Xi’an was once the ancient capital of China – and you can certainly feel it. No one stares at me – or even bothers with a double take. You can see layers and layers of history everywhere you turn. The city’s many historical monuments, ancient ruins and tombs give you the sense that many important events occurred here. After all, Xi’an was an ancient imperial capital and eastern departure point of the Silk Road.
Shanghai feels more ‘Western’ than any other ‘Western’ city I’ve been to. Seriously. Nearly everyone wears dark colours. Err… whatever happened to Chinese people love red and gold? Hmm… People here are fashion and status conscious. Even the foreigners fit in like locals. No one stares and no one gives exaggerated comments when you speak Mandarin. They’ve got better things to do… THANK GOD.
We were born into the physical world of matter for a reason. I don’t believe the spiritual plane is superior to the physical plane or vice versa. Instead, I believe they are deeply intertwined and interconnected. One cannot exist without the other.
Despite the number of shrines and temples that are EVERYWHERE and I do mean EVERYWHERE – I wouldn’t describe the Japanese as a religious or spiritual people. Shinto and Buddhism are the two major religions here. Shinto is based on the old Japanese culture, whilst Buddhism came to Japan via China. Apart from a few rituals and customs, I don’t believe religion plays a big part in Japanese life.