Iga –Ninja ‘village’ (14th November Sunday)
First of all one of the main trips which I (along with Cait, Brittany, Cassie and her friend TK) went on in the last month was a week after the INFES, a trip to Iga the Ninja ‘village’ in the next prefecture over. Why do I say ‘village’? Well…Iga is now a large town/city and the ninja part was very much a museum in the middle. Don’t get me wrong it was incredibly interesting and fun, especially the ninja demonstration, was just a bit of an anti-climax after a 3 hour ride to get there. So here’s a fun video of some of the ninja demonstration (apologies for the woman in front):
(She’s talking about Shuriken and how on TV and anime you seen ninja throwing several shuriken at a time, but in real life this wouldn’t happen because real shuriken weigh about 200g. Ninja would only throw between 1-3 at one time, not one after the other, so they can’t use a lot.)
Kyoto Flea Market (21st November Sunday)
Now onto the more interesting stuffs. Another week later was the 21st November, now in Kyoto at the Toji Temple every 21st of the month there is a large flee market. I got up extra early and made my way there on my own, first time I’d gone wandering on my own, and I’m so glad I did! Being on my own I could go at my own pace, and browse all the stands. Most of them were selling antiques, toys, kimono, old clothes, or nommy nommy nommy vender food like taiyaki, teriyaki, okonomiyaki etc. I got a large pile of stuff which I won’t say because they’re Christmas presents for people ^_~
After wandering around for a good 2 hours, and it only being 11:00am I met up with some other friends who had made their way there and we went and got some lunch of omurice. Omurice is very interesting Japanese food. It comes from “omelette” and “rice” and is rice mixed with ketchup and then covered in an omelette with ketchup or sauce poured on top. What is really interesting is that Japanese people think this is youshoku/foreign food and yet the only place I have seen/heard of it is in Japan! But despite the debate it is VERY yummy ^_^
Then (after putting our haul in a locker at the station) we worked out way across Kyoto (which is a surprisingly large place) to the Imperial Palace. Then (after putting our haul in a locker at the station) we worked out way across Kyoto (which is a surprisingly large place) to the Imperial Palace. But first we found the Kyoto river was really log and you could get stepping stones across!!! I think we wasted an hour doing that ^^;
(Me, Areal, Amy, Katie, Gilli and Gabe)
For those who don’t know Japan used to change their capital every time the emperor died. First it was Osaka, the Kyoto, then Edo (which is now Tokyo), they got out of the habit after the Shogun kicked the emperor out of power. So Kyoto used to be one of the capitals and has it’s own imperial palace which is only open to the public without reservation for a short time each year (the imperial palace in Tokyo is apparently open to the public only 1 or 2 days a year!). And that was the last day.
Then to finish off the long day we went and had nummy nummy Japanese food in huge quantities. I can’t remember the name of it but we went to a restaurant in the centre of Kyoto city where you order lots of small side dishes and all eat a lot of little stuff. Hmmmm ^-^
Coming up Next!
The weekend that just went was an extra special day because I got to do cosplay for the first time in Japan. I had a lot of trouble getting the costume right but it was worth it in the end and COMPLETELY different to how England does cosplay. So over the next few days I’m going to upload some special blogs on cosplay. The first two being reports on cosplay that I wrote. One is a report on my own experiences of cosplay as a consumer of cosplay. The second will be an interview of a Japanese cosplayer. And finally what happened last weekend at the event, and then some specials on my photo blog with photos of our cosplay. ^-^ Apologies if you don’t like cosplay but hopefully it’ll be educating for you.