Okay, so I hereby withdraw any comment about vending machines. I get it now. Today is HOT. This afternoon it was 28 degrees Celcius and it’s not even summer yet. Vending machines: useful. Yes sir.

Sorry for the silence, I had nothing to say for a while. But I’m back now, and I bring photo’s πŸ˜‰

I’ll just sum up the photo’s in the gallery below, in the order in which they are shown. (Yes, that’s really annoying, I know, because you have to scroll up and down. But if I want to put the text with the photo’s, I have to insert each photo manually, which is annoying. So, for now, this will have to do, you have to scroll up and down, sorry. Right now I am working on editing the titles of photo’s and their description, to make it a little easier.)

Edit: Okay, so when I change the file titles, the order changes. Bummer. I’m leaving the post online, but I’ll change it and move the comments on photo’s to the photo’s themselves. Just so you know. Ordering of photo’s has been fixed.

Some comments on the photo’s:

Building floors
Three photo’s show the view as seen from Ace Cafe located in The Empire Building (Kiyamachi North of Sanjo), tenth floor: Note that in Japan, the ground floor is floor 1. So B stands for basement, as opposed to ‘begane grond’ or ground floor, as is the case in NL.

Supermarkets and Convenience stores / Supaa to Konbini
Two photo’s of a vegetable stand in a bigger supermarket: There’s a difference between convenience stores (‘konbini’) and supermarkets (‘supaa’) which I wasn’t aware of at first. Some pictures I took a while ago were of a convenience store and they’re indeed smaller. At first sight it doesn’t look to expensive, but this really differs per store. There are places where you might pay, like, 3 euro’s for an apple :O

Dressed up Japanese and weird T-shirts
On Sunday, I walked around and, amongst others, briefly visited a small square with a bunch of local people having a market. Amongst others, two guys, one in a Mario suite and one in a princess Peach dress, haha, were presenting a quiz of some sort and someone won a tv (HERE). The most hilarious thing I saw, however, was a guy with a T-shirt that said “lubricant”. I didn’t dare take a picture, sorry.

Kyogen performance at Shinsen-en garden
As expected, most of the mannerisms were lost to me, except when one guy forced the other to hold up his pinky to do a ‘pinky swear’ and promise to stop disturbing some ceremony. What I found most remarkable is that there was a whistle blower in the back who was playing the same tune over and over and over again. I kinda felt sorry for him, but I assume he didn’t feel that way. You can hear and see part of it HERE. Bummer of the day: Some rude Dutch tourists. I’m glad I met some that were nice before, or this would have really ruined my general impression of Dutch people on holiday. I have to be honest that I haven’t been at my most sensitive for the past two days either, it’s too crowded to be nice. If you’re being polite all the time, you won’t be able to move forward even an inch.

Hongwanji Temple
This is a temple that’s on the UNESCO world heritage list. (Photo with text added as separator) I made some blurry photo’s, but the parts that were accessible to the tourists contained mostly of such rooms where people can pray to the god for which the particular shrine is made in each room. Last picture of Hongwanji is a blurry photo of one such shrines. I didn’t dare go closer to make it sharper, because even the Japanese people taking pictures sat down on the floor first and carefully scooted forward to get close and take a picture. Also, there was a banister separating the tatami from the shrine. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to get up and lean over the banister to take pictures, so I didn’t.

Finding Senbon Enma-do
On Sunday May 2nd, I wanted to go to Senbon Enma-do to watch performances (Nenbutsu Kyogen), but I couldn’t find it. I asked like, six or seven times and went around several blocks of houses to find it. I even drove up and down most of Senbon dori (a long, long, looong street) and finally gave up. And of course, that’s when I found it. Do you know these large parking lots with blue gravel?… Well, if I had payed more attention, I would have seen the wooden shrine at the back. Basically, Senbon Enma-do was at Senbon dori (as expected) but I had been looking for a huge building whereas this was very small. Look for the photo that depicts a canvas with a tree, that’s the first of four photo’s. I didn’t take many pictures, but I’ve got a small movie again, HERE. As you can see, these performances are very slow by our standards.)

Nijo Castle
Monday May 3rd I visited Nijo Castle. As expected, inside it was not allowed to take photo’s, because they had a lot of old wall paintings. Emergency exits even said: “please don’t open”, go figure.

Ginkaku-ji temple
Initially I was looking for Tetsugaku no Michi or philosopher’s path, but as you can see on one of the last photo’s from today it’s just a road made from two rows of stones. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a long path, but I’m glad I visited Ginkaku-ji. I mainly had to laugh at the sand-garden there. If it wasn’t for the signs saying “please don’t touch” I would definitely have checked whether it was really sand. I mean, come on… You do not want to be the gardener there: every time it rains you have to start over again. We (the practical Dutch) would have long ago traded sand for cement. Maybe they did and that’s why you’re not allowed to touch? Maybe that’s also the reason there are no marks or prints of the tiny prying fingers of curious kids. But on the other hand, maybe even the kids don’t touch, and it really is sand, so I didn’t risk being the-horrible-tourist-that-ruined-the-sand-garden (if there isn’t a word for it now, one would have been invented, probably). It’s a really beautiful garden, though. There’s one picture that I had to take, even though people were staring at me like “Why would you want to take a picture here?” To me, this picture stands out the most in the whole garden. See if you can guess which one it is and why.

Kyoto Station
Two pictures of Kyoto Station: Kyoto Station is huge. It has 11 floors and here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
The current Kyōto Station opened in 1997, commemorating Kyoto’s 1,200th anniversary. It is 70 meters high and 470 meters from east to west, with a total floor area of 238,000 square meters
It’s easy to spend an entire day in there, with all the shopping malls and restaurants. On the topic of food: I like Japanese food best when it’s cooled down :O

Kyoto Disaster Center
I finally went there! I’ve got a photo of some girls in a typhoon simulator with wind speeds of up to 32km/h. I went in there as well and I could let go of the railing and lean forward in the wind. That indeed clarified how strong these winds can be, because real typhoons can be 70km/h. I hope not to experience that. Ever. I also went into an earthquake simulator, which was basically a small living room with large windows (so that people could watch) that swayed back and forth. It was useful. Even though I don’t expect that during an earthquake the room will move so nicely back and forth, I’ve got an idea of what to do: Get under a table. As soon as the first quake stops: put out any fire, open a door so that an emergency exit is available afterward, and get the heck back under that table, because more is sure to come. I also hope not to experience this, but it was nice to get a little practice in. There was also some information about fire extinguishers, but that one was all in Japanese. Tip to all people visiting Japan: The first words you say to people in such centers should be in English. Really. Then you’ll get some assistance in English, as was the case at the earthquake simulator. I’ve learned not to say that I speak a little Japanese. Sure, in a grocery store I speak a little Japanese (yes, no, thank you) and on the street (where am I, how do I get there and there), but I can’t follow an instruction yet. I think I got most of it though, but mainly because I already had information like that in secondary school or something. Example: Don’t use water to extinguish a fire in the kitchen, because when you use water on boiling oil it explodes. We all already know that, right?

Oh, I got some awesome spam in the comments of this website: “Adopt League,bright data help congress shoulder wait former season shoot cut attempt total author religious notice description solicitor amongst religious connect original request…” etc etc. Random words in an attempt to get a higher hit in search engines, maybe?

2 Replies to “Photo’s”

  1. 1

    Not a comment to this specific story, but more in general. I find your weblog a nice collection of facts, funny observations and pictures of a (in my eyes) fascinating country. Japan is on my touristic wish list, so perhaps one day in the future I’ll also be a (horrible?) tourist. And I promise, I’ll keep my hands off the sand.

    Looking forward to your next entry, good luck!

  2. 2

    Thanks! πŸ™‚ I try to keep it interesting. It’s a bit random at times, but I try to write down as much as possible of what I notice and what people tell me, because especially the small things are easily forgotten but oh so interesting. πŸ™‚

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