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November 29, 2003

Tokyo Adventures

It's been a pretty crazy week. I haven't had time to write much since I'm still recovering from Tokyo but at the same time still traveling around. I have more plans for tomorrow and still more pictures to take. Please keep posted as I have lots to say. I have plenty of pictures to post too. I will scatter them out to keep things interesting.

I also have been playing with my WOCA (Holga) but I have not seen the latest pictures. The clumsy cover keeps opening up so I'm not sure if the image gets washed out, if so then I messed up two rolls out of 4. Let’s see how it comes out when I print them later on in the week. Check back again, any readers?


Posted by thy at 11:53 AM | Comments (4)

November 19, 2003

Arashiyama

I went to the Monkey Park that overlooks Kyoto. Getting to the top of the mountain was a bit of a trek, for me it was easier than others since I passed quiet a few people as they huffed and puffed their way up. You can smell the monkeys as you get close to the top especially when you can smell the stench of urine and monkey poop.

The damns Saru (Monkeys) were a bit scary since they don't like it when you sit in front of them trying to take a photograph. They start screaming and run toward you. They didn't make any kids cry but did scare the crap out of a few. At the park itself visitors are not allowed to feed the monkeys or show them any food. Only inside a secure building are visitors allowed to feed the monkeys. It’s funny how the monkeys are the ones that are able to run about while it's the human that are caged in.

Saru Koen is a nice place to visit on a sunny clear day. Just don't stare at a monkey for too long as they will get angry and you won't like them when they get angry. A must visit place for any visitor to the Kyoto area. It is an easy to get to by bus. Also a good place to bring a date, as from what it seems I saw nothing but couples. They say Japan has no PDA?! That's bogus, PDA up the gazuuuu! Made me want to pick up a girl and make out with her just for the fun of it. Haha but that wouldn't be appropriate!

Posted by thy at 10:31 AM | Comments (4)

November 16, 2003

Kouyou

Autumn red maple leaves viewing (Kouyou) is such a Japanese thing. I started out the morning heading toward Tofukuji. Right when I got off the train I saw the mass of people. I just thought it was just traffic and such. As I walked down the street again I saw the masses. Then it clicked! Tofuku-ji is a popular place to see the maple trees; hey the temple has nothing but MAPLES.

It's a very nice place but being a true capitalist country every small complex of the Tofuku-ji had an entrance fee, 200 Yen to 400 Yen. On any other day there would not be entrance fees to such places. It was nice to see the enthusiasm the Japanese have for such a season. I don't see much of it back in the States. It is not wildly advertised with gazillion people crowding around to see trees and old ladies pushing the crowd along.

I spent the other part of the day at Arashiyama. Can I say this place kicks ass! It has a river that cuts through it with mountains on both sides. There are so many things to do around the area and again with gazillion plus people in the area too. The crowds! It's maddening! So many people that the traffic jams and the streets are partly closed down.

Posted by thy at 06:24 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2003

Okinawa

I went to Okinawa over the holiday weekend. It was quite an experience. The weather was warm and so was the water. It reminded me so much of Maui but definitely not as pretty! It makes me really wanted to go back. I've spoken to NWA about flying out of Osaka to Honolulu but that flight has been discontinued. Now I must find other means to get to Hawaii!

I enjoyed walking around in shorts and T-shirt. I loved waking up in the morning with the smell of dew and tropical trees. It was so nice! I got to hang out with my other friends. My other concern was that this is the off season so there weren't anyone around at our resort. There were few restaurants in the area to eat at, which was a disappointment for me. In addition to this, I did not take that many pictures. I just wanted to spend time absorbing my surroundings. I only found a few things that I wanted to photography and during those times I did not bring my camera with me. I will post more pictures as they come available through my other friends'.

Posted by thy at 08:15 AM | Comments (3)

November 02, 2003

Biwa-ko

I never thought so many interesting things would surround the Kansai area. As it turns out three fourth of Japan's National Treasures all lay within this region. Most of the ancient capital of Japan is all within this area. I'm quite glad to be in this area since there is always new places to visit and something new to learn about Japanese’s history and culture.

To add to new places to visit and to check out Japanese’s largest lake, Lake Biwa, Biwa-ko to be more accurate. Hopped on the train with Chad (my roommate) and headed to Kyoto. The trip was shorter than I had anticipated since any large landmark is always a bit tricky to get to. This one however just took a bit of walking. After an hour commute (includes 20 minute of walking), there I stood in front of a lake. Initially I was not very impressed, yeah so it's a lake. The weather didn't seem to help much since it was overcast and muggy with the bugs out on a rampage. They were quite bothersome and I was getting pissy because of it. We limited our activities to just strolling around the lake path and people watching.

Just as a note, the Japanese really love their dogs. I haven't seen much variety in dogs; the majority of the dogs are toy breeds. All of them are super cute and have a very mellow demeanor. Usually if you want to go dog searching just walk around the neighborhood at around dusk or 5pm. That's when everyone walks their dog. Usually they are very protective when a passerby gets close to the dog. They usually pull the dog away. I hope they don’t think that a dog the size of my fist will bite my fingers off.

Well there you have it, my short trip outside of the Kyoto area. Next week's agenda is off to Okinawa! Now I can forget about Japanese’s largest lake and swim in the world’s largest ocean!

Posted by thy at 08:44 AM | Comments (3)

Flea Market

This flea market @ Kitano-ji is the second largest in the Kyoto area, the largest is at the To-ji which on the other part of town. These markets are quite popular with the locals and all sort of vendors show up to sell their good, everything from antiques, food, and other fun gadgets. There seems to be a niche for everything except for electronic goods but that is reserved for Den Den Town folks in Osaka. This particular market is held the 25th of every month and the To-ji is held the 21st of every month, more info can be found here kyotoguide.

It took us quite a while to traverse this large market. There were so many miscellaneous stuff being sold, things I wouldn't know what to do with. The most popular of course was food and Kimonos. On the whole it quite an interesting experience, I just can't imagine going to the To-ji one considering it took me a good 2.5 hours to walk through the second largest market. It'll probably take me all day to walk through the To-ji market. Maybe I'll buy some souvenirs next time instead of just rummaging though old antiques and expensive paintings.

Posted by thy at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)