Visiting Japan. Part 2. Written in stone.

Here “s photo I took in one of the underpasses by the train station in Kyoto. You can rent a locker for $4 a day and leave your stuff there. What a simple and convenient artifact of life! I “ve seen free standing lockers in several other places too. The other thing to note here is the floor. It “s so clean that a surgeon can make a surgery here.

I keep bugging local people with the question, “Why it “s so clean on the streets? Do you impose hefty fines as in Singapore? rdquo;

“No, it “s just a matter of pride, we like it clean rdquo;.

Take a guess ndash; what is this thingy attached at the bottom of the house for?

Not sure? Ok, let me help you. Let “s say you are a dog and your master took you out for a walk. What would be the first thing you “d like to do? Find a convenient place to raise your back leg. Guess what, the house shown in this picture is not too convenient for peeing, because your right back leg will keep slipping from this slippery slope. Actually, if it would be me, I “d be a smart dog and pee right on the door of this house.

The life of smokers is miserable on the streets. Sometime they are having hard times finding a place to smoke a cigarette. Sometimes it “s even written in stone as in this pavement.

On the other hands, cigarettes are inexpensive here – $3.50 a pack. Many restaurants allow you to smoke inside, which proves that they don “t give a shit about your health ndash; the streets must be clean no matter what!

Boots are popular among females. Remember the movie Pretty Woman ndash; I mean that mini skirt and tall boots? Kyoto girls added high stockings and most of them look like whores, but they are not. I guess they just try to look cool. To my taste, Kyoto has big deficit of pretty girls.

But at least the girl in this photo has straight legs. Sarah Jessica Parker sent the message to the rest of the world that it “s OK to not hide the crooked legs inside jeans and the message was gratefully received by all young women in Japan.

I see a lot more handsome men here. Does it mean that I “m gay? Let me consult with my wife ndash; she knows everything.

The Japanese breakfast looks large but you don “t feel heavy afterward. In our hotel, one day I had 5-dish Japanese breakfast, and the next morning American style buffet. After the buffet I felt heavy and sleepy.

Sashimi here are very fresh. All food is good, especially when you ask a hotel concierge to recommend you a restaurant. Before coming here, I was under impression that travelling in Japan is very expensive. This is wrong ndash; it “s definitely cheaper than in Europe.

There are tons of temples and shrines (places of worship to an object) in Kyoto. My problem is that I “m not into museums. I prefer walk and observe life of locals. I like talking to them learning new things. And most of all, I like tasting good food in new places, which I remember better than most of the historical facts.

Actually, this fact I “ll remember. A shogun (a top military guy of the past) had an official wife and 30-50 mistresses. Mothers were happy if their daughters were selected to be mistresses, because if they “d have a son fathered by shogun, he “d have a chance to become one too. The official wife had no preference here.

Japanese are spiritual, but not overly religious. It “s seems that they have a smaller number of businessmen between people and God. Having a holy place or an object can be enough for saying a prayer. Interestingly enough, I “ve seen a bell and a long rope that people use to draw attention of God right before the prayer. To make sure that they are being listened by God, they also clap.

Please don “t treat my notes as a dissertation on Japanese religions. It “s just my quick observations. Just scratching the surface ndash; this is what my blog is all about. No load. Taking it all easy.

I spent the evening playing with a 17-year old geisha, and will tell you about it in the next blog.

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