Saturday, February 28, 2009

Japan 1: Nagoya and Tokyo

So I only realised when I got to Japan that this is pretty much the motherland of twee and cutesey shit. Even the customs officials and policemen have cartoon characters on their badges!
Only been in the country for four days but seen such a lot of things that we're resorting to sleeping about 3 times in the day to reset our brains.

Spent the first day in Nagoya, which is not the most exciting city ever, so we went to some random museum that showed how tacky porcelain figurines were made. Included in the price was the entry to the Museum for the Commemoration of Industry and Manufacturing, which sounded less than fascinating, but turned out to be a bit of a surprise hit. It was actually basically the history of the Toyota company, who started off making weaving looms, and i got very excited about the carding and spinning demonstrations, both by machine and by hand. The looms themselves (there were hundreds) were also more fascinating than you might think! And then there was a bit about cars, too.

Awesome Loom

Going out for a drink in Nagoya turned out to be fairly difficult. Bars in Japan are hidden away in multistorey apartment buildings and the only thing you have to go by are the signs outside, so it's always a bit of a gamble to open the door. The third floor of one building led us to an extremely posh place where the waiters wore bow ties, another basement place contained an Irish pub. All very expensive - we may need to resort to supermarket beer on hostel beds eventually.

Now we've been in Tokyo for a little while. I haven't found a knitting shop yet, but bought a lovely bit of brocade fabric, and our hostel is near an enormous bead shop. They sell kits for making little beaded keyrings, I think buying one of those will be in order at some point.

We've also been to see a variety of crazy Japanese bands, which I'll write about a bit later - I need to go and hug some goths in Harajuku now.

Asakusa Temple

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