J-E's blog

Friday, April 18, 2008


We're back in Tokyo after our trip to Kyoto and Hiroshima. It was amazing, probably the highlight of the trip so far.

Kyoto has a bunch of shrines from the old Japanese days, we visited the golden tower, the rock garden and the 1001 statues. I will post some pictures of all of them later once I get the chance. My favorite was probably the 1001 statues, they had 28 guardian deities stationed in front of all the statues and they had a story about each one. From the god who controls the sea, to the old woman god who cares for children. The rock garden was super serene as well. It was raining at the time so it was so relaxing to listen to the water drop on the rocks while meditating at the garden.

I also did the weirdest thing of the trip so far in Kyoto. I ate sparrow, bones and everything. It was actually very good and I kept the skull and tail bone as a souvenir. I named her Stacey the sparrow and she's in my backpack right now, skewered on a stick.

Hiroshima was eye opening. It was a shock to see what kind of destruction occurred at because of the nuclear bomb. We throw that around so lightly back home, it's stunning to hear that some presidential candidates would consider a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

Story time.

On the way back from Hiroshima we had to make a transfer at Shin-Osaka. While we were on the train I read the beginning of ShinKanjin and thought it was going to say Shin-Osaka so we got off at the wrong stop. We tried to book another ticket, but the guy said it was all sold out and we wouldn't make it back to Tokyo in time. Francis was super pissed, so I decided to just hop on the sold out train and see what happens. We were able to ride to Shin-Osaka, but then we had to transfer to Kyoto and we missed our original ticket. We hopped on a random train again, but this time they were checking for tickets. Francis wanted to take out his original ticket and play ignorant, but I tried busting out our Japan Rail Pass, because so far everyone just looked at it and let us go ahead and lo and behold, the guy looked at it and let us go ahead. So we were able to make it to Kyoto on time and we caught our original train ride back to Tokyo on time. So all in all it was a crazy rush adventure, but we made it, but that's not all...

While we were riding the Tokyo train back to our hostel someone pushed the emergency brake. This caused a 15 minute slow down in the rails and that caused a 15 minute build up of people at the next station. The train was so packed full of people that they people were ramming their way in. We were lucky enough to have seats, but the people standing up were so tightly squeezed together. I felt so bad for them. One of them had their shopping bag rip open and all their items spilled on the ground. Francis was nice enough to offer them a plastic bag to throw all the stuff in. I love having the opportunity to show that Americans aren't as selfish and stupid as the stereotypes claim. It made me happy in my heart. We almost didn't make it off the train because so many people were trying to get on, but someone helped us out. It was quite the blessing.

Anyways, I hope all of you are doing well, we only have 4 more days here so we're going to make the most of it. Leave me a comment/message if you want anything from Japan!


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