I had the most wonderful day by myself! I spent it with one of the everlasting loves of my life: art. Even a disaster of a morning did not stop me from enjoying the rest of my day. My debit card was declined several times because my company did not “receive” my message. Then, the place I was heading to exchange my money–Tokai–was closed, and my entire itinerary was at risk. I was panicking on Kawaramachi-dori because I had neither the money nor the WiFi to figure out my life — and then, a miracle came. As I turned maneuvered through the streets and eventually entered Nishiki Market, I saw a cash exchange machine and almost cried. What a miracle, I tell you.
After being blessed by the gods, I proceeded to the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto to check out the Van Gogh and Japan exhibition. T0 put it simply, I was not disappointed. There was an incredible number of loans from the Van Gogh and Krollen-Muller museums, and seeing how heavily influenced the artist was by Japanese artistic sensibilities was quite fascinating. I then had lunch (delicious curry!) with Taylor, a junior from Hamilton, near the Kyoto National Museum. She was very nice — we discussed the problems of college culture and the factors that underlie them. Afterwards, I headed to the temple with 1000 Buddhas and was quite overwhelmed — the almost rote repetition of Zen practice was manifest visually and artistically before my eyes, with arms and heads repeated seemingly without end. I then visited the Kyoto National Museum and was blown away by the new building completed in 2014. It was the modern-day temple that I had been looking throughout my stay — instead of wood, there was concrete; instead of bamboo screens, there were semi-translucent windows. My mouth was agape the entire time I was there — and don’t even get me started about the art. Wowza! The art history major in me could not stop squealing for joy.
I then headed back to the hostel because I was so exhausted — I felt bad when I took a nap on a museum bench. Leah and I then went on a nice walk around the neighborhood, and then the entire group went on a longer walk to find a suitable place for dinner… we ended up having gyoza, which was delicious, and then snacking at the local konbini. What a wonderful last day spent with good art, company, and food — what more could I ask for? I know: for my debit card to work, so I could’ve bought more things. Alas, c’est la vie.