Saturday, August 1, 2009
Japan Trip 1
There so much to write about and so many pictures. Too much and too many to write about here. In fact I feel that I wrote too many pictures that it I felt like a tourist out for picture taking the revenge for all those Japanese tourists in the 80s.
So touched down in Tokyo's airport (Narita) on Monday to be treated with rain, main and more rain. I also promptly discovered that most of the museums are closed one day a week....Monday. So I checked into my hostel, sang some songs with my fellow travelers in the lobby...and went to bed early.
The first place I went was the Meiji shrine. This is a beautiful park in the heart of Seoul that is dedicated to Emperor that brought Japan into the modern world. You may think that hair cuts, pants, and beer are all pillars of modern civilization, but many samurai died defending their country resisting those ideas in the Tasty-little-Christmas-orange rebellion (ok ok it's actually called the Satsuma Revolution...)
From there I took a brief hop of the bridge into the war dead memorial. The Yasukuni shrine is where all their war dead. They honor ALL their war dead, including the war criminals.
The history presented in the attached museum was...interesting...to say the least. The first room is dedicated to the fighting/warrior spirit of the Japanese.
The second room denotes the encroachment of foreign powers into the Eastern Hemisphere. The rest of the museum is based around those 2 themes: warrior spirit and fending of the aggression of the west. Japan is the victim here...never the aggressor. The Japanese always wanted Korea to be an independent nation...Nanjing was just a misunderstanding...oh...and Japan was forced to attack Pearl Harbor by the United states.
Needless to say the history was...creative...interesting...but creative...
Due to the heat, I made sure to stay hydrated...one such place was the Sapporo restaurant where, in addition to the lamb dish, I made sure to indulge in some hop flavored carbonated water...
I walked around Tokyo a little bit and ended up catching the sleeper bus to Kyoto...