Saturday, April 21, 2007

So a quick recap on Japan. Overall we have had a very Jaanese experience. I know, I know, we have been in Japan der. What I mean is that if its Japanese, we tried it (alomost). We stayed in a capsule hotel, a Love hotel, in a raikan sytle rooms, highrise apartments, traditional housing. We stayed with a Japanese family and ate traditional meals, went to a blossom party and spoke engrish all night. Went to onsen, private and communal. Seen Geisah, riden bikes, visited temples. We've sang Kareoke, seen the big lights, riden the fast trains (even the Nozomi - opps). Gone to a zen archery class, had a sushi party with a calligraphy teacher, and of course, in true Japanese style, drank way to much shoju and beer.

Ok, so for those of you who cant be arsed reading on, you can probably wait and skip straight to India now. Otherwise, I am fairly sure Sym filled you in on Tokyo (hi to Joe and Gary if you're reading), so I'll pick it up from there. I had the great idea of getting an overnight sleeper bus to Kyoto so we could have a few more days before activating out JR passes. We had to get sleeper trains in China and surely it couldn't be worse than that.... What I didnt realise is that 'sleeper' doesn't always equal 'bed'. Poor Sym was so cramped, he couldn't even fit his legs in. In the end i sat near the isle and he sat near the window with his legs on my lap. Needless to say, neither of us really sleep more than an hour or two max. So we arrived in Kyoto grumpy and tired at 6am in the morning. Nothing was open and we had nowhere to go. My folks were there at the time but were leaving that day so we were meant to meet them for breakfast at the Starbucks opposite the station. We figured we'd just head there and hang out until 7 when it opened. That day was pretty much a write off as we just couldnt be arsed doing much. The most exciting thing we did was ride 10 stories of elscalators in a shopping centre near the station. This was actually cooler than it sounds.

We had a bit of a boat theme running with our Japanese trip so far so when we stumbled across a beautiful river on the outskirts of a bamboo forest, we figured we should hire a little row boat and head up stream. .We could see quite a few other boats around but figured if you just headed straight upstream and didn't get ditracted then we would get way further than them and be in a nice secluded part of the river. The river was flowing pretty fast. No more need be said.

Kyoto was nice but after the buzz of Tokyo we either needed something equally as exciting or really chilled, and Kyoto feel somewhere in the middle, so even though its a must see, we didn't think it really meet expectations. It was really fucking busy being cherry blossom season and all. There were heaps of tourists, including half of Japan who flock to Kyoto on the weekends during cherry blossom season, but there was just not that much going on.

Being the disorganised travelers that we are though, we did find ourself without accomodation for the last night in Kyoto. Having tried a capsule hotel, we figured it was time to check out a love hotel. Now I know some of you will be disappionted to hear as we were, but no guyjin are allowed to even walk through the doors of a themed love hotel. So we found another one and after a few beers from the vending machine out the front to work at the courage, we went in. There is a massive digital display screen with lit up pictures of all the available rooms. You select which one you want on a touch screen and then the elevator opens up and automatically takes you to the right floor. There are then lit up arrows that guide you to your room. Once inside, you pay a machine in the wall and the the doors shut. Really shut. You can't leave the room until you are ready to leave for good. Inside there are two bar fridges, one for cold beverages, and the other for sex toys. Anything you take gets automatically calculated and the doors wont open again until you pay, again at the hole in the wall. The TV has maybe 5 or 6 free porn channels, a playstation, but best of all the biggest kareoke song list you have ever seen! So with a nice bouncy bed as our stage, we sang our little lungs out until we could sing no longer.


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