Monday, September 21, 2009

Fried Everything

Phew. Exhausted from many travels. Today was "traditional Japan" day for me. My host mother took me to Asakusa to take a look at a town from the Edo period.

But first... the moment so many have been waiting for... this is a picture of Satoshi. If he looks grumpy, it's cuz he was supposed to play violin at a friend's wedding and he was running late, lol.


Anyhoo, Asakusa is home to some Big-Ass Temples. For example (pardon the retarded face I'm making):


Sans retarded face:

The Big-Ass Temples are pretty sweet though. The underside of one of those giant lanterns is a dragon:


Also... miles upon miles of tourist-trap shopping:

I saw the most beautiful fan here, and I'm so PISSED I didn't buy it. This fan had the body of an albino peacock on one end, and it's white tail feathers were spread all across the rest of the fan as the design. And the feathers were trimmed in shiny, glittery gold. Unfortunately, it cost around fifty bucks. And like a total cheapskate, I told myself it was too much and walked away. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I cursed myself the whole walk back. I haven't spent a cent this whole time (host family keeps treating me to stuff and I'm too cheap to buy anything cool I see). I should've at least bought that. Albino peacocks are my favorite animals. If I ever see something like that again, I'm buying it. I love albino peacocks and, well... how often would you see such a rare animal on anything?

Moving on... Asakusa is also home to some Crazy Shit. For example... tempura ice cream:

It was surprisingly tasty, but I still think I would rather just eat green tea ice cream, lol. Also, me standing in front of more Big-Ass Temples (not making a retarded face for once):


Also, we have a Sweet Friggin' Pagoda:

And a healthy dose of superstition. This is some fire thing and the Japanese believe if you waft the smoke at some part of your body that ails you, it'll get better. So people were actually crowding around it, sniffing fumes and waving smoke into their faces or their hair or at their arm, etc. And the fire was burning on these bundles of sticks wrapped in paper with the swastika symbol on it. I asked my host mother why the hell the Japanese were breathing in Swastika Smoke and she told me that in Japan the swastika is the symbol for a temple. Sure enough, I saw fans and stuff with the same symbol. I told her it's a bad symbol in America because of World War II. She looked confused a moment and then went "Ah! Hitler, ne!" Yeah... Here's me wafting in some Swastika Smoke for fun:


Also... because it's just win somehow... here's a Japanese MONKEY. This thing was so human it was freaky. It was actually picking lint off its kimono with its fingers just like a human:

I also took some great pictures from a boat. Here's a Big-Ass Bridge:

Tokyo Tower:

A gorgeous city-skape from the water:


Aaaaaaaand.... a ground view of Tokyo Tower:

Also... I come bearing another healthy, daily dose of Engrish. I saw a young boy (maybe nine years old) and the back of his jacket said: "A kind of style that no, 7522 boys seem to have a crush on a rock star." Word for word. Enjoy.

Also, Japan is like the Brady Bunch, I swear. A woman asked us a question in line for some tempura place, my host mother answered, they chatted a bit, next thing I know she's invited to our table, they're talking, they're trading numbers... I see this kinda thing here all the time. Everyone chats with strangers like they're best friends. Seriously goofy. Unfortunately, I couldn't speak much with the woman, on account of crapping out and forgetting all my honorific speech. It's like trying to talk to a scary professor and forgetting how to be polite... except worse because this woman is nice and you sound like an asshole. Yeeeeeeeah, I gotta study.

More to come, so stay tuned!

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