- Went to the town of Koyasan today. While a place like Takarazuka is described as a town in Lonely Planet: Japan, I'd prefer to call it a suburb. Koyasan is a town in every sense of the word, in my opinion.
Koyasan possesses a huge Buddhist cemetery (Oku-no-in) that has to be seen to be believed. Again, Sarah was way more into the whole thing than I was. As a person that has trouble confronting his own mortality, I was kinda down*, but still fascinated. Koyasan is a mountain town, and they have the tallest trees I've ever seen in my freakin' life. I was asleep for a good bunch of the trip to Koyasan's outskirts , so when I had to suddenly awaken to transfer to a cable car, it was rather jarring. Moving to an uncomfortably packed bus to get to the cemetery/temple wasn't exactly the most fun moment, either. I did, however, get to enjoy the slow and winding ride back. Such dense, lush forest. Truly amazing.
- A note about the Kyoto Manga Museum's hours: they're open until 8 from July to September. We were mistaken about them, and got there at 5:30, leaving us with only 30 minutes to view the goods (Sarah reasoned with a staff member to let us in, as the final admission takes place AT 5:30, and we were a couple minutes over the line). We had enough time to blast through the new Moebius exhibit and view most of the geisha illustrations that were on every floor of the museum, each by a manga luminary.
You must see this place. It used to be a primary school, and you can read the titles that were donated to the museum. There's tons of 'em. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the museum was a lazy college campus, complete with students chilling on its (fake) lawn.
- While looking for the elusive Ring Soul Cafe in Kobe, Sarah and I came across these folks lining up outside a butcher shop. Turns out this shop was selling fried goodness out of a little window. Chicken, beef and pork cutlets, plus deep-fried shrimp. Naturally, we got in line. I don't need to tell you how good this stuff was. I was going to come up with a naughty simile about how our taste buds were pleasured, but this place is worthy of better praise.
- At the Kyoto temple where we ate soba noodles, we were given kudos by one of the shop's staff over our chopstick use. Sarah and I felt rather proud at that moment.
- I've got a shitload of Facebook birthdays to catch up on. I've just been doing the occasional status update. Don't get me started on Twitter and Google Reader. Or my e-mail.
- The trip is winding down. We're spending the last day in Tokyo, doing our own activities (shopping). I'll probably hit Books Kinokuniya and Animate one more time. I clearly don't have enough manga, or hentai. And Freshness Burger is calling me.
- I bought the new Tanya Morgan and DOOM albums here. Y'all can't say I don't do my indie rap shit on a global level.
- We went to a killer Italian place for dinner in Kyoto. Best Pasta Carbonara I've ever had. Don't knock the idea of eating Italian in Japan. We've had some dope French pastry here, too.