About Me

Ikawa-cho Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima-ken, Japan
I was recently accepted by the JET program as an assistant English teacher in Japan for one year.

Monday, May 24, 2010

have you had your mind blown by a blog recently?

oh my blog,
that was my 100th post. that makes this my one hundred first. this is the dawn of a new era for blogging. i hope you are prepared for the last post about my trip to hiroshima. the last 15 pictures are uploading. let's really do this.

so hiroshima has 2 world heritage sites. the atomic bomb dome, and the miyajima shrine. it is magical and scenic, this shrine. take one of those streetcars for like an hour and change all the way to the last stop in the south. basically the whole thing is a huge tourist trap and an excellent excuse to build and incredibly long local streetcar line.

this is the boat i got on. in about 10 minutes it took me to miyajima island, which is redundant because jima means island.

here is one of the other boats. as you can see, full of tourists. i saw the most foreign people this day.

oh you can see the red gate in the water, and a jetskier on the left. supposedly at low tide you can walk out to it, but that was not the case when i was there. this is from the boat!

one thing about miyajima is there are tons of raggedy domesticated wild deer walking around, who are not supposed to be fed but are regardless.

this woman was posing for a deer photo and i took my own. oh guh right now one of my teachers is on the phone with my official boss who i met once at the board of education about getting me a plane ticket home on july 28th. it is a huge hassle for everyone, and it is the transcendent return of my feeling that they have never done this before, even though its been going on for generations.

ok this thing. i am not sure i know how to talk about this thing. it is like a fluffy pancake, maybe with an egg, rolled up on a stick, and covered with sauces and mayo and other japanese things. i did not eat one here, i had one in another spot later in the day. i am still not sure that i have totally recovered.

three oysters for 500 yen. this place had the longest line, because the woman was the oldest, and because every other place sold 2 oysters for 400 yen.

check out the world heritage quality on that gate in the water.

oh wow another gate, but this one is mad out of rocks, and there are two lions also.

there was a little spot where guys in triangle hats let you use a triangle hat and take you in a long canoe style boat through the gate, as a special blessing or something of undoubtedly great luck, for like 1500 yen, a bargain, if you are insane.

and there they go through the gate. this photo is zoomed in quite a bit.

see? and they kept going. this is not the best view of the gate.

if you want the best view, you will have to wait on this line and pay 300 yen to enter the actual shrine and face the gate from the central point on the beach. see what i said about tourist trap action? i was not kidding around. i did not wait on this line because it was hot and i did not want to spend that 300 yen when i could have bought a grape drink with real little cubes of grapes and aloe in it.

also this building was there!

here is the view of the gate from behind the shrine.

and here is another shot in a similar spot.

did i tell you there were a ton of people there? it was packed. also the nicest day ever.

and the last gate photo, i think. you can make this one your computer desktop wallpaper image, i give you permission. but only this one.

oh here are the people in the shrine itself lining up to wait their turn for the most picturesque photo of the special red gate.

okay so it was packed, and mostly everyone was buying little snacks and souvenirs. this island is famous for its maple leaf shaped red bean filled cake things, called momiji manjuu or mimoji manju, or something. but the thing is that most of the little souvenir shops had their own independent robotic assembly lines of manjuu going at full speed!

this is another little automated assembly line, behind glass in a souvenir shop. still kind of upset about how souvenir is spelled.

behind one shop was a beautiful garden with a little koi pond. i really liked this situation.

you can also buy little gates, and they have a little gate size to fit every little gate size preference.

this little side street is where most of the people and shops were.

and there was a police station too. have you seen these guys? please call the japanese police. the guy on the bottom right has been on the run for a while. he killed some people in tokushima i think i heard. the japanese police only very recently started a program of giving rewards for tips that lead to the arrests of these bad guys, and since then they have only gotten one tip and paid out one reward to a few people after they caught that younger guy who killed an english girl.

then i wanted to buy some oysterys from this lady, because oysters from this island are also famous.

they were THIS big and pretty good! steamed in the shell with some soy sauce squirted in afterwards.

on display was the biggest wooden rice paddle i had ever seen. thing was totally huge. so big you could not ever hope to use it. i threw 5 yen in a wooden box in front and prayed to the giant paddle thing.

then i had a bowl of rice and pork cutlet and went back to the boat, which was through this station. those fish flags are because it was around the childrens' day holiday.

and then i wound up back at the peace park. here are two really creepy statue memorials of kids and a guy with a bird, by the river.

close up of the dome building. it is being supported internally so that it stays in its post bombing state for eternity.

warning: there are some serious dome pictures coming up. pure dome photography is taking place right now.

okay there are a few more later so hold on.

just kidding. here is one more because i know you haven't had enough yet.

back at in front of the museum, peace park proper. on the right you can see the little eternal flame burning on top of that weird platform thing.

and to my surprise they had put out giant paper cranes on this part of the grass!

for a fee you could design you own candle holder with your own personal messages about peace and have it placed on this official flower festival white candle holder thing. i think they lit them all up at night.

and then i got this pic of the statue of the mother with her children in front of the flower mountain with a bowl fire on top. actually this statue is insane and ridiculous for a tone of reasons. for one thing it is called "statue of mother and child in the storm" which might be a result of a bad translation because she clearly has a baby and a kid grabbing onto her, but there are no plurals in japanese. that and her arms are gigantic and her hands are bigger than her head.

and then the flower festival was in full swing. there were people as far as the eye could see all the way down the peace boulevard. a festival in japan is when all the little items vendors are spaced out perfectly so business interference is at a minimum.

one of those vendors is the traditional grab a little goldfish with a cheap paper net that breaks instantly game.

i just like this photo with the clock. i have no idea what those signs say or what those people are selling.

haha but i do know what is going on here. it's super mario, and kids are running around and jumping inside. maybe you can see. i think i just realized i am in japan for the first time.

then i went and had my last okonomiyaki meal. oh it was really good. it is so complicated to make, there were about 4 guys making it for a whole restaurant and i have no idea how they keep track. you can see the process taking place here. oh but in this place i looked around and didn't see any mayo tubes and nobody was using mayo so i was like "hm this place is obviously too good for mayo" so i went without.

final product, with scallions, after a few bites.

here is a weird elevated brick park area where young people were gathering at night.

and the dome, at night. i warned you! yes there is a reason why you are not supposed to go to the dome at night: it is incredibly spooky! well that is it. those are all of the photos i have from hiroshima. i still have to charge up my camera battery again. i hope you liked it. i am taking 3 days off work and having a 5 day weekend with liz starting tomorrow. she gets here tonight! so soon. i can't wait, i am losing it entirely.

1 comment:

  1. WOW!!!!!! I love your website. Very entertaining and fascinating photos.

    I'm Bob Eckstein. I spent Saturday with your cool parents at some bar mitzvah (I wrote the book, The History of the Snowman and a cartoonist for The New Yorker). I'd like to pass along my website myself...