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Nerd Tour Japan 2014: Days Seven and Eight


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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:11 pm Reply with quote
Funny how we know so much about shrines from watching hundreds of anime, but most of us have never actually been to one. I think it was even lampshaded in an anime where a foreigner knew more about the purification ritual than their Japanese hosts.

And yay, seeing Uka from Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha was pleasantly surprising.

Zac wrote:
Luckily he counted as a personal item and now he haunts our apartment.


I'd been wondering about it but I suppose this confirms it. Not that there's anything wrong with it.


Last edited by dtm42 on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Xagor



Joined: 29 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:19 pm Reply with quote
I went to Kiyomizu-dera two years ago, but it was on the hottest day of the year, so that was quite a different experience. I realised it was the same place from the shots overlooking the big drop, and checking on wikipedia and seeing that it was the place built with no nails.

Last time I was in the Pokemon centre in Tokyo was just when the Momoiro Clover Z song was big, so that played the whole time (and you got small children singing along to it). I remember there also being older people (non-parents), buying character goods for B&W. Loads of people around with DS too.

What was the date when you saw all the people in yukata? (Not sure if these reports are going up in close to real time?) It seems too late to have been the coming of age day.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:55 am Reply with quote
And so a fantastic journey in a foreign land comes to its conclusion. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences in Japan, along with the photos. Hopefully I'll get to visit someday before I get too old. X3
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:14 am Reply with quote
Was Mt Fuji on the PacSet itinerary? I remember going to Mt Fuji when it was raining and foggy the experience was pretty much a total bummer for me too. You're pretty much relegated to otaku/fujoshi shopping or arcades. Actually, carrying a bag of goodies through the rain is probably a worse experience. Only cultural activity I can think of that's alright in such weather would be indoor hot springs
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ANN_Bamboo
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:53 am Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
Was Mt Fuji on the PacSet itinerary? I remember going to Mt Fuji when it was raining and foggy the experience was pretty much a total bummer for me too. You're pretty much relegated to otaku/fujoshi shopping or arcades. Actually, carrying a bag of goodies through the rain is probably a worse experience. Only cultural activity I can think of that's alright in such weather would be indoor hot springs


You can check out their itineraries here. The tour had Mt. Fuji (by way of Fuji Q) as an option, as well as an onsen visit.
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Nayu



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:20 am Reply with quote
ANN_Bamboo wrote:
Selling souvenirs or snacks inside the building on a regular basis would usually be considered blasphemous in Christian circles..


Never been to a megachurch, I see.

And honestly, what is so nerdy about this trip? You went to Disney of all places? The Tezuka museum is kinda different, but overall this trip hit all the usual places for a western tourist to go in Japan.

Pretty dull trip, tbh.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:43 am Reply with quote
I am surprised Zac has been to Japan more than once and this is the first time he went to Kyoto. I've been to Japan 3 times and I've gone to Kyoto every time.

My first trip was a day trip and I realized soon enough it wasn't enough. In fact even multiple days I feel isn't enough there. I love the place and you visited two of my favorite sites Kiyomizu dera and Fushimi Inari.

A couple things

Yukata: I don't think Japanese people need any special reason to wear Yukata. Or I should say visiting a shrine or temple is considered a special reason. I always see people in Yukata when I am there.

Temple Fees/Souvenirs- From my experience most Temples charge admission (most shrines don't seem to) and most shrines and temples sell stuff. But think of it this way how else can they get the money to maintain the Temple and Shrine sites. A lot of those buildings are quite old and need repair and maintenance. They also do have people that work there that I imagine they have to pay.

I wonder if you guys ate at the restaurant at Fushimi or Kiyomizu. They are two of my favorite places for a meal. The food is always so fresh and good at shrines and temples.
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Zac
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:38 am Reply with quote
Nayu wrote:


Pretty dull trip, tbh.


Not quite as boring and predictable as this post, though!
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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:41 am Reply with quote
Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
Temple Fees/Souvenirs- From my experience most Temples charge admission (most shrines don't seem to) and most shrines and temples sell stuff. But think of it this way how else can they get the money to maintain the Temple and Shrine sites.

And they can't do it the usual Christian-church way (pass around the plate every Sunday), as getting together for an hour a week to listen to the preacher isn't how they do it.

Even when they try to do Christianity in anime, they wind up doing it the Shinto way sometimes, like the "confessions for 100 yen" sign that Zange carries around in Kannagi.
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Raneth



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:41 am Reply with quote
You guys didn't seem to like some of the temples much, but the pictures make it look really nice!

I like the look of all the fox statues. I was wondering, though--the foxes look kind of different than I would expect, with longer bodies and necks. Are the foxes that are native to Japan bigger/skinnier than the ones in Europe? Does anyone know?

Also, about how big was the castle? I'm really bad at estimating scale from a picture. Mansion size, two stories, or just sprawling?

I'm also curious if in all the merchandise you saw everywhere, if you saw any Puzzle and Dragons merch.

Looked like a fun (if tiring) trip!
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:53 am Reply with quote
Mikeski wrote:
Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
Temple Fees/Souvenirs- From my experience most Temples charge admission (most shrines don't seem to) and most shrines and temples sell stuff. But think of it this way how else can they get the money to maintain the Temple and Shrine sites.

And they can't do it the usual Christian-church way (pass around the plate every Sunday), as getting together for an hour a week to listen to the preacher isn't how they do it.


A lot of the big Christian churches and cathedrals I've seen while traveling have attached shops that support the church, along with offering boxes. It's not that dissimilar.

~~

I really enjoyed this series! It was especially fun seeing it through the eyes of two different people. Thanks to you both for taking the time to share your experiences in words and photos.
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Crisha
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:08 am Reply with quote
My favorite shrine/temple (lumping them together) in Kyoto was Ginkakuji. It is so much more quiet and peaceful than its sister shrine, Kinkakuji, though I enjoyed both. I just enjoyed them in different ways.

It was actually in Kinkakuji where I got asked by a group of cute teenage school girls if they could have a picture taken with me (in Japanese, not English, so at first I thought they wanted me to take a picture of their group until they started posing around me). I was probably about twice their size and a head taller than them. Laughing I wasn't offended, I thought it was pretty cute, and it ended up being the highlight of my visit to Kinkakuji.

Kiyomizudera ended up being one of my least favorite visits as well, but that was more because my mom's feet were hurting (she broke her foot months before) and so we couldn't stay long. The structures and views themselves were beautiful, but I couldn't really experience it. It was too crowded and busy anyways.

I am with Hope though, I love Fushimi Inari. The path with the torii gates is awesome and had I more time I would have liked to walk the entire path.

Of course, it rained only once the entire week I was in Kyoto and Nara, and the temperature was perfect most days, so my experience would be more pleasant.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:24 am Reply with quote
Good to see someone else's trip documented.

Sorry to hear about the very wet weather you encountered.

I suppose it is a bit easier visiting from Australia (very little time zone difference, less physical distance, lower airfares).

My take on it after 7 trips over there (varying from 41 hours there to a month there and still not having been south of Odawara, nor much further west than Ueda, nor north of Aomori) is that one does as much homework on the internet for things that might interest you (not all of which you will necessarily see on one trip), give yourself time for the unexpected possibilities (and changes in weather) and have some major things to be the focus of your trip.

During your trip, keep an eye out for other things of interest that you may be able to do on that trip or a later trip, don't be in too much of a rush all the time and don't be afraid to visit places that may interest you but not many others.

One example: ANN mentioned about the life-sized Macross VF-25 fighter model in Minatomirai subway station, Yokohoma which I was able to visit and while I was there the Macross Frontier writer Hiroyuki Yoshino was being interviewed.

All trips so far have been on my own, meeting the travel agent over there a few times, pre-arranged meetings with fellow fans at one concert, and making a few new friends on the trains and at/near concerts or in restaurants.

[PS, besides the various Japanese cuisines you can also eat at the Indian / Italian / Turkish ... food places and in summer enjoy their gigantic peaches and plums. No excuse to get bored with the food there.]

Recommended forum for visits to Japan (general tourist stuff and some anime fans): http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/149 and look for "Japan Travel Mega Thread".
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Jariten
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Joined: 08 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:41 am Reply with quote
willag wrote:
My favorite shrine/temple (lumping them together) in Kyoto was Ginkakuji. It is so much more quiet and peaceful than its sister shrine, Kinkakuji, though I enjoyed both.


We actually did Ginkakuji on last year's Animated (the rock garden there is amazing <3), but we opted to switch things up this year and do Fushimi Inari instead.

My biggest bummer about this year is that the cherry blossoms were a bit late, so we didn't get to see as much of them as we did on last year's tour. However, they were in bloom at the late-night Nijo light up. Smile
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:55 am Reply with quote
willag wrote:

Kiyomizudera ended up being one of my least favorite visits as well, but that was more because my mom's feet were hurting (she broke her foot months before) and so we couldn't stay long. The structures and views themselves were beautiful, but I couldn't really experience it. It was too crowded and busy anyways.


Kiyomizu is always crowded no matter when you go (well I don't know maybe if you get there when it first opens). I went twice in the winter when the trees were bare and twice in the autumn to see the red leaves (in the morning and evening) and there were always crowds.

But I love the atmosphere of that temple. You always see school groups and everyone is so excited to be there. I also love the walk up the temple with all the little shops (and yeah some of the souvenirs are kitchy but not all of them. In fact that shopping street is famous has been around for centuries).

As I mentioned Kiyomizu has a great restaurant on the premise where you can get Soba, Udon, Matcha, etc.

I am not sure if Hope or Zac did it but for 100 yen you can also go down this pitch black tunnel which is a really neat experience.

I don't know I really just love that Temple. Perhaps because it was the very first temple I visited in Kyoto it's a bit special for me.
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