Motorway to Roswell

3 05 2009

Nara Path, Nara, 4/27/2009

Or at least, the path back to Albuquerque. Classes at KCJS ended several weeks ago, and after a brief graduation ceremony we were set free to do as we please until we leave or are deported. As I’d like to come back to Japan one day, I’m leaving the day after tomorrow from Narita. I’m currently in Tokyo after a surprisingly strenuous journey through wide swaths of the Kanto and Kansai area, typing from inside a box (a hostel “single” doesn’t mean what you think it does, guys).  As I had to be out of my apartment by the 27th, I decided to make the trip a sight-seeing one and hit a number of different attractions along the way. First up was Nara.

Nara pond 1, Nara, 4/27/2009

I was rather effervescent in my praise of Miyajima, but a few short moments wandering through the temple grounds of Nara was all it took for the old memories from my first trip after my high school graduation to come rushing back. Nara is simply a gorgeous place, a pristine oasis of postcard ready-scenery bubbling out of its urban surroundings.

Nara Pond 2, Nara, 4/27/2009Pagoda, Nara, 4/27/2009Red Tree, Nara, 4/27/2009Todaiji front, Nara, 4/27/2009Nara Path 3, Nara, 4/27/2009

Nara, like Miyajima (or Miyajima, like Nara) is crawling with surprisingly aggressive deer.

Nara, like Miyajima (or Miyajima, like Nara) is crawling with surprisingly aggressive deer.

Sunset, Nara, 4/27/2009

My one regret was not spending more time in Nara, exacerbated by my need to drop off my baggage before going sightseeing. I unfortunately dramatically underestimated just how much weight all the books I’ve purchased in Kyoto would add to my luggage… Hauling around seventy or so pounds of luggage across the Japan has been an exhausting experience, especially since this damn place always seems to put it’s elevators in the most out of way places if it has them at all. The worst of it was at my next stop, Osaka, where the hotel I stayed at had no elevator… and I was on the fourth floor. Fun times. Of course, it was 1400 yen a night.

Taito game station, Osaka, 4/28/2009Tower, Osaka, 4/28/2009Tower 2, Osaka, 4/28/2009Plaza, Osaka, 4/28/2009

The next day I set out for Nagoya, making a pit stop at Ise along the way. Unfortunately, my luggage once again proved to be my anchor, and I only managed to see Geku, the outer shrine of Ise, and completely missed the supposedly amazing ocean-side cliffs.

Geku, Ise, 4/29/2009

The waters were teeming with fish.

The waters were teeming with fish.

There was a wide variety of wildlife at the shrine, including a chicken for a little kid to chase around...

There was a wide variety of wildlife at the shrine, including a chicken for a little kid to chase around...

...and around. This went on for aboout five minutes straight.

...and around. This went on for about five minutes straight.

I passed by a pretty amazing display of flowers on my way back to the station.

I passed by a pretty amazing display of flowers on my way back to the station.

Flowers 2, Ise, 4/29/2009Flowers 3, Ise, 4/29/2009

The train to Nagoya.

The train to Nagoya.

The view from the train...

The view from the train...

...and a passing train.

...and a passing train.

I got to Nagoya late and in an rather amazing coincidence ran into a fellow KCJS student who was leaving the next day, so I didn’t get many pictures. However, when I got to my hotel room, I looked inside the desk and was surprised to see a book exactly in the location where a bible is usually found in American hotels. Surprised that a Japanese hotel would bother to keep such a thing, I flipped the book over and saw this…

Buddha book, Nagoya, 4/29/2009

I again got to my next destination, Kawaguchiko in front of Mt. Fuji, rather late, and after nine hours of trains, I wasn’t in a photographing mood. I also didn’t try to climb Mt. Fuji; apparently, outside the official climbing season from July to August, the mountain’s weather is highly unpredictable and dangerous. As I’ve made it this far in my stay in Japan without being seriously injured, I decided to pass this time, and I was pretty exhausted after hauling my bags around for a few miles on the way to the hostel.

This was as close as I got.

This was as close as I got.

Mt. Fuji 2, Kawaguchiko, 4/30/2009

Kawaguchiko itself. ("-ko" is a suffix for lakes, so it would be Lake Kawaguchi.)

Kawaguchiko itself. ("-ko" is a suffix for lakes, so it would be Lake Kawaguchi.)

And that’s how I finally arrived in Tokyo and started living in a box (made of wood and everything). My time in Japan is quickly dwindling away to nothing, but I end each day so exhausted and my feet hurt enough each time that I mind a little less everyday. Maybe it’s time to come home.

Why is my hostel is Asakusa so easy to find? Landmarks.

Why is my hostel in Asakusa so easy to find? Landmarks.

Music I’m Listening to Now: Bruce Springsteen, “Dream Baby Dream”.

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2 responses

3 05 2009
cecilia

Welcome Home Sam, you have been missed.

11 05 2009
Molly

It was great to see you Sammy. We love the authentic treats from Japan. Come back to visit us anytime!

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