Travel Tales


First installment of pics…

           

So my internet connection has been down (really!) so I haven’t been able to update the site for a while. Sorry about that. Pictures are still to come.

And Paul and Deb arrive tonight!!! Sorry, gotta run.

By the way, if any of you see my bike around, I lost it last night. Drag.

Sorry all for the lack of updates. Had another farewell/welcome party on Saturday (and all night into Sunday). As it turns out, there are other web-savvy people at the school. Witness the following: Marcell’s Class Pictures. You don’t need to read Japanese to enjoy the pix. Also, I have (yes) another friend in town, Scott Embree, (from this blog entry) who I’ll be seeing this weekend. I’m becoming quite the tour guide… Here’s a pic from the beginning on the night. I’m waiting for the camera and then I’ll most the other photos up tomorrow.

 

So I survived the earthquake, and my folks are back in PA, safe and sound after their whirlwind tour of the Land of the Rising Sun. Here are a few pix that they took:

      

It’s been an exhausting two days. The results? Judge for yourself. We got to see a really cool kimono fashion show in Kyoto and a tomato vending machine too.

               

TONIGHT! Wish us luck!

An island of art. Mike’s visit. 5 hours from Osaka, by boat, train, and bus. Website: Naoshima Cultural Village Pix:

                            

…is coming on Saturday night! My friend Mike Kralovich will be rolling into Osaka Station Saturday night around 7:30 or so. I have no meaningful updates right now, but I will this weekend! Stay tuned for more updates!

I’ve just gotten back from Hiroshima and Miyajima. Itsukushima-jinja is a beautiful temple located in the water (!) off the coast of Miyajima. The tide was out when I went, but that was okay, because it made the huge torii (red gate) look even more impressive seeing it actual size. I had some anago, which is a kind of eel, and it was delicious, and didn’t taste fishy at all. After that, I went to Hiroshima.

I have to admit I felt some trepidation about going there, being American, and I did take off my NY Mets hat. As it turns out, I really didn’t have anything to worry about, as there were many foreigners, Americans included, who were there for the same reason I was; to see firsthand why war is a Bad Thing.

The day was beautiful and sunny, with birds chirping, a light breeze to cool off with, and children laughing and playing. Yet, here was this place which had been utterly destroyed by the first atomic bomb known to mankind exactly 58 years ago. It was impossible to reconcile the horrific images shown in (a bit too) gruesome detail in the museum with the city I was standing in the middle of. Yet, like a beacon to remind us all of the horror of war and nuclear weapons, the Dome of the Hiroshima Prefectural Building stood, twisted and scarred.

I left Hiroshima with many conflicting feelings. I was horrified and sickened by the aftermath of war, and at the same time amazed at the complete recovery, and the city’s strong wish for peace and abolition of nuclear weapons throughout the world. I recommend everyone who has the chance to visit me go there and see what human beings can accomplish, both negative and positive.

                

…Hiroshima. I’m leaving first thing tomorrow morning. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I’ve added some links to my friends’ weblogs. These are old pals from back in Austin. Lots of good stuff at: The Ansible Network by my friend Daniel, A Boy and His Computer by my friend Ryland, and, I think, the most interesting, Exposure by my friend Matt. He’s a writer, and I think his blog reflects that. Anyway, enjoy. Be back in a few days.

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