On Saturday, I went on the train to go to Nara with two people from the summer program and two Japanese students.
|Sometimes in Japan, they have promotions on the trains. I had no idea that Thomas the Tank Engine was so big in Japan. It reminded me of my childhood so much.|
|I had curry with pork cutlet on the side. I also got an orange juice that came in a glass like the kind you get at A&W when you order root beer. It was really good.|
I personally didn't get any pictures of the mochi (I was too far in the back), but here's a video from YouTube that gives the overview.
Nara has many old temples, but the thing its most famous for is the deer; they are super friendly. You can buy some deer crackers for about 150 yen to feed them with. However, you have to be very careful; if they see you eating something and you don't share, they can get vicious. We heard this one kid yell out "They're carnivores!" I talked with one guy who is from Nara when walking back to the seminar house one day and he was a bit shocked when I told him that in America, deer are food, not friends.
Here are some pictures on how close I was able to get to the deer.
|The deer will literally allow you to pet them. It works best if you have food.|
|This is me feeding the deer. There are much smaller in Japan than they are in America.|
|The baby deer are still a little scared of people, but they'll get used to people soon enough. Give them food and they'll be fine.|
We also saw two different shrines in Nara. The first was called the Todaiji Temple.
|This is a recreation of different areas.|
|This is an example of old writing in Japan.|
|This statue has a special property; if you rub the part of its body that's ailing you, it will get better.|
|There were stone lanterns everywhere. On the lanterns are people's names.|
On Sunday, my roommate, Yuuka, and I went with her parents to Toei Kyoto Amusement Park. Toei Company Ltd. is a company that does film and TV production and distribution. The company itself has had a huge impact on Japanese pop culture over the years: it produces the Kamen Rider, Super Sentai (Power Rangers), and Pretty Cure series as well as having created the highly popular Gintama movie. The company has created a lot of different tokusatsu (live action dramas that use special effects) and jidaigenki (historical dramas). It's not an misstatement that Toei has had a big hand in Japan's pop culture.
Here are some pictures from the inside the museum part of the park.
|Many of the different Kamen Riders and Super Sentai/ Power Rangers from over the years.|
|Kamen Rider Ichigou (literally translates as Masked Rider First). The name is fitting because he is the first Kamen Rider on TV.|
|This is part of a timeline. It shows a lot of the different shows that Toei has created over the years. This part shows specifically Kamen Rider and Super Sentai.|
|Posing with Kamen Rider Ichigou and Nigou (Second). Nigou has red gloves and bots. They are both from the very first season of Kamen Rider. The reason Nigou was introduced was because the actor for Ichigou broke his leg while filming episode 10.|
|Riderman and Kamen Rider V3. Riderman is the only Kamen Rider ever have a name that includes Kamen Rider, but also the only one with a part of his body showing after he transforms (his mouth).|
|Kamen Riders (from left to right) Amazon, X, and Stronger. Amazon is currently being rebooted as Kamen Rider Amazons on Amazon Prime Japan.|
|Kamen Rider Kuuga. There were only a few movies in the 90s and Kuuga was the season that restarted the franchise. It is arguably the most important season as it threw out the old formula and allowed the series to grow into what it is today. Kuuga is the last series that the original creator had any input on since he died before the first episode aired (said episode is also dedicated to him). It also coined the term Odagiri Effect (you should read it, it's seen in a lot of different shows).|
|Akaranger and Ace Spade from Himitsu Sentai Goranger and J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai respectively. These are the first two seasons of Super Sentai and the only two to not feature a giant robot that they fight in.|
|With the exception of one, all of these suits are from Super Sentai only. The next pictures, with the exception of two, are from both series with one of the exceptions having their sixth ranger being in Power Rangers instead.|
|Yuuka's sign says something to the effect of "You are a bad person." Mine says "Not as bad as you are."|
|There are small shows going around the park sometimes. After this show (which demonstrated how to be a samurai), you could take pictures with the actors. Yuuka, Yuuka's parents, and myself are in this picture.|
|This is actually a recreation of a bridge called the Nihonbashi that is/ used to be in Edo (now Tokyo). It was the start of the five paths/ highways that went to other parts of Tokyo.|
|This is a picture from the top of the bridge.|
|Worst. Ninja. Ever.|
|You can go inside, but you have to take your shoes off because you'll ruin the tatami mats otherwise.|
We also went inside of a trick house that was there.
|Yuuka's parents went first so that I could see how it was done.|
|This is the view from the foot bath. It's very beautiful view of the river and the mountain.|