Cultural Tour with Ash, saw Muslim worship

Cultural Tour with Ash, saw Muslim worship

Today I woke up at 7 am! I didn’t want to sleep much at this moment. I think perhaps my alarm went off when I had a nice rhythm of sleep and sleep was shallow. It’s rare for me to wake up at 7:00 a.m. It feels like it’s been two months since I’ve woken up.

Today, Ashlynn and I will be touring temples and going to a mosque, so we want to get there before it gets too hot. So we decided to get up at 7:00 AM and meet at 8:00 AM in pasar seni station. I took a shower, bought an energy drink at the convenience store downstairs, and walked to the station.



On the way to the station, buy a donut from a food stall



Arrive at the meeting station Pasar seni and wait for Ashlynn

Today, Ashlynn was running a little late, so I danced for about 30 minutes listening to music in my earphones. Even though it was very early in the morning, many people were going to work. I felt that mornings in Malaysia are very lively.

I was dancing at a bridge like a pedestrian bridge, listening to music. I enjoy that time and find it very refreshing. I feel that I cannot live without music.



Heading to a temple in India! Take the train to the last station and take a cab

We decided to go to a temple in India! I was very sleepy on the train and fell asleep. I was not used to getting up at 7:00 in the morning. Ashlynn woke me up when we reached the last stop. So we walked out of the station and caught a cab to an Indian temple. It is a very popular tourist spot in Malaysia and the temple is located in an area where Indian people live.



Arriving at an Indian temple! Towering Giant Buddha and colorful staircase

We arrived at an Indian temple! There was a great big big Buddha-like Indian God and a lot of amazing steep colorful stairs to go up to the top of the mountain. I felt it was so beautiful. At the same time, I could understand the rumor of “India” as a mysterious, interesting, and unknown country. I really feel that India is an interesting country. I would like to visit India and feel it directly. It was also a moment when I thought so.



An Indian temple with colorful staircases and a large Buddha towering above



With Ashlynn!


We decided to take pictures at the entrance and then climb up together.

By the way, the cab driver told us that apparently there are a lot of monkeys in this temple and that we had to hold on to the contents of our bags tightly because they could be targeted. When we actually went there, we found many monkeys. But I really enjoyed myself because it is not often that I get a chance to see them so closely. It was like going to the zoo.



Quickly climb the stairs!


When we were climbing the stairs, it was a little hot, but not that hot, so we didn’t get tired; Ashlynn seemed very tired. So we decided to climb slowly. I think it is very important to think about India and this temple when you are climbing. But I couldn’t help but find the monkeys nearby fascinating, and I kept staring at them.

Sometimes, when I wave my hand and say bye-bye, they come close to me with angry face, which is very scary. Such a scary experience.



The monkey is cute


But it was like a zoo without fences, and I really enjoyed it. Some Indians were feeding the monkeys. Some monkeys were chewing on apples, and apples were suddenly falling from above. I feel that this is such a fun temple full of freedom and liveliness.

There are so many Indians, and they are wearing white powder and something red on their foreheads. I still don’t know what this is. I have no knowledge at all about Hinduism, so I hope to go to India in the future to learn more about it. It is very interesting to learn about a cool religion. I feel something special as a human being. It is very interesting because I believe that religion is something that was created hundreds of years ago and has not yet changed its color, and is the only way to learn about “human nature.



Arriving at the top! In the back there is an Indian temple and a place for rituals.

The strange thing is that even though it is such a sacred place, photography is allowed and there is no admission fee. This is a really interesting place. Of course, there are temples in Japan where photography is allowed, but there are also places where it is forbidden. In such a situation, I was very attracted by the fact that even in places where very sacred ceremonies are held, photography is not prohibited and even non-religious people can enter.



We walked to the back of the house. There are still many monkeys, and chickens are free-range outside. A child chases after them, shouting “Chicken! Chicken!” It was as if we had gone back in time.



See the Indian rituals first hand and up close. Very interesting.

As we proceeded toward the back, we arrived at a place with a large hollow where light enters, as if a god had come from heaven. Is that why they built an Indian temple here? With this thought in mind, I explore this place where I feel the complexity of nature and religion.

I am very interested in Indian temples, but I was really interested in the monkeys too. The Indians were giving them leftover food, and the monkeys were frantically eating their food while being wary of their surroundings. I think it’s cute to see them like that, and I also think that living creatures are desperate to survive. But after all, we are not “desperate to live” but “desperate to survive”. Because if we can survive, the probability of accomplishing our mission to live, “to leave offspring,” will increase.



Ashlynn had apparently been here before, and this was her fourth time. While talking about this, we went to a nearby Indian temple.



Watch some sort of Indian ritual.

It looked more like a place for rituals than an Indian temple. There were two Indians standing outside, and they were giving out free rice there. I wondered if it was sacred food. They were very open and gave us chocolates and asked us to eat them. All the people in the Indian ceremonial place were Indian, and there were no other ethnic groups. And there were not many tourists. I watched from the outside. I feel something special about India, an eerie but very interesting and mysterious country and religion. It is very, very interesting. I want to go to India.



Ashlynn was waiting outside. I thought about it. Would I regret not going in, or would I go in, even though it was a little scary? Of course, my view of life is the latter. So I decided to go in. There were only Indians inside, and no tourists at all. I went in with my camera and took pictures of the rituals. I really felt like I was in India only there. I couldn’t imagine being in Malaysia, not even for a millimeter. I was able to experience the world of India. This is what an unknown country is like. I was very interested. India will soon be a developed country and will be the third largest country after the U.S. and China by 2040, the 100th anniversary of India’s independence. This is also very interesting. The ritual was like a man putting a white sand-like substance on those who worshipped. I wondered if this was the Japanese way of praying. I was watching it while thinking. It was a little scary because I was only surrounded by Indian people, but they were all the same people. They are not aliens, so there is no need to be scared.



He is wearing something white.



Hungry for lunch! Ashlynn recommends a Chinese restaurant!

When we left the Indian temple and were waiting for a cab, I decided to drink coconuts! I haven’t seen coconuts cut up in a long time since Vietnam.

After taking a cab to the nearest station, we headed back to the center of KL! Until now I had to buy tokens to use the subway, but thanks to Ashlynn I was able to buy a card and now I will be able to use touch and go! Really great!

After arriving at the nearby train station, we decided to walk to a Chinese restaurant. For me, this is the first time I know about China here in Malaysia. I had never been interested in China before, so meeting Ashlynn was a great way to learn about Chinese food and people. I can only thank Ashlynn for this.



Dishes like sautéed chicken



Fried rice! So delicious!


I ordered some sort of sautéed chicken dish and fried rice; Ashlynn ordered noodles and a half-boiled egg. Apparently, she prefers noodles to rice. And what surprised me was that she served the half-boiled egg and poured soy sauce on it. To my surprise, it seems that in China, there is no rice with eggs, but only eggs. That was interesting. I advised her to try it over white rice the next time she had the chance! The sauteed chicken was very tasty. It tasted very Chinese. I’ve said this many times, but I don’t know how to describe it because I don’t have any adjectives to describe it. But I think it tasted something like curry.



We decided to go to the Murray Mosque! But it’s a prayer day, so we’ll hang around until 3pm.

We were planning to go to the Malay Mosque now, but apparently, in Islam, Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. is the prayer time, when many believers go to the mosque to pray. So we couldn’t go there then. So we decided to wander around the neighborhood until 15:00.

Nearby is a place where a king used to live. We decided to take a walk around there. From near the mosque, we could hear the Koran of worship.



Apparently, Ashlynn has a family of six and her sister is currently studying abroad in Paris. That’s amazing. She went to college and studied journalism there, but she was also interested in video editing and studied that as well. She told me such a story. The university system is different from Japan’s. In the case of college, you can get a “diploma” but not a “degree”. She was very surprised when I told her that in Japan, there are only three types of degrees: bachelor, master, and doctor.

Malaysia apparently gained independence in 1963, and there was a picture of the king from that time on display. There are also many different national flags, and it was very interesting to see that each of the 14 regions of Malaysia has its own national flag. Among the flags, the flag of Penang has a coconut in the middle, which I thought was cute.



We will head to the Murray Mosque in time for 3:00 p.m!

We decided to take the metro to get to the most beautiful mosque in Malaysia. We were walking through the Malay area at that time, and Ashlynn tells me that it is not safe to walk around this area alone. But yes, it was true, and the Malays were staring at us. I felt that way as well, and the atmosphere was such that I did not feel safe walking around.

So I ask Ashlynn. ‘Why are they staring at us?’


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Then I told her about the story that if you bring pornographic magazines to Malaysia, you will be fined, and it was really true. Malaysia is also a Muslim country, so it seems to be a country with very strict sexuality agreements, such as pornographic magazines. I heard that you can watch pornographic movies, but you are not allowed to possess them. I think it’s interesting that they allow people to watch pornographic videos but don’t allow them to sell them.

While heading there by cab, I passed by the place where the king lived. But it was covered with green trees and I could not see inside. I thought it was a very sacred place. She was surprised when I told her that the Japanese emperor can be easily seen at New Year’s. Apparently, it is not easy for Malaysian people to even see the king.



Amazing what Kuala Lumpur means.

As I was walking, I reached the bridge that there is place of origin of Kuala Lumpur. It was where two rivers merge into one.



Birthplace of Kuala Lumpur


To my surprise, the “Kuala” in Kuala Lumpur is “where two rivers meet” and “Lumpur” is “mud”. This was a surprise. It is a sad name indeed. Kuala Lumpur means “the city of mud in the delta” Really?




We arrived at the Blue Mosque! The largest mosque in Malaysia!

We arrived at the mosque! It is called the Blue Mosque and is said to be the most beautiful mosque in Malaysia. We were able to enter the mosque just as the prayer time was over. First, Ashlynn had to cover herself with a cloak. She was led by a man there to cover herself with a cloak. And even though she is not a Muslim woman, she had to cover my hair as well. My clothes were fine.

When I told them I was from Japan, they spoke to me in simple Japanese and were very conscientious. They also told me that I could take pictures and videos anytime, anywhere! I thought it was a very conscientious mosque. We were taken to the tour room, where the tour guide came out. I was very nervous. Islam was a topic I had never been exposed to before, and I had no knowledge about it at all. I had only an image of it as a “scary religion”. The only impression I had of Islam was that it was a scary religion where men had beards and alcohol and sex were forbidden.

Then we decided to explore the inside of the mosque with the woman. She told us every single detail. She told us that there is no such thing as “Islamic design” and that everyone designs their own. That alone was very interesting. Besides, the floor of this mosque was made of marble. The reason for this is because heaven is a palace made of marble. I see.




Doors carved by a 100 year old



Incorporating Moroccan design.



Exterior view of the Blue Mosque


She also took us to a place of worship, and the hall there was very large. It was amazingly big. It was said to be able to hold about 17,000 people. That’s an incredible density, but it was also crazy big. I heard that this is where Muslims pray. And they pray five times a day for five minutes each time. I thought that was amazing. I wondered if Muslims have the rhythm of worship built into their minds. Because if you don’t manage your time properly, you will forget. I also learned that Muslim women have to cover their bodies with hijab. It is said that this is to prevent them from showing their sexuality. And by hiding their sexuality, it is also to prevent men from attacking them.



Hall of worship. It seems that Mecca of Saudi Arabia is just ahead.




Then, when it was time to go, the lady went to worship. She said I could film them then, so I decided to film them as she was praying. Everyone was standing, squatting, getting down on their knees, and putting their heads on the ground repeatedly. I stared at them, thinking, “This is what Islam is all about”.



Anyway, I was able to learn a lot about Islam. It was really a wonderful experience. It was a rare experience for me to actually see people praying. I feel really happy.




We eat Chinese food for dinner!

After going to the mosque, we were very tired and decided to have dinner. As we were taking a cab to the train station, we talked about food in Aichi Prefecture, including the very famous miso katsu, which Ashlynn said she hopes to visit Japan within 3 years! I really hope she comes to Japan. I would like to show her around when she comes to Japan.

The place where we had dinner at night is called “hokke,” which means “food stall”. We were going to have dinner at a place lined with food stalls. She ordered my favorite satay and fried rice. However, I was ripped off on the drinks. I just ordered a bottle of water, but he charged me 10 ringgit (300 yen). I realized it later because I had left it to Ashlynn, but if I had realized it right away, I would have given him the water instead of drinking it. I thought he was a real asshole for making fun of me for being a tourist and taking so much.



Evening meal is street food


I was so grateful that Ashlynn ordered so much, but the fried rice alone was enough for me to eat. I wonder if that is Malaysia. It was really a lot. But Ashlynn was able to eat it all, which I thought was amazing. I realized that customs change the size of stomach. The satay was very tasty. I wish I could eat it in Indonesia too.

Ashlynn and I thanked each other for spending time together last week and today. Above all, she made it possible for me to have so much fun and have such a great experience. Ashlynn wrote me a message in my adventure notebook after dinner.




Her colorful letters were so cute. Each person has his or her own personality, and I love each person’s handwriting style. So I was really happy. Ashlynn later posted about my adventure notebook on Instagram.

I told her that if she ever comes to Japan, she should definitely come in the winter. I also told her that winters in Japan are not cold at all and that she could wear short sleeves in Tokyo or Osaka and buy a jacket there. She overestimated winter and imagined it would be very cold and she would need boots. So, I told her properly. I wanted her to come to Japan in winter and experience winter. She had only ever been on adventures in Southeast Asia, and she wanted to go to the farthest country she could, so I wanted her to go to Iceland too.

So, Ashlynn and I got on the metro on the way to home, and since we were going in different directions, we hugged and said, “See you in Japan!” And then we said bye-bye. Thank you so much, Ashlynn.