, diligent reporters and fans are able to trace his footsteps in Kyoto .....   

‘Choa’ magazine: BYJ in Kyoto part 1: Departure and Sagano

Till Departure

“I wish to go to Kyoto someday”, said BYJ when we interviewed him in a Seoul hotel in the autumn of 2009. He mentioned so in passing when he was talking about his book ‘Travel in search of Beauty of Korea’ in which he introduced Korean traditional cultures. To write the book he travelled around Korea and even to Morioka city (in Japan) and he came to deeply understand the traditional cultures of Korean Peninsula and Japan and their cultural exchanges from old days.

In his book he refers to the Pensive Bodhisattva, one of Koryuji in Kyoto and the another one in National Museum of Korea. Both are designated as a National Treasure. By his nature he is attracted by the traditional cultures or the authentic that could survive for a long time.

Through his drama ‘The Legend’ and the experience of writing the book it seems that his interest in the history has grown greater. In the book he writes ‘I think the history is a storehouse of treasures.’ So I guess it was only natural that he was more and more interested in Kyoto. He had a chance, officially or non –officially, to come to Japan before or after 2009, but his wish didn’t come true due to the his scheduling problems. It has been two full years since he mentioned his wish and at last he was able to turn his steps to Kyoto.

October 6 = Departure

This time he arrived in Japan at night of October 4th. Next day he attended the award ceremony in Tokyo because the drama ‘Dream High’, the first drama he joined as a special producer, won the Sky Perfect Award grand prize. Then the next evening of 6th, He took a bullet train at Shin-Yokohama station and headed to the ancient city.

As he arrived late at night, he only strolled around Pont-cho (cloud nine: one of five geisha districts of Kyoto). Pont-cho is a street stretching about 500 meters from Sanjyo avenue to Shijo avenue, between Kamo river and Takase river. It’s a restaurant area with about three hundred years history. He stepped into an alley, which is so narrow, just enough for two adults to pass each other. Watching a classic geisha- teahouse style building bathed in a dim light, his eyes were shining like a child. He told his staff to move into a lane away from the traffic and to walk in single file. He never failed to show his thoughtfulness. He went into a restaurant facing Kamo river and enjoyed ramen.

October 7th =Sagano

First he headed to Ohkochi Sanso (cloud nine: the former villa of actor Ohkochi Denjiro), which is situated in the southeast of Mt. Ogura. Getting out of the car he rode in a rickshaw and started to stroll. The 300- meters- long ‘bamboo trail’ from the villa to Nonomiya Shrine is well known as an especially beautiful bamboo grove in Arashiyama and Sagano area. The trail at first slopes down gently and straight, then snakes its way and descends down a steep slope. ‘I prefer a winding road to a straight through one. Because the former reminds me of “desire” and the latter “contemplation” ‘ This is what he wrote in his book ‘Beauty of Korea’. I’m sure he was satisfied with this road too.

Along the way he got off the rickshaw and started to walk. Tenryuji Temple (north gate) at right and Nonomiya Shrine at left. Both sides of the bamboo trail are lined with brushwood fences, which are about 1.5 to 1.7 meters high. Being 180 centimeters tall the fences didn’t obstruct his view so he must have seen all the way down the trail. He might be reminded of the bamboo forest in Guanwondo he saw when he was visiting mountain temples for the book of ‘Beauty of Korea’.

Turning left at the end of the bamboo trail stands Nonomiya Shrine, which is famous for the scene of Hikaru Genji’s visit in ‘Sakaki’, the tenth book of ‘The Tale of Genji’. Incidentally the book sets September 7th of the lunar calendar 1000 years ago as the date of Hikaru Genji’s visit to this place. On the solar calendar it falls on October 3rd, so BYJ happened to visit there at the same season as Hikaru Genji.

Going a little farther there’s JR Sanin Line (Sagano Line) running ahead. Crossing the railroad, to the left there’s a straight stretch of the railway with Mt. Ogura behind and a tunnel is seen with its mouth open. The scene surely excites the emotions of a traveler. Needless to say BYJ, whose hobby is camera, was taking pictures enthusiastically. Sagano stroll ended there beyond the crossing and it was about an hour walkabout.

Written by Yujin Kubo (Nikkan Sport)
Thanks cloudnine for sharing!