Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm packed. Who's comin' with me?

I missed Japan the other day.
I dug into the pictures on my computer and pulled out a few that didn't make the travel blog but will fit perfect here on my super artistic-fancy-pants-photo blog.
I'm ready to go back.
Shrine at a temple in Nagano.
This is one of the biggest shrines I saw. People donate some money and take some incense to burn. Then they said a prayer, and washed themselves in the smoke. There were even a few little kids in the crowd and they closed their eyes and held there breath as their parents picked them up and held their faces in the smoke.
Tokyo Tower.
I think this was taken on me and dads second to last day in Tokyo. We spent it going back to some of our favorite places, and buying souvenirs.
I don't think this guy moved all day.
There were a lot of fancy little statues around the Nagano temples. Around all the Temples for that matter.
Sunset over Tokyo from the bullet train.
The bullet train was one of my favorite ways to see Japan. There was so much there to see and the bullet train took me from the middle of the largest city in the world to a nearly deserted farming community, in less then an hour. I was worth it. Me and dad were a little worried about paying the $280 for a one week rail pass, but it is the only way to go. I will get another pass next time I go, no question. And its not just the bullet trains, it works for any trains. And the trains go everywhere. Buy a pass if you go.
Com' on. Give the guy some money.
He has to pay for the hat somehow.
This guy was cool. He walked at about 1/4 speed and would ring his little bell every other step. They even pan-handle with style.
Worst job in Japan.
Yet another cool little detail that makes me love Japan. Every thing is important and needs to be special. I'm sure this guy even has a back story. Next time I go to Japan I will speak enough Japanese to at least ask about him.
Instead of pigeons, Japan has crows.
There were packs of crows all over down town Tokyo. I didn't see a pigeon for the first 3 days.
Temple in down town Tokyo.
We stopped here on our first tour day. We had been on the bus for too long and we had taken a vote to spend only very limited time at this temple in order to get to the much more important automotive tourist sites. Our guide was more then a little confused that a bus full of tourists would vote to spend only 30 mins at this beautiful temple so that we could spend and extra hour at Up Garage, a used car parts store.
Next time I will spend a little more time there. Depends on what car pars I might be able to see.
I love Japanese used car lots. So sexy.
Here is what we cut our temple time short for. Worth it? I think the picture speaks for its self.
The yellow building in the back ground is Up Garage. And this was a tiny preformace car lot next door.

This statue is right outside the Nagano train station.
Nagano is worth a visit. Very worth it.
I was worried about getting lost over there after being in Korea and seeing how random the streets were laid out there. Japan does have a lot of randomness, but, they also have big main streets to and from the train station. There is also a pile of free maps in each station with helpful English speaking workers handing them out.
OK. This isn't Japan, but it was the same trip.
Pluckin' in San Fran.
S.F.F.D. #1
This cow was chilling on the outside of a Catholic church.
Coit Tower.
I made Kip walk up a really big hill to get this picture. I hope it was worth it .
China Town.
We ran into a few of these tired looking Chinese men playing for money. The music was definitely Chinese and really cool. This guy should form a garage band and sell Cd's out of his trunk.

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