As I reach for the anti-ageing night cream, a smile comes to my face as I reflect on my earlier conversation. Tonight, just over 3 months since I travelled to Japan, I am reunited with 2 dear friends who have arrived in Scotland from Tokyo for a holiday. We are in ‘The Bothy’ a traditional Scottish restaurant in Glasgow’s West End and we’re talking about my time in Japan.
I reflect on the amazing sites I visited including the beautiful Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion) in Kyoto. I hear how this temple is quite unique. Many temples in Japan which were once golden or brightly decorated are now old and brown in colour. Unlike other countries in Asia, like China and Thailand, Japan does not restore temples back to their former glory but instead the age and different stages of the temple are respected. Could this valuing of age be a clue to how communities in Japan respect their older people? Surely valuing every stage of life is something we should all strive towards?