Before Kyoto

I got this in the mail from Kult, the agency in Singapore that i worked with on the Tiger Beer project. a view master with all the artists artwork on the disks.

shibuya, random shrine with some shrineness going on.

wat are these things?

weird and cool how there are shrines even in the middle of shibuya.

Ai's friend Emi and her sister own a cafe in Kichijoji and it has a hammock theme. Everyone was from FIT and it was a welcome home party for Goro who i actually played ping pong with once at FIT. i didn't know the others though, i guess they graduated the year i started or i just never saw them.

i took the last train back to shibuya, but it only went 3 stops and ended so they only choice was to go back to kichijoji and hang out with those guys until the first train.

painting in progress. No computer will be used!

Kyoto November 2009 - Day 2

I crossed this river a bunch of times

while everyone in town was koyo crazy and lovin' the koyo these guys were hating it and shredding it and cutting it and stomping on it.

Kyoto tower. a handy landmark

had to buy some genmai cha drink to get change for the coin locker.

these poor kids

and then bam! the second most popular site in kyoto. kinkaku ji, the golden pavillion. this is what i based that golden pagoda thing on in one of my japanese themed illustrations for Yahoo!

I love how Japan is so moist and the Koke (moss) takes over everything and adds life to it.

close up of one of these straw roofs or reeds or watever that stuff is.

those are coins on the ground

fortune machines. and if it could get anymore sanitized they even have english, chinese, and korean fortune machines. why does anyone even bother? does it feel good to buy your english language fortune from an electric machine at the golden pavillion?

well if you are in highschool on a trip and are bored out of your mind i guess you would buy a fortune.

more kitsune (foxes) in a little little shrine on the way out.

across from that little little shrine was this lady borden icecream vending machine. not your standard haagen das machine.

this is what i had for thanksgiving. assorted dango rice cake things. delish. but i sorely missed american thanksgiving food.

i forgot my toothbrush and toothpaste so i finally got to brush my teeth around 11:00 am

Next down the road was Ryoan Ji which in my opinion was the best of all the temples/shrines as far as atmosphere vs. crowds vs. beauty vs. amount of fall leaves vs. misc other stuff. its a small place but had the best leaves i thought. Also you couldn't ask for better weather, it was sunny and warm. Not a lot of people either (in comparison).

a magical set of stairs with a canopy of fire, when the sun hit this its like you're an 8 yr old girl on a pink pony in your candy land fantasy.

fire water buckets. you take your shoes off when you enter this building and you can walk around the place and on the outside veranda. was warm enough so wasn't bad but in the winter it would suck.

if i return to this place when im older im sure i will appreciate it more. it was still awesome though. especially because it was the perfect time of day and the sun was shining in so you could just sit there and soak up the sun and contemplate the composition of this garden.

look at these super long and thin branches on these japanese maples growing straight out at 90 degrees! again with the japanese maples and their delicate and crazy shapes.

and again.

next was Ninna Ji. it was a lot bigger and not as well maintained. i didn't think there was anything standout about the place except it had the best tree i saw in all of kyoto. since its down the road you would come here anyway so you don't have to debate wether its worth it or not to see the best tree or not.

the best tree. look it it, its unreal

Next was onto Kiyomizu dera temple which i went to last night with Mayuko. it looks different in the daytime obviously. there is this shop that sells Tanuki statues at the bottom of the hill. these ninja tanuki statues are kind of cool. I searched for the perfect tanuki statue for 2 days and should have bought the first one i saw who was chillin' laying on his side with big magical tanuki balls on full display. I am a fool. someday this year i will get the perfect tanuki statue!

Oni, another mythical guy that was originally bad and still is but also is looked at as a protector too. I ended up buying and oni statue that i will show later.

this chinese couple was so super gay. the guy had a tripod set up and timer and they kept taking picture after picture with the gayest smiles on their faces. Asian people are so corny sometimes it makes me want to rip my hair out cuz they give asian people a bad name. at least they had nice white corny teeth though and not messed up chinese fangs.


that totoro coin bank is ssoooooooo o-some but its 30$

more oni demon statues

it actually sucked

i don't even know where this was. there are so many temples and shrines smashed into this area of kyoto that you can just wander about btwn them for hours and hours. its pretty awesome.

tons of hawks or falcons or watever birds of prey around this temple. tons of crows too.

leaves to match the color of this torii

Gion is behind me, above are the hawks. kind of unsettling.

this lion has a horn i think

Gion, basically you don't need to come here because look at it, does it look cool? probably if you visit you'll only have time to see the temples and shrines cuz thats what you come to kyoto for anyway, not for this crap

but if you explore you can find quaint little side streets and neighborhoods.

i saw this maiko shuffling off to an appointment

then saw her again later on.

pagoda towering over the quite nice little neighborhood.

homogeneous signage for multiple businesses somewhere in Gion

my feet were destroyed. this was a 12 hr walking day. i was walking along and it was getting colder and i was thinking this kind of sucks and then wam i see this! people playing lawn ball or watever (no its not croquette). in front of the Kyoto international manga museum no less. how weird but awesome that they would have this in front of the museum.

something erected next to some building on the walk home to my apt. at this point its 7 am after riding the overnight bus and def bed time.