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I've decided to put up some photos from my time in Japan. I have surprisingly few, considering I was there for 9 months straight... Now if only I'd had a nifty digital camera instead...

Let the slide show begin!

Kiyomizu Temple

This is a picture of me and my friend Sabine at Kiyomizu Temple. This was one of the first field trips that I went on. The scenery was simply beautiful. You can see some nice mountain foliage in the background. Aren't the buildings great?

Street in Kyoto

This is just a shot I took while we were being lead about Kyoto. The weather was great, and I loved the lines of the picture.

Deer at Nara

Deer Park in Nara is full of deer, overly tame, pushy little bastard deer who make you realize that venison is a wonderful thing. They're pretty cute though, as long as they think you'll feed them their deer crackers willingly. If you ever get the chance to visit there, feed them stuff like muscats or banana peels. You'll make some deer incredibly happy. (And you'll get rid of those banana peels while you're at it!)

Pretty Stream at Nara

This was a lovely stream between Deer Park and the Daibutsu. There were stepping stones to go across, and it was definitely a good photo opportunity.

Old Temple at Uji

This is from Uji. I belive that it is a part of one of the oldest wooden structures around, but I could be wrong. I should look up where it was, but I'm laaaazy.

More old stuff at Uji

This is from the same complex in Uji. It's near the Genji museum. I'll put up more details when I actually look up the history.

shop in Uji

This is a shot taken at a gift store in Uji. There should be berries or flowers in the trees, or so the shopkeep told me. In Japanese. ... She was a sweet old lady who gave us green tea for free. I bought some mini tea sets and a post card for people back home. It was interesting, but nice.

A small sampling of the many steps at Fushimi Inari

This was at Fushimi Inari. I thought I was going to see a temple. I did... but only after climbing, literally, a mountain of stairs. There were so many tori up that some bits were like tunnels, but I remember most clearly the steps that never seemed to end. I can now say, however, that I climbed up to the top, so I feel accomplished.

Morbid statue at an elementary school

My Japanese class went to visit an elementary school. The kids were great, but this statue out front was... interesting. The one kid is standing, but the other has lost his body, leaving a small head on a metal pike. Charming indeed.

A grave

Grave of some sort. I'm sure it was someone important. Apparently I took this at Kiyomizu temple. Still, a nice picture.

A Crowd on New Year's

I did Tokyo for about a week over winter break. A few friends and I decided to go to a temple on New Year's day. This picture is rather small, so I don't know if you can really see, but that is a sea of human heads. Thousands of people all crowded together, just to get squished into a temple, toss some coins, and get carried out again by the crowd. It was madness. I did learn that crowds don't bother me too much. Also, there were booths and stands set up outside, where there was some really tasty food. Japanese roasted corn is divine.

Tokyo Tower

We decided to do a little bit of an "X" tour. We had to stop by Tokyo Tower. We didn't go up, so no getting transported to an alternate universe for me. Luckily, nothing else attacked the tower, and we were safe from everything but the giant phallic Tokyo Tower mascot. (Picture of *that* to come eventually)

Rainbow Bridge

Another "X" locale. Rainbow bridge is in the backgroud. I don't know who the people on the beack are. I did do the monorail over the bridge. Nice view, unfortunately no pictures to share.

Emperor of Japan

On New Year's, the emperor comes out and waves at massive crowds of people. I didn't really get to see much of anything, as the huge crowd stood up on its collective tippie toes, and blocked my vision. A much taller friend took this shot with my camera though. So... I kinda saw the emperor of Japan. I circled where I think he is in the pic, so you get a general idea. -Also, I'd like to add that at 5'2" I was the average height for a Japanese girl, but I often still felt short. ;_; If you're short here, chances are you'll be short there, so don't listen when people say you'll tower over everyone. You'll probably just be wider.

Gambaku Dome

One of my last big trips was one to Hiroshima. I didn't stay in the city for long, but I did visit the Gembaku Dome. The bomb went off almost directly above this building. The remains have been preserved as they were after the bomb all this time. I heard they had to glue some of the rubble in place. It's really creepy to see the hollowed out body and the skeleton of the top. There should be no nuclear bombs anymore. NOTHING can excuse what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and we can't allow history to repeat itself. I may sound a bit preachy, but if you can see what the bomb did, and still think it's peachy for so many countries to have stockpiles of these vile weapons, there's something wrong there.

And this is it for now. Sorry to leave off on a bit of a low note. I'll try to get some more pictures up if I find some nice ones.

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