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July 2012

Destinations Japan

Okayama Prefecture Capital

While staying with a host family back in May, they took me to the extremely scenic city of Okayama, capital of Okayama Prefecture. While walking around we came upon a section of the city that sort of had a Turkish/Indian-inspired aesthetic. These cups were from one of the many shops selling tons of intricate glassware. 

To make a comparison for my Halifax people, it was sort of like a reeeally pimped out and expensive version of The Black Market. 

My host mother and I had a great time poking around and looking at all the houseware/art; even if we could never afford it. Those tiny cups were going at upwards of ¥2500 each! Think $30+CAD

Destinations Japan

Kintaikyo Bridge in Iwakuni

Whoah! Two weeks since my last post. Time flies when you’re busy. July is my last month here in Japan, so things have been pretty crazy as I’ve been trying to fit everything in and commit it all to memory before leaving on the 30th. Right now I’m really looking forward to some exciting events, including: a beach trip to Tsunoshima, seeing the huge underground cave system of Akiyoshidai, and just spending a lot of time eating and talking with the friends I’ve made here before we all have to part ways at the end of the month. It’s been a truly awesome experience, and there’s still so much left! On the 25th I head to Tokyo, where I’ll spend my last six days. Even in that short timespan, there’s so many incredible things to do, see, and photograph. I’m probably the most excited to see the Studio Ghibli Museum. I’ve loved Ghibli movies since I was a kid and saw my first Ghibli movie (Kiki’s Delivery Service) at my grandparents’ house. They always had so many good movies for me. I remember watching Good Morning Vietnam there when I was 8 or 9; which became another lifelong favorite. 

Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.

Back to now: this photo is of the many possible ice creams one can buy at one of the many possible ice cream stands near Kintaikyo bridge in Iwakuni. Really, you go over the bridge, and it’s like the people on the other side have never heard of any other food appealing to travellers, except for ice cream. There are at least four different ice cream shops within 20 feet of each other, each offering about twenty or more different, weird, flavours of ice cream. They all have walls like this of fake ice creams with the flavour names under them. I was feeling conservatively tasty and went with watermelon. My friend Henna was a bit more adventurous, and went with the nattou ice cream. Some other flavours included: wasabi, sweet potato, octopus, miso, coffee, garlic, plus all the traditional yummy stuff. Oddly though: very, very hard to find chocolate ice cream, especially on its own (not in a twist/mix). For my second round I went with Natsumikan (summer orange), which was also awesome and conservatively delicious.