Culture explosion!

yesterday brought a new set of cultural realities of Japan to light. We started out checking off the list one of the things I absolutely needed to do here: eating at a ramen shop, and it was… AMAZING!! never has a bowl of soup provided such nourishment!That’s pork stock ramen and it was amazing, here slurping is a sign that the food is good so you can feel free to slurp away, it took a bit of getting used to but in the end i finished both my bowl and Ansens… I know i’m a pig but it was delicious.

Stomachs full, we start off for the more stoic section of our day and head off to the temples of Tokyo. We started at the Hozo-Mon, where i became familiar with the steps of entering a shrine, first you cleanse your hands and mouth with holy water:Then you light incense and bathe in the smoke from them, then make a small donation, make a wish and enter the temple. We also pulled our fortunes, as luck would have it I got exactly the fortune i wanted. to not draw it out it basically said “if I keep making the correct choices life will continue to be bountiful” I liked this because it already assumed life was good, and so far i have no complaints. This was a buddhist temple and the two others we visited in the day were shinto, but they have similar entrance procedures minus the smoke bathing. After the small shinto shrine right next to Hozo-Mon we moved to Harajuku which i know is famous for the crazily dressed teenagers (which are actually much more crazily dressed than people think) but its also home to the Meiji shrine:That is actually just the outer gate if you can believe it, but the inside is so vast that its hard to get a good picture. The craziest thing about this place is that this is one of the most populous cities on earth and in this place there is complete silence and peace… It was amazing.

The next thing that I really can’t leave out about this part of the city is the way out there way that these kids dress, I had to take most of these pictures in passing, from the hip and with the flash off so some of them are a bit blurry. I just kept thinking how my parents used to say things to me about the way I was dressed when i left the house sometimes and what a conservative Japanese mother must scream at these kids on a daily basis.
Im not entirely sure whats up with the nose bands but I think it has something to do with the japanese belief that when a man gets aroused it changes his blood pressure to a level that can cause a nose bleed, and this part of town definitely provides plenty of opportunity for that.

We are headed out to mount Fuji today so I’l be back with some stories and shots of that. I hope all my friends and family reading this are doing well, i love and miss you all.

Coje lo con take it easy,
Robbie

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One Response to “Culture explosion!”

  1. Your blog rocks Robbie! Love the pics!!

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