So yesterday I walked around what I am sure is considered to be ‘old town’ Nabari, the area closest to the mountains/hills that surround this small city. This area is more what you are expecting, or hope to get out of Japan. All the streets are narrow and are lined with tiny tiny homes and apartments and Japanese gardens in front of the homes that have ‘front yards’. There are also many many little canals i like to think of them as that line streets and go right under some homes, but I am pretty sure, using my detective skills, that they are simply drainage for rainwater, although it hasnt rained for a few days so not sure where the water is coming from. Maybe its a small power source that constantly goes through certain areas maybe? Whatever it is its very picturesque and soothing to hear the sounds of. This area of town like a maze. Even the tiniest streets have alleys that shoot of them and those are lined with apartments and shops as well. Now this is no Tokyo or anything, remember I am only in a town of 85,000….but its fantastic none the less.
Its funny today I was thinking how I havent gotten any curious looks from people here really, and then wouldnt you know it as I was passing by an elementary school today as they were letting out, and this group of 5-6 little kids came running across the street yelling ‘HELLO!, HELLO!’. They completely surrounded me but let me walk, and they were trying to hold my hand and were saying ‘good morning, good morning’, and tried to say back to them ‘good AFTERNOON’, and at least one kid got and repeated it. I just kept walking along my merry way until I was about to cross a major intersection and one kid was able to say ‘where from?’ and i replied back ‘America’ and all the kids kinda gasped and giggled. It was pretty cute, and it was nice to feel like a celebrity! I took my longer lens out today to try and get some far away shots and i got a few good ones, but its been a bit hard the past few days as its been so sunny with no clouds, but I tried my best as always, and hopefully will have some good pictures to post when I get back. I must add when I leave I am really going to miss all the drinks that you can buy at convenience stores here. There are 2 very popular energy/electrolyte booster type drinks here that i like. One is called ‘Polcari Sweat’ and is quite good. Its hard to describe, but to say it has a foggy misty feel to it, thats the best way to put it I think. The other energy drink is called ‘Aquarius’ which is the same as ‘Polcari Sweat’, but it has a more of a lemon flavor, which is my favorite fruit taste, so you can imagine im obsessed with it. I hope this stuff makes it to America one day. One more drink I had yesterday I have no idea what the name is, but its a fruit drink which is very very light, and consists of banana, apple, pear and milk, and its weird and delicious. Another drink is simply called ‘Lemon flavor’ (or ‘Lemon Drink’ maybe) which is just a good non-tart lemonade energy drink again. They love these energy drinks. Maybe cause they arent nearly as nasty as the ones at home, which I hate (david brent), so I see why they like them here. Oh I went back to that restaurant that that I went to on the first day, which Ash & crew nicknamed ‘The Cantene’. I LOVE that place. I got the same as before but also got this Japanese friend chicken thing called Karage, which Yung Mei told me to get today actually. weird. and i got a large rice this time. i really stuffed myself and the food was BEYOND good. I have also gotten good with the chopsticks, with previous training from Yung Mei as well, so I must thank her! Im surprised I used them so well yesterday.
Anyway a simple couple days, hence the one post. I am going to Ash’s favorite bar tonight so I will update this post later. Then I wont post til Tuesday as ill be gone to Hiroshima for 3 days without computer access! How primitive :)
Ok it is becoming unbearable how fantastic people are. Obviously there must be this weird creepy undercurrent of hate and venom here, like Blue Velvet, but for now, a 2 week visit, i DO NOT care. It is so nice just to hear that for instance Ashleys friends bike got a flat while we were at this bar, and that she was just going to leave it outside overnight in front of this big supermarket/shopping mall, because, why not? Nothing is going to happen to it and no one is going to steal it. People dont lock their doors here, they leave expensive motorbikes out right in the street in front of their homes, no worries, cause NOTHING will happen to them. There is just this feeling of safety and politeness and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. here that I have never felt anywhere. The darkest ally you pass by, GO DOWN IT, cause their is nothing to hear, nothing to worry about, and their is something special there waiting for you. Ash and I went down this alley, well not an alley, more like about 6 inches of space between 2 buildings, and its dark, but you walk down it and low and behold there is this cute little cafe that is open serving coffee at 10pm. You would never know its there unless you explored this dark cavern of a ‘street’. And the bar we went to tonight. Keep in mind this is the old town ive been exploring alot, and its Friday night and still very sleepy and quiet even at night, and we took a right down this slightly larger alley, maybe 12 inches across, and lanterns lit on the street and this little stream has just enough room to exist, and you walk over the tiniest bridge to go into this bar called ‘Bless You’ and you go in and its dark and mysterious and no one is inside yet with some cool electronic music playing and two brothers who own the place are getting the place ready for the maybe 10 people who will show up all night. Its a lounge, so relaxing with big sofas and the most delicious gin and tonics ive probably ever had, and its spacious somehow in such a tiny place and candles and they give us some free snacks such as hardened french toast which is so sweet and delicious. The brothers are very hip and trendy but without pretense and very very nice and accomodating, and like the Japanese i have experienced, almost feel honored you are there. Afterwards we walked around the back streets and found some more alleys i need to go back and explore cause they are just amazing. Its just beautiful that somehow the Japanese are able to, with having SO many millions crammed into such a small space as Japan, find a way to be tranquil and peaceful with one another and have just a relaxing environment to be in. Its just so inspiring i cant even explain it.
Off to Hiroshima and Miyajima Islandm, and an update to follow on Tuesday (Monday evening EAST COAST)