Cultural fusion

Cultural fusion
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Important to know

If you’re planning a trip to Japan, here is the single most useful piece of information:

小 – small
大 – big
If you memorize nothing else, memorize these two symbols. There will come a time when you are desperately searching for a button to flush the toilet. When you see one of these guys, your business transaction can be concluded, young grasshopper. Go forth and use this knowledge in an environmentally responsible manner.

One last good meal: Yakiniku at Jojoen

I went to the airport via Tokyo Station and finally got the chance to take Felicity up on her recommendation. Having only had a very light breakfast, I bought a mouth-watering but also stupidly expensive order of Yakiniku from Jojoen. I wrote down this recommendation from Felicity a while ago.

Well she was right! It was delicious!!! Very good meat… very juicy. It was with the 3.880¥!
Sitting at the gate now. Bordering starts in 1.5 hours.
ありがとうございます、日本!らようなら。

すき焼き

I had a nice but terribly hot day in Kyoto yesterday. For dinner, I decided to splurge and finally get something good: Sukiyaki.

It’s thinly sliced beef, cooked with some vegetables and such. The coolest part is, they cook it right in front of you, at your table. Japan really knows about service. The man even pushed the elevator button on the way out for us.
The beef was very good, of good quality and well prepared. Check in Wikipedia for more details. But it was definitely the best meal of the trip. A fitting end.
So, the trip is finally over. I’m in the train back to Tokyo. What an adventure. I might post a follow-up post when I feel like it. It may just have odds and ends. We will see.

Unity is strength

My training in the capsule hotel is complete. I am now an effective member of Japanese society. Unity is strength.

The breakfast was again adequate this morning. It met our nutritional needs. The surface in the sleeping capsule was hard, which encourages us to be strong. Softness is weakness.
It was difficult to return the uniform and wear Outsider clothing again. Yesterday, we did this as well, to partake in the Tenjin Matsuri Festival. The procession of boats was very orderly. Order brings unity. Unity is strength. There were very many stands of delicious food. Strangely, people eat fried eggs for snacks. There were also, perhaps, more people going through the transit system than I’ve ever seen but it all worked somehow. I attribute this to the resolve and unity of the Japanese people. Society above all.
We also went to the beach earlier in the day. It was great, since the heat was unbearable yesterday (and every day). We didn’t get a chance to go surfing but just getting in the water was awesome.
Today, I am going for a final, easy day in Kyoto. I will return to Haneda airport tomorrow morning.
Unity is strength,
C208

Capsule hotel night 2

I wore the supplied pajamas today. Everyone wears them. Unity is strength. My designation is C208. I do not know why I ever needed a name. Names are for the Outsiders.

The shower and bathing facilities were enjoyable. C208 is now clean. Cleanliness is honourable.
It is very late. C208 is in the designated relaxation area. The clothes from the outside world are being cleaned. The drying device takes very long and consumes many coins. Yen is not needed here. Yen is for the outside world.
C208 is very tried. Soon, I will go to the capsule. The capsule is unity. Unity is strength.

Flexibility is key

Upon arriving in Osaka yesterday, we found a poster for a big festival, which spans today and tomorrow. In fact, it’s one of the top three in Japan! Well, having already seen some of the Gion Festival (also one of the top 3), we don’t want to miss this one either!

Today was to be the beach day, with tomorrow being the hike from Magome to Tsumago, two post towns along the old samurai trail between Kyoto and Tokyo. I asked 明美 and she said tomorrow’s the better day for the festival. Some Internet research confirmed this, given there is a huge boat show (maybe the world’s largest) and fireworks display in the evening.
So we decided to switch it up. Beach tomorrow. Get back in time to enjoy the festival. Gonna try to get in some surfing at the beach, too.
Anyway, the hike was terrific. The Kiso valley is such a beautiful area. I finally also saw some old village-y kind of areas, which I imagined old-style Japan being, which I haven’t really seen until now.
Also, as we arrived in Tsumago, there was a local festival going on, with a big street procession, going down the main/only road in the village. There were lots of food stands and it seemed everyone in the parade was at least somewhat drunk, yet still forced to carry a giant float thingy. It was a fun random occurrence, which came from being flexible in our plans.
We are on the way home but still a ways away. Gonna do some laundry, go in the sauna, and take a hot bath. Job well done – successful day. Tomorrow will be great too.