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One Throw, One Cut, One Death!

This morning Mochan! told us that we could actually see Mt. Fuji! However, we already had plans to be in Nara, so we made one quick stop at another Mt. Fuji viewing location as we got our 7-11 breakfasts, and then we had to leave for Nara. (Please be there when we get back next week Mt. Fuji!)


Then to the bus for a few hour trek.


THE Toyoda Factory:


One of many Japanese amusement parks:


Reminds me of Millennium Force... oh! Good times at Cedar Point!


First Stop, Ninja Village!


(And yes, there are many pink ninjas.)


(And smoking ninjas. This is their secret to always arriving in a cloud of smoke. Now you know a ninja secret!)


And on to the main event! The Ninja Show!

This is all of us making the Japanese sound "oooooooooooooo!" at the lowest range our voice can manage:


Rie is actually really really good at this (probably because she does it all the time). They say "oooooo" when we say "oooohhhh" in a rising pitch, usually when someone does something wrong, and they also use it when there is something interesting or scarry or impressive.




Then we walked around the Ninja museum, and then to a recreation of a house that a Ninja would live in (secret doors and traps and what-not.) But, waiting outside for everyone to get together for our tour, we were attacked by loads of Japanese Junior High students! "Hello!" *girls giggle/ scream/ foam at the mouth* "How are you?" *girls giggle/ scream/ foam at the mouth* "Where are you from?" *girls giggle/ scream/ foam at the mouth* "Can we take your picture?" *girls giggle/ scream/ foam at the mouth* "Can we take a picture with you?" *girls giggle/ scream/ foam at the mouth* Their excitement built with every question they were able to get off in their shy English. It reminded me of Ang on Avatar day:

This video is unfortunately kinda annoying b/c they repeat the scene over and over again, so you can skip the middle section, or just quit after you see what I'm talking about. But the repeat action kinda also gives you the feel for what happened to us. There were seriously like 9 different groups of school kids constantly passing by us. And the girls went absolutely crazy for Bjarke! (Pronounced Bee-ya-kah in case you've been wondering, but you got to do the kah really quickly almost like a gah sound you kinda swallow at the end like your not really sure how to pronaounce it, and then you will pronounce it right!) I mean, he is really good looking, and his has a very nice accent, so I understood the attraction. But they were crazy screaming things like "I want you!" at the age of like 14 to some stranger. It was hilarious! I wish I had a video of it, but Joe had the camera, and he was reading every caption in the museum, so he missed the junior high girl show, and almost missed our tour through the Ninja house.


Inside the Ninja House:



Then, it was back to the Wish Bus and off to Nara, the city where there are as many deer as there are people! This city was a cute little old village that was built up around their large Buddha statue temple, and this year is the 1300th anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo Capital! So there are pictures all over the place on all the subways and buses with the little Nara man with antlers and these 3 women all posing in positions like statues. I don't know this now, b/c I've only been on the Wish bus. But after we leave Mochan! we start seeing these advertisements for Nara everywhere!


[One guy we stayed with later after we left Mochan! said that this little guy is way too peaceful looking it makes him mischievous and creepy.]



I loved these hanging curtains. It reminded me of the Siege On Harrogath video in Diablo II, Extended edition when you first see Ba'al, or Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers when you first see Eowyn in Edoras.


Elaina taught us how to wash our hands and mouth before entering a Japanese Temple or Shrine:


Outside the temple was this creepy looking statue that we will see outside a few other temples, but this one was by far the creepiest. You are supposed to rub the part of her body that is causing you pain, and then rub that part on yourself, and she will heal you. So, yes, Joe rubbed her butt.


Then after leaving the main temple we just wondered the temple grounds for an hour or so until Mochan! came back to pick us up.


Bjarke's gift for Mochan now hanging from his vizor (not like he could see out the back window anyways with all our stuff pilled on the back seat to the celling).


This evening we stayed at Mochan!'s friends hostel, so she gave us a place to stay and dinner for the price of a place to stay.


She was really nice, and her 2 hostels were both Japanese style with western beds or Japanese beds, so it was the best of both worlds. There were too many of us, so we had to split up, the partiers would stay above her restaurant, and us sleepers would go back to her hostel down the road. Sophie, Chris, Elaina, Joe and myself got the western style bunk beds in one room. All of us but Sophie got a bed with a Tempur-Pedic mattress (so freaking nice!), and Sophie volunteered to sleep on the regular mattress on the ground. I told her we could pull straws, but she insisted, and I didn't push. : )

The Norwegians and Finish couple stayed in the Japanese style rooon with the the tatami mat on the floor, and there were several other people there as well in western or Japanese rooms. Joe spent most of the night in the dining room (western style table) on Skype with my mom trying to fix his damn Citi Bank crap. I popped in and out occasionally watching Princess Monanoke with another European, it was his first time seeing the movie, so it was kinda great to watch his reactions to the tree spirits and things that that, and then checking in on the Internet group. Elaina's laptop crashed, so she was using her Aunt's, but it was a Japanese laptop, and Elaina can only speak Japanese, not read it. So we had fun trying to figure out how to connect her to the Internet. We eventually gave up and went to bed. Joe came in like 2 hours later (my poor mother!) and still had no success fixing his account.

My favorite thing about Nara:

Almost every building has these little acrobats in different hues of red satin hanging from strings, cupping the string usually between all four appendages, sometimes doing back bends and such, almost like a child's crib ornament. I was told that they are little monkeys that protect the houses from harm. I love these guys, and I figured I would take a picture of them in the morning. But after we left the little quaint part of Nara for breakfast (7-11), I couldn't find one! I searched and searched, and then in Kyoto I finally found one that was suitable enough:


I love you little monkey acrobats!

Posted by - Rain 20:26

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