lundi 10 mars 2014

The tea house in Nara.

April will be there soon again, it's just around the corner, I can smell it and the bright weather we had these past few days only accentuates the signs of its arrival. And just like last year, I cannot help but remember my trip to Japan, and everyday something reminds me of times, events or places I didn't even recall a few weeks ago. Brain and memory are curious things.
April is probably my favourite month. It's not too hot, but warm enough to sleep with open windows and spend hours sitting in the grass reading a book without a scarf, flowers are in bloom, the schoolyear is almost over and wait for it, I have a two-week holidays.
This month is also full of memories, beautiful and happy ones, and I am so excited that this year Budapest will be added to the list.

Two years ago, I finally went to Japan. During this trip I visited a bunch of cities, met many people, ate a LOT of good foods, drank various types of liquids, sailed, flew, took the train and little buses, car, taxi, I got sick and lost, had the prettiest mornings and spent some of the best nights of my life.

Among them, my favourite was probably the one I got to spend in Nara, in a very traditional and beautiful former tea house. When we arrived it was raining, and so was it when we left. The sky was grey, and Nara is a dark and wet city in my mind, however the time we spent, though short (too short) was so peaceful and すてき that I have only one regret : not spending longer in this ancient capital.

Our room was the biggest of the house, the man working there told us. "It's a very special room, for the tea ceremonies used to be held here" he added with a smile. Despite everything being simple, wood, tatamis, two bowls and thin paper doors(shoji) the place was impressive. In France, impressive always involves some huge statues, gold chandeliers and high ceilings. Here, the smell of wood, the silence and the shadows of the trees dancing with the wind left me speechless. "Is it okay for you?" I nodded enthusiastically : "It's perfect, it's ... beautiful". I couldn't think of any other words. I took off my backpack and sat on the floor. This was so different from everything I had ever seen before, in fact, I had never been in a place like that. I could feel my heartbeat slowing down, my breathing becoming deeper and my lips drew a smile as I just sat, staring at the plain walls. The whole house was as pure and simple as the room, yet it felt like the house of a queen or rather, the house itself, felt like a very majestic and important entity, full of peace and serenity. 
I'm not a really noisy person, I'm pretty calm and quiet usually, but in this silent house it felt like even my breathing was loud. The house had its own rythm and flow, and it invited you to follow.
I felt immensely grateful, in that very moment, and even more at night, laying down on the white futon, in the softest silence and the proximity with the nature, just there, a few millimeters of paper only between us. I wanted to sleep, I was exhausted but sleep seemed like a waste of time, a waste of precious moments that I knew, I could never find anywhere else. Eventually the traveller's fatigue won the battle and I fell asleep, my head on the soft futon.

Is there a night (or two!) that still looks like a dream to you? or a night that you cannot remember? let me know! :)

7 commentaires:

  1. Wow! I just found your blog. I love it! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. I like reading your thoughts. Very interesting. :)

    1. Bonjour, je suis française et j'ai 16 ans. Je suis très intéressée par le Japon et j'aimerais savoir comment tu as fait pour apprendre le japonais. L'as tu fait à travers des études de langues, internet ou autre? Je suis capable de comprendre quelque peu le japonais (j'ai compris ce que tu as dit dans ta vidéo 'polyglote') et j'aimerais vraiment apprendre cette langue seulement je ne sais pas comment m'y prendre..

  2. Hi Emy, May I ask will you come to Budapest this year? I have seen a picture about you when you were in Városliget ( a picture in Instagram where you stood in a small bridge, in front of the Castle) So, do you plan to come to Budapest this year or just I misunderstood something? I live in Budapest, and good to hear, when somebody want to come here to visit Budapest:) Regards, D
    P.S. By the way Japan is so cool!:)

    1. I am! Do you have facebook or something where we could talk maybe? :)

    2. Sure, you can find me easily, because I think I'm the only Dániel Margitai :) Add me for your friends:)

  3. My entire summer in Spain feels like a dream sometimes, so distant from the every day life I live now. Reading your post reminds me of my trip to Philadelphia a few months ago. We went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and one of the exhibits was an antique Japanese ceremonial tea house, completely reconstructed! It was one of the highlights of the visit.