After half a day of connecting flights and another half-day across the ocean I am finally in the land of the Rising sun. However, despite the name we saw no sunrises or sunsets for nearly 24 hours since we were chasing it for an entire day.
I wasn't out of the hotel for ten minutes the first night when I found something naughty for Hal. More surprises to come.
Friday (Thursday for you) was our first full day here and we spent it seeing sights in Kyoto. We visited the golden pavilion shrine, a wonderful rock garden, went river rafting and spent lots of money on souvineers and vending machine beverages. My new friends from Philly were delighted to find a machine that sold varieties of beer right out on the street the first night there and made a great show of drinking in public as it is (presumably) legal to carry open containers here.
Today is our free day in Osaka. Many are going on a walking tour of a nearby shopping district but I am going to find someplace quiet to hang out and soak up the atmosphere. Even though weve been here for over a day I still havent felt entirely immersed in the atmosphere yet. Everywhere we have gone our guides were there to help out, translate, explain and guide us in English. Even for making orders at the restaurant last night...
Heh.. The cell phone of the Japanese man in the booth next to me just went off. It plays "Every Breath you Take." ... The one at the booth to my left is using his laptop instead of the computer provided.
Anyway, I look forward to a few (hopefully) relaxing hours on my own today and getting some postcards written out to my adoring fans.
I've taken a LOT of pictures so far. If I kept to my ration of 100 per day I would have been fine but it's just too easy to fill up the memory cards. Fortunately, I have heard there is a place nearby that will let me download my memory card and burn the contents to DVD, thus solving any memory problems. We just have to find it first.
Right now I am at Popeye Media cafe, down the alley from the hotel. It's chock full of computers, naturally enough, but also aisles and aisles of manga. The booth I am at is much like what you might find at a public library: small, functional with limited privacy. For an extra fee you can get one with cubicle, big screen and couch. We saw people sleeping in some, doing each other's hair in another. This is just another hangout.
Typing on a Japanese keyboard is not as easy as one would think. For example: the double quotes are shift+2 and most of the other characters are in the wrong place. I have to watch my hands if I'm doing anything supa-fancy like using punctuation. Plus, all the text on Livejorunal is in Kanji. I hope I remember where the "update" button is.
More updates to come tho' I can't promise exactly when. I will try to update again befoe I return. Hopefully the dating on this entry won't mess up all your friends pages. Take care everyone!
Current Mood: turning Japanese