Category Archives: Japan, 2005

Kodaiji – Kyoto, Japan

It’s been a while since I blogged about my Japan trip. I still have loads of post pending. Also, I’m not even done with my Krabi trip posts! Btw, Analog Girl report coming up soon!

So anyway, here’s one interesting place in Kyoto that one should visit 😀

Kodaiji Temple, formally known as the Kodaijusho-zenji Temple, is located in the Higashiyama mountains of Kyoto.

It was constructed in 1605 in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi by the great political leader’s wife, Kita-no-Mandokoro. Besides fine temple halls, Kodaiji features a small bamboo grove and a landscape garden with tea houses, designed by leading, contemporary masters.

After our trip to Arashiyama, we went back to Kyoto City to check out Kodaiji.

Initially I didn’t want to enter Kodaiji as it was already dark and hence tough to take pictures. Further, it costs me about 800 Yen to enter the temple (but includes entrance to 2 museums).

Going through Kodaiji is like going through a path. The tour was already set for us, we had to follow the routes and follow everyone else. Our first route was walking through a small wooden house. We were given plastic bags to store our shoes before entering the house. Nothing interesting although they had some sort of laser show on the gardens.

But the best parts came after that, night view at Kodaiji was excellent. The entire place was lit up!

Some of the buildings were located on the slopes of the mountain. We could enjoy the sights of lighted ancient Japanese shrines from afar.

Further, Jane and I were impressed with the mirror pond. It was as if someone put a mirror on the floor! But taking picture was a pain in the ass. Loads of people were admiring the scenery as well hence we had to fight for a place. We managed to book a spot with a nice pillar supporting our camera.

We walked up the hill and passed a bamboo forest. There we could see Kyoto 😀



Shops 😀

Arashiyama, Kyoto – Japan

It’s been a while since I blogged about my Japan trip..so..

[Continued from http://www.xes.cx/MT/archives/2005/12/kyoto_japan_rok.html]

Arashiyama is famous for its fabulous view of Mt. Arashiyama and River Oi. It’s very popular among tourist. As a result, rows of souvenirs shops were built along River Oi.

Since Soba is famous in Kyoto, Jane and I decided to try it.

We ate at a restaurant upstairs of a souvenir shop and spent the rest of the evening there. We didn’t leave until sunset.


View from restaurant

Kyoto, Japan – Rokuon-Ji

I visited Kyoto when I was in Japan few weeks back.

Kyoto is the ultimate tourist magnet in Japan. It’s well known for its Shrines and Geisha.


The Famous Kinkaku

Our first destination in Kyoto was Rokuon-Ji Temple, where the famous Kinkaku (Golder Pavilion) is housed.
Jane & I traveled around by bus using a One Day Bus ticket at the price of 500 Yen.
Kinkaku is a pavilion consisting of 3 floors. The 2nd and 3rd floor are covered with golf leaf on Japanese lacquer.


Top Floor

Unfortunately, the original Kinkakuji was burned down by a mad monk in the 1950s. It was rebuilt few years later.
Other than Kinkaku Jin, the garden of the temple is also worth looking at. At the end of the tour, we tried tea ceremony at one of its tea houses. They served us a bowl of green tea and a sweet to ease the bitterness of the green tea.


Jane said I look very Jap here. Jap Ojisan (uncle) I guess.

Such Japanese tourist attraction is not complete without Hello Kitty. God Damn Hello Kitty is everywhere. Even the “Drive Safely Charm” has a Hello Kitty version of it!

We hung around pigging on free food offered by souvenir shops. We tried some sort of Green Tea mochi. It tasted great!!! We kept on going back to the same stall to eat their free mochi. 😀
Another unique souvenir in Rokuon-Ji is the gold flakes water. It’s just water with gold flakes, I don’t know how does it improve our health. All I remember is that I got bloody gold flakes stuck on my throat!
There’s a mini shrine just next to the souvenir shops. It’s damn “international”.


Jane praying that she’ll strike lottery…

I once blogged about fortune teller vending machine at a temple. Now, it’s fortune teller vending machine in THREE LANGUAGES!!


English, Korean & Japanese.

Japanese Advertisements

One of the things that we must learn from the Japanese is their creativity. They could come up with all sort of ideas to promote and sell their products.

For example…


Yogurt in a squeezable packet?


Chocolate advertisement in the train!


Portable toilet..recommended when one is doing his/her business during an earthquake LOL

And…Christmas!!


Hm?


Ah?


ooh! Merry Xmas!!

Engrish, Japan

For background information about Engrish, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engrish

In simple terms, Engrish is a term used on Japanese English. Usually, it’s a direct translation from Japanese to English, which sometimes makes it humourous.

Here are some Engrish signboards that I saw in Japan.


Up, Up & Away!!


pinched? hehe


There’s one signboard next to the escalator that says, “Please do not play with the escalator”. I wonder what dirty things can we do to it.


At the train platform

But, Engrish sometimes makes English very poetic. For example:-


Damn! I should have bought an Engrish tshirt!

Ueno Park, Tokyo

Few hundred years ago, a battle between the Japanese Shogunate and the Japanese Imperial troops was fought here.


The statue of Former Imperial Minister and later turned rebel, Saigo Takamori lies near the southern entrance of the park. Saigo Takamori started out supporting the Meiji Restoration, but ended up ritually disemboweling himself in defeated opposition to it. The statue of a samurai out walking his dog was cast in honour of his death.


The park has a pond which Bentendo Shrine was built in the middle of it. The entire pond is filled with lotus plants and ducks.

However, despite its colorful historical background, this park stinks of cat poo!! I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless they want to experience Tokyo Park at its worst.

Further, many homeless people lives in this park. The sight of blue tents is common in this park.


Homeless man selling his artwork

I’ve always wondered how on earth these people became homeless. How their life was before they became homeless. We pitied them. We laugh at them but yet I somehow find that the life of a homeless man is great.

Everyday we worry about everything, whether our salary would cover this month’s expenses, whether the people above me will squash me like an ant and so on. Some of us dream that we will have enough resources to live comfortably till the end of our lives and hope that our children would not dump us at the cheapest old folk’s home with 30 or so unfortunate souls like us.

But for a homeless man in Japan, they don’t need to worry about food. They can get them easily by waiting at the nearest convenient store for them to throw their leftover food. They do not need to worry about the ever rising prices of accommodation in Japan. All they need is a few boxes and a corner to sleep. They’re probably laughing at us fools running the rat race.

But I’m not sure about sex though.

Kabuki @ Ginza

Few weeks back, Jane and I went to watch a Kabuki play @ Kabuki-za at Ginza.

The interesting part about Kabuki is that all actors are male, even those playing female roles. They are called onnagata.

Our play was about a married man who fell in love with a maikko (apprentice geisha). Both of them planned to commit suicide together because they couldn’t be together. The entire story was about how the brother of the man persuades the maikko not to commit suicide with his brother.
It cost us 900 yen per person which entitled us to the 4th floor seating. No elevator. ARGH

The stage was quite awesome. They had a house with a part of its wall removed so that we can see inside the house.

As soon as the show started, Jane and I both fell asleep.

The play was quite boring. The story was draggy and slow. But Jane said that we chose the wrong play, there are much better plays.

The Ultimate Throne

Behold!


The ULTIMATE THRONE!

It comes with a heated seat. It feels great especially when one land his or her buttock on a chilly day.

It comes with an adjustable butt spray as well. Although not very clean, it’s useful when one have too many things to wipe.

Oh, it even has Braille words for the blind too 😀

Satisfaction guaranteed!

But this throne isn’t as great as the one da.textile.nerd posted. The one she used could play music!

See: http://vyctorya.blogspot.com/2005_10_01_vyctorya_archive.html

Butt spray toilet bowls are not very common in Malaysia. I remember a friend telling me that,

“Eh you know ah, when I was in the girl’s toilet in Mid Valley right, I saw a girl washing her hands with the butt spray”

That shows how well known butt sprays are in Malaysia.

QR Code

This is a familiar sight in Japan.

You can see them in..


magazines


on the package of cooked ham


tissue paper


even websites!

This is called QR Code, which is a two dimensional Bar Code.

You can store data with this QR Code. In Japan, URLs are commonly stored in the bar code. Japanese handphones are equipped to read QR Code.


tada~~~