Thread for drudge to post pictures of his trip to Japan

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Postby drudge » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:08 pm

yokohama pt 2

sankeien garden

sankeien garden is a vast classical japanese garden covering over 175000 square meters. the entire garden was once the private home of tomitaro “sankei” hara (1869-1939) an extremely wealthy silk merchant. it was opened to the public in 1906.

sankeien contains many hisotrical houses and buildings that are recognized as being culturally significant. these buildings were brought to the park from locations all over the japan, and include a three storied pagoda located high up on a hill deep inside the garden. exploring the park you will find bridges, streams, small waterfalls, bamboo groves, and ponds. the house that hara and his family lived in is a huge, sprawling, flat dwelling with dozens of spacious, interconnected tatami rooms that overlook a private green lawn.

as an aside, there were huge spiders / webs everywhere in the garden's trees. like everywhere

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Postby drudge » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:12 pm

deadbass wrote:That first picture of Yokohama is amazing. (I mean, so are the rest, but I love that one)


thanks! that was our view from the yokohama grand intercontinental where we stayed. i'll have to see if my wife can write up something about the tricks to getting good hotel rates. i think we were staying at ~half price somehow.
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Postby mellowgold » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:04 pm

shhiiiiit everything just came full circle

these are beautiful, drudge xo
wimbledon, strawberries, bubbles, please protect me. happy midsumma, hope you spend it in your heart, everyone is there. bitch.
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Postby dusky » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:20 pm

daaaang i miss this gorgeous, amazing country. i've been considering postponing my yearly trip somewhere i've never been and just do Japan again this summer.

these photos are awesome and fill me with longing so intense it tickles. i wish i was better at photographing my adventures.
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Postby drudge » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:37 pm

rural japan is probably my favorite place on earth. some new places this time.. excited to share when i can get everything edited!
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Postby dusky » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:40 pm

here's a picture of a building that has an adorable little slide for a fire escape
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Postby dusky » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:41 pm

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Postby drudge » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:42 pm

yokohama pt 3

cup noodle museum

with japan suffering from a shortage of food in the post-war era, the ministry of health tried to encourage people to eat bread made from wheat flour that was supplied by the united states. momofuku ando wondered why bread was recommended instead of noodles, which were more familiar. the ministry's response was that noodle companies were too small and unstable to satisfy supply needs, so ando decided to develop the production of noodles by himself.

after months of trial and error experimentation to perfect his flash-frying method, ando marketed the first package of precooked instant noodles. the original chicken flavor was called chikin ramen. it was originally considered a luxury item with a price of ¥35, around six times that of traditional udon and soba noodles at the time.

ando's invention of cup noodles in 1971, at the age of 61, helped spark the popularity of instant noodles overseas. he had observed that americans ate noodles by breaking the noodles in half, putting them into a cup, and pouring hot water over the noodles. ando was inspired, and felt that a atyrofoam cup—with a narrower bottom than the top—would be the ideal vessel for holding noodles and keeping them warm. Eating the noodles would then be as easy as opening the lid, adding hot water and waiting. this simplicity, efficiency and low price of cup noodles went on to transform ando's fortunes. as prices dropped, instant ramen soon became a booming business. worldwide demand reached 98 billion servings in 2009.

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Postby churrokbyme » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:53 am

incredible stuff. thank you for sharing!

Do you perchance have any pictures of the spiders you mention in pt 2? I'm a bit of an arachnophile
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Postby drudge » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:00 am

sure!

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Postby Bartatua » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:06 am

Want to go to japan real bad
i broke somebody's ribs
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Postby tarantula » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:11 am

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this beach town i went to an hour south of tokyo, kamakura, is directly on the opposite side of the pacific from california so it was cool to touch the water

it had these beware of hawks signs, then i saw a hawk
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Postby drudge » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:28 am

sick hawk! i visited kamakura last time (pg 2) but never got to the beach. one of the only places i found a chocolate/matcha swirl soft serve option :D
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Postby tarantula » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:30 am

nice! a friend recommended i look out for black sesame ice cream and i finally found it in hakone, really bizarre but strangely pleasing taste
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Postby Guffaw » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:34 am

hey I just went to the cup noodle museum the other day. it's remarkably interesting and well done considering the subject matter
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Postby tarantula » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:36 am

the cup o' noodle museum was the site of weird date on terrace house (japanese reality show on netflix)
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Postby drudge » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:41 pm

nikko

nikko is a rural city about 2 hours north of tokyo that is known for it's large number of temples, shrines, and hot springs. today, nikko is a popular destination for both japanese and international tourists, with about six million visiting annually. nearby chuzenji is a scenic lake surrounded by many hot springs. in the meiji and showa periods, european embassies built vacation houses around the lake.

one local delight to make a point of seeking out in nikko is yuba, a well-known specialty of nikko. formed during the production of tofu, yuba is created by skimming the skin off heated soy milk. unlike tofu, yuba does not contain an added coagulent. the popularity of yuba in this area is connected to its history. the monks and priests who lived and tended to the many shrines lived on strict vegetarian diets, which meant that yuba was a perfect match for them.

rinno-ji temple

the buddhist temple rinnō-ji was established in the region in 766. the village of nikkō developed around the temple. due to its geographic isolation deep in the mountains, the site attracted many buddhist monks in search of solitude. nikko's shrines and temples are designated as a world heritage site, with nine of the 108 structures designated as national treasures of japan.

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Postby Dinosaurboner » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:49 pm

This thread popping up again really bummed me out and now I just really want to go back to Japan.
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Postby jca » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:38 pm

yokohama looks dope
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Postby drudge » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:39 pm

nikko pt 2

toshogu shrine

early in the edo period (1616), the dying shogun tokugawa ieyasu made it known that his final wish was for his successors to "build a small shrine in nikko and enshrine me as a god. i will be the guardian of peace keeping in japan." as a result, nikko became home of the mausoleums of two tokugawa shoguns. unlike most japanese temples and shrines, the buildings of toshogu shrine are extremely gaudy and ornate, with multicolored carvings, gold leaf, and heavy chinese influence throughout.

one of the special features of the shrine complex is the use of paths and stairways that follow the natural topography of the site, allowing the arrangement of the shrine buildings in a pleasing balance to create a solemn, religious atmosphere. the buildings are lacquered and decorated with vibrant colors, and the pillars and other structures are covered in a multitude of carvings. the carvings are not simply design elements; they convey expressions of religious belief as well as scholarship and philosophy.

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Postby drudge » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:29 am

need to drop a few superfluous posts in here so i don't over load this page with images
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Postby drudge » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:39 am

nikko pt 3

kanmangafuchi abyss

kanmangafuchi abyss is a gorge on the outskirts of nikko. formed by an eruption of nearby mount nantai, kanmangafuchi is also known for its row of ~70 jizo statues lining the river path. up an out of the way path, we stumbled upon a completely empty moss grown graveyard.

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Postby drudge » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:14 am

imaichi

imaichi is a small town one train stop south of nikko, and was where we stayed the night after visiting the world heritage sites. along with the towns of ashio, fujihara, and kuriyama, imaichi was recently merged into the expanded city of nikko. following this merger, the former imaichi city hall became the new nikko city hall. we rented bikes the following morning and rode around the countryside for a few hours. known as an old inn town that connects cities, this area has thrived as the gate to nikko, and is known for soba noodles and sake breweries.

the cedar avenue of nikko stretches for 37 km between imaichi and nikko, and is lined on either side by over 13,000 cedar trees. the street is listed in the guinness book of world records as the longest tree-lined avenue in the world, and was created almost 400 years ago. the trees were planted over a period of 20 years beginning in 1625 as an approach to nikko’s toshogu shrine. it is estimated that some 200,000 cedars were originally planted. large-scale felling for road construction and the relentless exposure to vehicle exhaust has damaged the trees, reducing their numbers to the 13,000 that remain.

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Postby orenji » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:10 am

My boss has a bomb ass house in imaichi, super chill area.
かかってこい!
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Postby drudge » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:33 am

yeah i loved the time we spent there. didn't do any onsen in nikko so that's still on the bucket list for next time which we're planning to spend almost entirely in the countryside.
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Postby drudge » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:36 am

got some new / different kyoto stuff coming next!
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Postby drudge » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:18 am

kyoto

jidai matsuri

the jidai matsuri is a festival that takes place every year on october 22, the anniversary of the foundation of kyoto. It consists of a large parade that travels from the imperial palace to heian shrine. jidai matsuri translates as festival of ages, and the participants of the parade are dressed in accurate costumes from almost every period of japanese history, as well as famous historical figures. there are about 2000 participants, and it takes two hours to watch the entire procession pass by.

both the jidai matsuri and heian shrine were established in 1895 to celebrate Kyoto's history and culture. a few years before in 1868, the capital was moved to tokyo after having been in kyoto for over a thousand years. despite its short history, the jidai matsuri is one of kyoto's three most famous festivals, along with the gion matsuri in july and the aoi matsuri in may. the historical costumes and characters that are displayed in the parade cover the approximately 1100 years during which kyoto was the national capital. the procession is separated into historical eras and then further separated into themes, of which there are about twenty. The parade begins with characters from the meiji restoration in 1868, and then continues in reverse chronological order until the beginning of the heian period in 781.

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Postby drudge » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:06 pm

okay new page more kyoto!
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Postby drudge » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:39 pm

kyoto pt 2

gion

i wrote a lot about gion already in 2014 so i'll just add a little bit about minami-za kabuki theater, featured in the images below.

minami-za kabuki theater is one of the earliest of the seven officially licensed kabuki theaters built in the early edo period. still operating today, it is the best place in japan to see kabuki.

the history of kabuki began in 1603 when a new style of dance drama was performed in the dry riverbeds of kyoto. female performers played both men and women in comic playlets about ordinary life. the style was immediately popular, and was soon performed before the imperial court. in the wake of such success, many troupes quickly formed, and kabuki was born as ensemble dance and drama performed by women—a form very different from its modern incarnation. much of its appeal in this era was due to the ribald, suggestive themes featured by many troupes; this appeal was further augmented by the fact that the performers were often also available for prostitution. all-male casts became the norm after 1629, when women were banned from appearing in kabuki due to violent quarrels among patrons for the actresses' favors. this ban failed to stop the problems, however, since the young male actors were also fervently pursued by patrons.

kabuki, like other traditional forms of drama in japan and other cultures, is commonly performed in full-day programs. audiences escape from the day-to-day world, devoting a full day to entertainment. though some individual plays might last an entire day, most were shorter and sequenced with other plays in order to produce a full-day program.

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Postby dusky » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:46 pm

awesome photos, drudge. really love the 8th photo on this page
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