While most of this article is focusing on how Japan is incredibly beautiful even when it’s not trying to be, I can’t help but share my latest reading habits, like above.
Totally trashy novels. Yeah, that book is about hot chicks, Zombies, and chainsaws. You really can’t beat that. When I thought about it really hard, I didn’t learn English by reading literary masterpieces, they’re pretty damn boring and hard to read, so why torture myself while learning Japanese?
They go by a variety of names and a variety of publishers, and they usually look like this in a bookstore. Which reminds me of a good tip: While book stores in Japan generally wrap-up manga so you can’t open them up and browse inside, they don’t do that to books, even trashy ones like these 🙂
On to 鎌倉大仏 or the Great Buddha in KamaKura.
Which is a great, big statue of Buddha in the middle of nowhere, I mean the KamaKura region. While monks of ages past generally chose spots out of the way so no one would bother them while they’re humming to themselves, once big-ass statues are erected, they seem to draw crowds. Like these people:
Whipping out their cameras and cell phones to take a picture of the thing, just so they can say they were there. I’m obviously totally above that.
But I’m not above checking to see if they crafted some meticulous boogers from bronze.
This was pretty much the closest I could get without setting off proximity alarms. From what I could tell though… no boogers in Buddha 🙁
But they did drill two giant holes, err windows, in Buddha’s back. You may wonder why. I did too.
Apparently, you can pay 20¥ to go inside the Buddha and check out his insides. I thought that was a rip-off, or sacrilegious or something similar, so I passed.
But even way more fun around the KamaKura area is just walking around and checking out the other temples and the massive amount of green.
Yeah, that kind of green. Even surrounding massive temples like this:
We’ll call this some temple, because I forgot the name and it’s way past my bed-time. But notice how the trees and stuff look like they’re staging a coup. It’s literally everywhere. And I don’t use literally lightly. But it was figuratively everywhere too.
I was lucky enough to catch a traditional Japanese Wedding ceremony there too.
And some amazing views:
And the fun thing about the temples in this area, is that there are mini-temples inside of them:
Like this one, which leads back into a tiny, scary, almost pitch-black cave… which has scary little dolls inside lined up like this:
I forget what they’re called already. But I know I don’t want to crawl through that cave again to get to them. Back to the green!
It really is everywhere. I guess it’s no surprise that the Japanese invented 緑茶 Green Tea. It’s even in the…
花火！ Fireworks! Okay, okay everyone has green fireworks, but you have to admit, it was a great transition. But what everyone doesn’t have is:
Pink, heart-shaped Fireworks. This was during the 花火大会 Fireworks show in 浅草 Asakusa. Which is one of the largest, busiest, most-packed fireworks displays in the country. In fact, here’s how most people see it:
If you zoom in and look at those ants below, you’ll see those are actual people fighting for a view between the tall buildings to catch a ray or two of the fireworks.
Luckily, I had a super-rich friend who took pity on me and invited me to his roof-top which was dangerously close to the fireworks.
And I do mean dangerously close. See all that smoke? Now, I’m not going to scare you about Fireworks being bad for the environment. Because cows are too, and I love hamburgers. But I will say that there were several times I had to wipe ash off my face throughout the show.
Besides, they’re so pretty.
Alright, I’m off. Doctors say I gotta go find a way to relax.
I tried staring at the wall and drinking tea, but that didn’t seem to work. I’m up for suggestions 🙂
The Incredible Shrinking Studio, Part 4: Walkstool Portable Chair