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17 September 2008 @ 11:21 am
 
Kyoto and Karaoke

Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted pictures! There’s internet at my host family’s house, but it’s through their personal computer, so I can’t really upload pictures on it, so I have to wait until I have time at school.

Anyway, the first of these are back from Orientation weekend. We went on a trip to Kyoto with some Japanese Kansai Gaidai students as tour guides where we visited a Shinto shrine and went shopping in one of the largest… shopping things I’ve ever seen. (It was basically just a maze of long, very streets lined wall-to-wall with shops.)

















You throw five yen over the wall right here, then ring the bell as you make a wish, and it’s supposed to come true. Pardon my spaced out look in this picture, that rope was heavy and the bell a bit harder to ring than you’d imagine.





What I didn’t manage to get a picture of, though it’s really surprising I missed it, was the massive amount of vending machines and souvenir salespeople filling the shrine. It was sort of hilarious. I don’t think the shrine is entirely a tourist destination only, but it definitely caters to that function.

Then was shopping, though this picture really doesn’t convey well just how huge and crowded the place was. This went on for blocks and blocks of people and shops, and branched out to the side as well.



There were also little historical things tucked into the corner that the mall had basically been built around. Someone had kindly set up a photo opportunity at one grave site that was hidden behind a vending machine and probably a clothing store. Liv and I obviously had to get our picture taken.





I have pictures from our trip to Osaka Castle last weekend that I was going to put up now, but this post is pretty long already. So those will be up soon, as well as a few more pictures from orientation.