There’s a famous set of red torii gates in Kyoto at the Fushimi Inari Shrine. I don’t think I’m going to make it to Kyoto this trip but I do have my own little Shinto shrine to go to here in Itoshima, Fukuoka. It’s right behind the residency and its called Matsusue Tenmangu! Here are the pics I took from the walk at 7am one morning.
Ok. I’m… actually trying to rein in the sweets now. Trying and failing. I tell myself that I can only have one sweet per day and somehow I keep breaking my rule. My newly acquired dancer body is taking a hit, even with the dancing and all the walking and bike riding I do around here. I’m about to add a daily walk up a mountain shrine path to try to help with my expanding waistline. I knew this would happen. I just wish I could just enjoy it without feeling guilty! Please tell me these sweets posts are worth it!
On the first day that I was finally able to start chopping fans I mistook my left index finger for bamboo. THWACK! I don’t have a pic of the initial damage but it almost made me throw up and pass out. I feel overly dramatic about it because the wound is only about a centimeter long. It’s just that it went about 3 mm deep. It think that’s what made me so woosy. For as deep of a wound as it was, there was surprisingly little blood. When it first happened I squeezed it open to see how deep it went and I saw Uruguay. (That’s what’s on the other side of the planet from my current location.) It’s healing up super fast though. I attribute that to the fact that I cut it with my very sharp Japanese made knife. (Read, “Hattori Hanso.”)
There’s just so many! Maybe I’m nutty about Japan because Japan gets nutty about things with the same fervor that I do.
I got to make udon noodles in Takamatsu in a workshop hosted by the gentle man who runs the Samurai Apartment in which I stayed! It was really cool! I’ll post a little about the lodging too because I really enjoyed my stay there. If any of you ever plan to go to the art islands in Japan, I recommend Samurai Apartment!
I keep coming across more stuff, and it’s weird.
As part of my fitness journey I cut sugar way down in my diet. My plan when I came to Japan was to reintroduce it slowly back into my system because I really didn’t want to deny myself the delights of the sweets in Japan. Yeah that “slowly” part? Who am I kidding. Sugar is flowing through my veins like a shinkansen, which as a matter of cooincidence, happens to be where I’m writing you from now! Let’s look at some sweets, shall we?
My trip to Marugame was exciting to say the least. I’ve been anxious to go here for months, ever since I discovered the place on google maps after doing some deep research. The art residency I will be attending, Studio Kura, was chosen for its proximity to Marugame even though it’s still a good 4 to 5 hours away by public transit. Because of my trajectory from Tokyo I was able to make it there for one day. The trip to Marugame almost didn’t happen due to the language barrier but luckily, since I sent a follow up email, the uchiwa museum asked for help translating it from an employee at the international relations department of city hall!
Just an image dump! I take pics of all of the cat stuff I see when meandering about. Japan really adores its cats! Probably another reason I love the culture so much. Enjoy! I tell you, the world would be an awesome place if we had black cats delivering our packages. Or maybe no packages would ever get delivered because they’d be too busy licking their butts. I tell you what though, if you order any bloodied small animal body parts, those are regularly delivered every morning without question. I had asked if a black cat plushie was for sale when I was getting my luggage squared away. The woman who was helping me said “no” but then disappeared into the back can came back with this little cloth as a gift. <3 I walked past this place a few times and there was a line about 30 cute Japanese girls long. Decided to see what this fuss was about. This was a baked brown sugar drink. It was pretty good. Not too sweet. Reminds me of the invisible bike meme. I saw someone wearing this shirt here two years ago and wanted it so bad. I saw it in a store and approached a girl at the checkout counter and asked her to please explain the story of “Nyanprim” to me. She giggled all the way through it but I finally understand. It’s a parody of Supreme brand clothing and Nyan is the name of the cat I think. The Japanese changed the end of the word to “prim” instead of “preme” because it sounds more correct in their language. I’ve got so many more cats for you I’m going to save them for a second post! Have a great day! Love, Furaidochikin.
“These are not the classes you are looking for.” A hand waved in front of my face in an attempt to erase my memory. “No!” I insisted, “I had plans to dance with Kite and Gucchon!” “…These are not the classes you are looking for.” Hand wave. “Dammit! Stop waving at me!” Japan frowned and looked at its hands, puzzled. Japan’s forehead wrinkles got deeper and more numerous with increased concentration as its stance widened. Some serious shit was about to happen. Its hands were glowing now, fingers curled and aiming at me. “HAAAAAAAAA!” Japan screamed at the top of its lungs as it formed a house-shaped ball of light and hurled it at my chest. “OUCH! WTF?” The little house fell to to floor and settled at my feet. I picked it up, and as I brought it nearer to my face for inspection I felt compelled to take a bite of it. My eyes glazed over and my mouth went slack. “It tastes amaaaaaaazing…”
Hey guys! Busy writing some doozies so I’m throwing together another weird stuff post to keep you happy. Let’s get on with it. Ikemasho! (In Japanese that means, “Let’s go!”) Cat 1: Weird Stuff I simultaneously wanted and didn’t want to see Ryder in these. I short circuited and didn’t buy them. I missed the shot of the man’s smiling face. Please enjoy several asses. Why is there a hole in the seat? EXCEPT THAT FAT STACK OF BILLS! They went over lots of forms and then this dude pulled out all that cash. Crazy! That’s not how male anatomy works, Japan! I struggled with whether to put this into an upcoming post about cats or leave it here. Here you go! Cat 2: Cool Stuff Wayyyyyyy overpriced. Perception, scarcity, economics, something, something. Lorena?! That’s all for now guys. Fingers are bleeding from writing so much! Got lots more coming for you! Love, Furaidochikin. Oh hey! Have you subscribed yet? It’s so nice to be able to see who’s reading. Thank you all!
I’m dealing with that jet lag thing again. Keep waking up at about 3am. Last night I faded fast at 9pm, sitting among friends after an insane meal and a single glass of wine. As I begin to compose this post, I am in the middle of my one night stay in Onishi which, due to some tight planning on my part, is very unfortunate and far too short. I’m glancing out of the window in my room at Horiguchi-san’s ryokan. Fresh cool air touches my face and the songbirds and frogs are competing with each other for my attention. An old man passes in front of me, crossing a bridge on his 4:30 am walk. I am overtaken with an insane amount of gratitude and feeling great to be alive today, here, in this tiny town with these incredible people. I don’t want to say that Onishi isn’t remarkable because that feels wrong. It has so many interesting things to offer and places to see like the soy factory, the residency, the flea market, and the special little cracker shop. But is it a destination city for people to come and escape? Not really – there are probably better places for that. This could be Tinytownjapan anywhere but it’s the people here that make it so special.