SECOND STOP - JAPAN 27 OCTOBER 2013
Konichiwa. A Few Hours Ago We Landed In Japan. Everything Was Very Clean And Most Buildings Are Very Tall. Because Japan Has Such A Large Population And The Country Isn't So Big, The Japanese People Have Built Man Made Islands. Rokko Island Is One Of These Islands And That Is The One We Are Staying On. There Are Two Man Made Islands In Kobe. It Was One Of The Hardest Hit Areas During The Great Hanshin Earthquake In 1995 Where 6000 People Died, Mostly In Kobe.
Rokko Island Is A Planned Community. They Made It To Build Space So More People Can Live In Kobe.
At The Airport There Was A Temperature Machine. When Everyone Walked Through It Would Scan Them And Tell Whether They Have A Fever Or Not. If Your Body Is Red On The Screen They Will Take You Aside And Examine You To See Whether You Are Bringing Any Illness Into The Country.
When We Got To The Hotel, Kobe Bay Sheraton, The First Thing Daniel Noticed Is The Toilet. There Is A Button That Squirts Hot Water Up Your Bottom. It Feels Quite Uncomfortable.
After A Long Sleep, Dad, Mum, Daniel And I Spotted A Festival Going On Outside From Our Window. We Realised That Since Thursday Is Halloween And Because Today Is A Weekend, It Was The Weekend Celebration For Halloween. Daniel And I Were Allowed Fairy Floss And Now We Are Back At The Hotel. Everyone Was Dressed Up In Their Favourite Cartoon Characters Outfit. We Saw A Few Harry Potters And Lots Of People Dressed Up As Mike Wasowski From Monsters Inc.
I Noticed That Lots Of Buildings Are Very Tall And Well Built, Unlike The Ones In Phuket. There Is A One Hour Time Difference From Perth To Japan And A Two Hour Time Difference From Thailand To Japan, So When We Landed In Japan At 4:00 Thai Time, We Landed At 6:00 Local Time. The Food Is Very Yummy And I'm Glad That We Are Spending 2 Weeks In Japan.
KYOTO - HERE WE COME! 28 OCTOBER 2013
Last night we had dinner at my Dad's friend, Nari Condo's, house. We had a Japanese barbecue and it was one of the best things I have ever tasted. We had to use chopsticks to put the meat on the on the single gas burner with a grill on top. There was chicken, beef, pork, little sausages and a variety of vegetables. It was Totemo Owishi ( that means very delicious in Japanese). Daniel and I watched the movie Water Horse while Mum, Dad and Nari had a conversation. Luckily, the movie was in English with Japanese subtitles.
Today we caught a train to Sumiyoshi and then Kyoto. Mum wanted to go to Kyoto because it is the old capital of Japan and there are lots of interesting things to do there. At the train station there was a really cool ticket machine. You slide your ticket into the slot and then by the time you have walked through the gate it has appeared again with a hole in the top.
On the train Dad pointed out to me that every time we speed past an apartment block (and lots of people live in apartment blocks!) the window automatically frosts over (it turns opaque).This is so that the people living in the apartment can have privacy. It's really cool and confusing at the same time. Dad told me that the frosting has to do with the glass and that it's on a timer. They timed how long it took to get to each apartment building and programmed the glass so that it fuzzed at the right time.
ANCIENT JAPAN - TAINAI-MAGURI AND KODAI-JI
When we arrived in Kyoto we went to see an ancient Buddhist temple called Kiyomizudera Temple. We walked underground at the small temple called Tainai-maguri and it was pitch black. We had to follow the handrail with our left hand. When we were about three quarters of the way through there is a ball of rock. We had to turn it one way and make a wish.
Dad, Mum, Daniel and I drank from a waterfall that came out of a statue of a dragons mouth. You had to pour water on each of your hands and then drink the water. It was supposed to bring good health and longevity (that you will live a long time).
We had to make three wishes today. Once when we turned the stone in aTainai-maguri, once when we threw a coin into a fortune box and once when we knelt down and hit a big pot, which sounded like a gong. We weren't allowed shoes on for that.
On our way back down Teapot Lane (the lane we had come up to view the temple) we were allowed an ice cream. But they weren't normal flavours of ice cream. Well, only vanilla. There was soy bean (which was brown), green tea (which was green), vanilla, ramune (which was blue) and chestnut (which was a cream colour). Lots of different flavours of ice cream. Daniel went adventuring and tried green tea, which he gave to Dad once he had tried it. I had the boring flavour, vanilla. After, I tried a beef dumpling, which was about as big as my fist. It was Totemo Owishi.
We went to another temple called Kodai-ji. It is said that if you walk around the temple three times, spinning the mani wheels, then you will receive good luck and any misfortunes would go away. A Mani wheel is a Buddhist object in common use by Buddhists around the world. Turning it once earns you spiritual merit. There was also a Healing Ox which was the only object that was Shinto. You would touch the Ox wherever you were hurting. I touched it on the ear and now my ear's better. Was it the Western Medicine or the traditional healing Ox?
Abbey's signing out.
The temperature machines at the airport.
Sorry there are no photos. We haven't been able to download them anywhere because there's no internet access. How frustrating. It's very surprising because Japan's the world's leading technological country.