Slow-mo fountain at Nanzen-ji temple in Kyoto, Japan

With the recent announcement of projected border easing measures including visa-free travel, discussions about where to go when next in Japan lead to thoughts about our last trip to Kyoto.

We had wandered into the Nanzen-ji temple, where every facet revealed carefully arranged elements made powerful through the weathering of time and veneration.

Motion sends incense smoke curling up into the inner sanctum, as the quiet chamber amplifies the sound of one's own heartbeat, till it thrums deeply like a Star Trek warp core on impulse.

The sight of so many items to photograph, created a tidal wave of elation and frustration to the point I had forgotten a bag of gifts purchased earlier that day as I exited, stage right. By the time I realized the bag had been lost, we were in a taxi headed to Nishiki Market as the sun dipped towards the horizon, too late to double back and retrieve the bag.

After figuring out where the bag was, then a quick consultation with our hotel host who contacted the temple and arranged for us to pickup the parcel the next day, the questions went from "What if someone steals it?" and "Do you think it's still there?" to embarrassed declarations of "what kind of piece of trash would steal from a Zen Buddhist temple?" and "I guess it really is that different in Japan." If you're ever in Kyoto, I highly suggest giving Nanzen-ji temple a visit, but you don't have to take my word for it:

Photos: Andrew Yi (all rights reserved)