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Ok I finally got the photos and got them working...my computer is a stubborn brat >_< Etto, I posted all about my first day in the original Japan post but I'm moving it by Flick's request. Plus I guess this might be easier.

July 5th (Day 2)

Kyoto: We woke up early in the morning to catch our bus to the shrines from our hotel. It was an all day long tour of both Kyoto and Nara. My friends unfortunately didn't get a full night's rest but since I had slept on the plane I slept pretty well. The sun rises early or at least what I consider early, about 4:30 in the morning in the summer. I'm used to twilight at about 5:50 in Dallas, Texas.

Japanese television in general is hilarious to watch. I'll explain more later on but morning kids shows are very cutsy and it made us crack up. Btw, Keri and I were always paired up in the same room. The two fifteen year olds shared another while the teacher and Tommy had their own rooms.

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There, the station, taken from our hotel in Kyoto. We didn't take any actual pictures of our hotel but it was the Kyoto Tower Hotel.

But so anyway we began our tour with Nijo Castle in Kyoto. It was built in 1603, early Edo period, and home to the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu.

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Gomen, there were a few other tours there while we were there along with a couple of school trips. So it was difficult to get a person-free picture.

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Scenery within the castle grounds.

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Kirei ne?

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I took this one ---^

If you ever happen to visit this castle you will notice if you walk inside that the floors will squeak. That is on purpose so the Shogun would hear anyone who was walking near by, particularly assassins. I don't have a picture but there were life-size doll-people in the room wearing the traditional clothing. The reason the kimonos are so long is so if they try to run away they will trip on the cloth so they can't get away from the Shogun. Also be careful when you walk in old temples, castles, etc. because they didn't use nails back then, just the arrangement of wood so take their cautions with heed.
So then we jumped on the bus and headed for temple grounds.

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I love the painting, I'm so glad someone got a good picture of it.

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I took the previous three. The one above are wishes. I believe you write it and tie it.

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When you pray at the shrines, first you bow, throw some coins into the donation box, ring the bell like the one above, clap your hands twice so that the spirits/god(s) can hear you, pray or make your wish, then bow again. I don't believe you always have to donate because I have seen people skip through donation but if you go to Japan I suggest you donate at least once.

Also it wasn't by this one but some times there will be fortunes for sale for ¥100 or about 75 cents. Its purely for fun, most people don't take them too seriously.

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For kicks and Kanji lovers. Deguchi meaning exit. De from take out and guchi for mouth. Iriguchi for entrance. Also if you see iri and de together with guchi like in the picture below it means both entrance and exit. If you travel in big cities you will see Kanji/English street signs but you will see less of the English part in small towns. But by then hopefully you would have seen entrance and exit so much that you would have memorized them. Also I picked up a lot of kanji from trying to read signs and the kanji from the rails. You'd be surprised how much you can pick up in a short amount of time!

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After exploring Kyoto we went to a department store for lunch, where I spilled soup on myself >_<! Poised aren't I? lol Shopping at department stores make learning katakana worth while because most of the time there will be long floor signs describing what's on each floor. Btw, the word for floor is kai, ex: onagaku nan kai arimasu ka? If I said that correctly it would mean, which is the music floor or which floor has music? But there will usually be the word CDs clearly marked on the map. Department stores are amazing in Japan. One-stop shopping in most cases. We didn't get to do much shopping because we only had time for lunch in the Kyoto department store but eventually we did in the other cities.
Nara: After lunch we got back on the bus and headed for Nara, which was about one hour away.

Now, one thing particularly interesting thing about Shinto is that deer are sacred. Like cows are sacred in Hinduism I like to think. Another interesting thing is that on the temple grounds deer run frolic like its nobody's business... I mean the bus stopped in the lot and I looked outside and there just so happened to be a deer, just chilling by the gates.

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Caution Deer

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Angry Deer

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^_^; Sure the deer are cute but I swear they are like pigeons...when one is being feed they ALL know and they ALL swarm towards you... This poor lady had some deer cookies and suddenly like five deer appeared from no where and started following her. Everyone thought it was funny but when its not happening to you its hilarious otherwise its terrifying. The poor lady just threw the cookies and ran. Btw, if you try to pet them they start chewing on your shirt...

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The one of two statues guarding the temple below. I took this picture.

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I love how it looks like there are deer horns on top of the temple.

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Yes those are school kids in the picture above. While we were inside the temple about to exit they came up to the two fifteen year old girls in my group and asked to take a picture with them. I mean one of the girls was wearing a black minishirt, white tank with blue eyes and blonde hair with blue/black streaks while the other had glasses with blue eyes and long light brown hair. No pictures of me because I'm clearly Asian with black hair and dark eyes. Aka apparently NOT interesting to Japanese school kids Sad

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The saying is that if you touch him and touch the corresponding part on your body it will heal it. Like if your family has a history of stomach cancer and if you touch his stomach and yours its supposed to make it better. However it is difficult to touch him say his stomach or throat so his knee may have to do.

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Burning incense.
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Wooden model of the temple

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GIANT Buddha. Around new years they open the main window so you see nothing but his face from afar.

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So then we jumped on the bus, not literally, and went to another Shinto shrine.

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Apparently drinking sake is purification. The running joke was how later on we all wanted to get real purified.

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Fountain where you wash your hands. AGAIN DEER!

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That was our last shrine so after we headed back to Kyoto meanwhile I forced one of my friends to take this picture.

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For the rest of the ride I was listening to Eisley, mostly Brightly Wounds just because I believed it fit so perfectly. God I miss Japan :'(

Kyoto: Eventually we returned to our hotel and rested for a little while. By then it was about 6:00 at night (roku-ji zenzen) We then went into the department store connected to Kyoto tower and had our first restaurant food: Chinese food Lmfao

It was packed when we walked in and the business men who were sitting near us loved to stare at us. Ordering food or rather finding something to eat was especially difficult for me. The two things I missed about the US were political correctness and different meat options. If a meal has meat in Japan most of the time (for me at least) there is pork in it. I can't eat pork for religious reasons and even if I do eat it I tend to get very sick, probably from psychological reasons. My friends said I was exaggerating about how much pork was in the food, saying how they probably haven't eaten pork once the entire trip. I understand but I believe if you can eat it you tend to not notice it. There was a lot of pork on the menu so waiter showed me which dishes were vegetarian. So its possible but you have to take that extra step.

After dinner Tommy started getting an upset stomach so while everyone else was going to Kyoto tower I had to get him some pepto from my room. I tried going to Kyoto tower by myself however I got confused and lost so I went back to the hotel, which again was thankfully next to the tower, and made Tommy go with me.

First we had to find the right floor, past the food and manga floors. We showed the ladies our tickets and one guided us to the top floor. On the dial it shows you how far up you are going. I believe it was 10m, 20m, 50m, and 100m.

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Pictures from Kyoto Tower! I hate how we don't have towers like that back home. If there were some paranoid person would sue yelling how people were peering at her through her wide-open blinds -__-

I never caught up with the rest of the group at Kyoto tower but Tommy and I had a great time. After we left the tower we went for a walk around the city. We bought some drinks and called it a night.

We stayed up for a little while and watched some television. Japan have some of the craziest game shows ever. One in particular was one where they had these cardboard cut-outs of people in strange positions and this group of four had to match the cut-out because it is being thrown at them. And the cut-outs are hard too! There was one where one of the cut-out positions was up in the air laying down so the teammates tried to throw the person up while still trying to hold their positions.

After the game shows came the dramas and that was the beginning of our gradual addiction to Jdramas. Our first was Onna to Onna, a drama about a female department store worker whose new coworker gets all the attention because she has a full D-cup. Back problems anyone? Her boobs don't fit into her work shirt so the buttons randomly pop off and hit people in the face. The main head team of business men includes the one particularly sleazy man who wouldn't stop staring at the poor girl's boobs and the one attractive guy who all the females want. For a while we didn't know what it was called so it was referred to as the Boob Show.

After our Jdramas we went off to bed, absolutely exhausted but we still had another full day ahead of us. Next up was Hiroshima.

Anyway I have been uploading all morning *yawns* Don't be frightened. Everyday wasn't as exciting as Kyoto so I won't drown you in photos, details and deer in every single post. Ja! Nemui...*snores
awesome pix! how i wish i was with u on ur trip in japan. i love the deer. theyre so cute! i wouldnt mind if they chewed on my shirt. wat kind of souvenirs did u bring back home?
Lets go to hell, with our hands clasped, together. As we enter its fiery gates and hear the cries and shouts of the damned, we'll walk in with smiles in our faces and scorn God, for not even death can withstand our love.
subarashii !! please rynn continue to post your Japan's adventures !!!!!!!! thx a lot
Nara seems to be a kawaii place ! ikitai !!!
I can't believe deers were walking around and they weren't scared of people like in America. I like how Japan doesn't kill them or move them like in U.S. America need some learning tips from Japan how to treat wildlife. I really wish Hunting here was banned.

Thanks for the pictures. Now I really want to visit Japan. It looks so beautiful and the gardens are magnificent in the way they are built or if they formed like that by itself over time. I wish I could walk through one.
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"There is no Fate but What we Make"
Beautiful pix, Rynn. I really like the gardens & the towers. Japan is beautiful, now I really, really cant wait to go.I like the stories on the statues, I want to touch the one that heals Tongue... Thx again, I really enjoyed looking at them.
how i envy you...
i have to wait at least a year before i can go. ><
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