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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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[::..about me..::]
Learning curve, commence.
"Everything in life
is only for now."

-Avenue Q
book - none
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crochet - scrap squares
knitting - lace
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[::..current gape..::]
[::..site feed..::]

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:: Monday, October 24, 2005 ::

How I Spent My Weekend: Part II

Again with the pictures, yea!

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On Sunday I went to Suzumushidera. The name means "Temple of the Bell-Ringing Cricket". The monk who achieved enlightment here waaaay back in the day did so while listening to these pretty crickets. This is the statue in front of the temple of it's guardian Buddha type spirit. This statue is very famous because the Buddha is wearing straw sandals on its feet--very rare. The story is that he will grant you any one wish if you tell him your name and your address. Then he'll use those sandals to walk to you, whereever you are, to grant your wish. Pretty neat, huh?

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There was a 20 minute talk (in Japanese, of course), explaining about the temple and the god and how to make a wish. Here is everyone with him. He was really really really nice and understanding.

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After that we took a train to a mountain town... can't remember the name just now. It was so beautiful! I want to go back when the leaves are changing (which will be December!). Noriko, my speaking partner, and I also plan to go back when the cherry bossoms are out. There are a bunch of super cute shoppes and things there, too. I really need to go back soon--this is the only time you can buy fall themed things.

So after that, we paid 520 yen (approx $5 US) to climb up a huge hill--Monkey Mountain!

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There were monkeys all over the place. No cages or anything, just roaming about. I took so many pictures, hehe. I think we came at grooming time in the late afternoon--there were many pairs like this. This is right on the edge of the path we were walking on--you can see some shoes at left.

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There was an amazing view of Kyoto, too.

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Everyone at the top of the mountain. I usually feel bad in group pictures--I'm so much taller than most Japanese girls! I feel like a giant sometimes, hehe. Do note the monkey next to me. ^_^

And one last picture:

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...the baby ones are so cute. ^_^

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:: Kazen @ Always Doing 11:21 PM [+] ::
:: ... 3 comments | backtrack ::

Yarr! Awesome pictures =)
Absolutely beautiful pictures!

<^^< \^^\ <^^> /^^/ >^^>
do the hokey pokey and you study all about! that's what it's all about!!!
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How I Spent My Weekend: Part I

Of several! Pictures is the best way to show you guys. ^_^

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Saturday I went to Kyoto to see the Jidai Matsuri, or "Festival of the Ages". It's one of Japan's newest festivals, starting in 1895. Around that time the Imperial capital was moved to Kyoto. Everyone was pretty sad about it, so they decided to have a big parade outlining Japan's history. I think over a thousand years are covered, it's really quite something.

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My friends and I, all gaijin (foreigners), arrived pretty early. We camped out a great place to stand on a bridge and passed the time by playing Go. Japanese people would gawk and wonder as they walked by, saying stuff like, "The foreigners know how to play Go?!". Hehe. Every once in a while someone really wanted a good look, like this gentleman here.

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These fifes were the only music in the whole parade. The whole atmosphere was pretty quiet compared to American parades. People oooo-ed and ahhhh-ed as pretty things went by, but that was about it.

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This fella represents a historic figure... not quite sure who, though. One good thing about being a foreigner and sticking out in a crowd is that people will pose for you, like this guy. He has a fitting sense of decorum, I think.

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This guy, on the other hand, likes to live it up. He made the entire street crack up--just look at the people in the crowd behind him. ^_^

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Her highness graces me with a smile. Well, "smile". -_^

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The really important children were accompanied by someone who carried a chair for them. When the parade stalled for one reason or another, they got to rest.

You can't tell from these pictures, but it was quite cold in Kyoto that day. A lot of the people in the parade, especially those sitting and not moving at all, looked like they were doing all they could not to shiver.

It was a bunch of fun. Afterwards we went to a curry restaurant and filled up on really warm food--it was much needed!

Unrelated note:

To all the Rat fans--hi!!! Welcome to my blog! Feel free to read back a bit--I've posted quite a few pictures since I arrived in August. Leave a comment if you like, too! It doesn't even require registration, just proof that you're a human (very easy, no worries). ^_^ Goooooo Rats!

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:: Kazen @ Always Doing 1:34 AM [+] ::
:: ... 0 comments | backtrack ::

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:: Thursday, October 06, 2005 ::

Net Engrish?

Apparently it does exist, worse yet, on paper. :P Here's the text of a flyer I got in my mailbox, verbatim:

College night
10th Nov THU
6.00pm - 9.00pm
Want 2 show your

Come on DJ, singer, guiter player,
whoever ;)

Looking for some performers who are interested in the
College Night Festival.

Want to Work with us?
Want for Apple?
Looking for some kind
Ladies and Gentlemen!!

Looking for some ppl who can help us, Japanese students
who are orgnizers for the night. We are gonna have a iPod
presentation with 6 differentlanguages! Would you give us
your HANDS?
Plz contact email; ~~~~~~~~@hotmail.com

...that's the exact text and formatting. Pretty scary, huh?


:: Kazen @ Always Doing 10:17 AM [+] ::
:: ... 5 comments | backtrack ::

Actually, Engrish has been around for a long time.
Wiki might be able to help you find an occurrance.... heah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base

Just for personal edification.
Engrish.com is a favorite site, in fact. ^_^ It's kind of scary how much I see everyday... there's even another example of it earlier in my blog. ^_^
Goodness, can you believe their nerve? ... It's, "whomever".
off topic, shmofftopic.
i have a surprise for you when you get your work done.
Elizabeth--you are wonderful and evil and I lubs you! ~hughughug~

No one remembers Kaboom but Elizabeth and me, I think, hehe.
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:: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 ::

Yukata and Bon Dance

Today the local dance circle (i.e. club) composed of Hirakata-shi (i.e. the town we're in) Okaasans (i.e. mom-type people) dressed us foreigners in yukata and taught us a Bon dance--very fun! A yukata is a summer weight kimono. While a kimono can have layers upon layers, the yukata is only one. Without any further ado, the pictures!

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The Okaasans of the dance circle were very helpful in getting us into our yukatas. It's a bit of a process!

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My friend Erin and I. Her obi (the belt-esque thing) had a really cute painted pattern on it. ...and ignore my sneakers. -_^

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My obi from the back. There are lots of different of styles of obi (and tying obi), and they all mean different things. I think this bow is pretty standard/normal, though.

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Me at the fountain in front of the CIE. After we tried them on we went to the cafeteria for lunch--a gaijin (foreigner) in a yukata gets tons of stares! Hehe.

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The Okaasans did a whole bunch of dances for us, some of them were very cool! This one was my favorite, about a husband and wife going off on their honeymoon, I think. The whole thing was very sweet. All of the dancers are girls, so if the guy looks a little fem, that's why. :P

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And here's the group picture! It was really an event, very fun. ^_^

While I'm at it--other things I've done lately!

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Last week I went bowling with Japanese and fellow international students--it was a blast! To give you a clue how the actual game went... the winning score was a 72, I think. Hehe.

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Let me tell you, the Japanese know how to do karaoke. You don't sing in front of an entire bar or restaurant--only in front of your friends. "Karaoke boxes" have lots of little rooms for this purpose. Sometimes drinks are included, as well! Not much drinking on this particular night, but we don't need drinks to have fun, right Mom? ~huge wink~

Other than this, my life has been... school. Exactly. Hehe.

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:: Kazen @ Always Doing 11:58 AM [+] ::
:: ... 4 comments | backtrack ::

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
August wants to know why do you have to wear those dresses?

Very charming! I love the pic of you in front of the fountain! That is a shot to keep forever!
You're so not allowed to look more Japanese than I do! :P
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