Actually it is 13, because I could not decide which other of the many photos I should throw out 🙂
I spent almost a month in Japan and hope to manage to post more photos here – but it is quite some work to go through all of them. I counted 2500, and a bunch of videos…
12 of 12 is easier 😉 At that time I stayed in and around Kyoto before I went back home. The day before I had visited Uji and gotten quite some nice green tea, green tea dorayaki, and a box of yummy green tea dango. I shared the leftovers with the other guys in the hostel where I was staying.
I made my way to the station of Kyoto, where I saw an awesome fountain that created patterns by projections and variations of the falling water. There were messages, pictures, and some falling stars
It was the last day of validity of my Japan Rail pass, so I finally decided to use it for a little trip. I took the Shinkansen to Okayama.
I discovered another nice japanese drink from the vending machine
I would have liked to spend some more time in Okayama, as it has a nice castle and garden, but my plan was to take a local train to Imbe. There were lots of rice fields around and big birds – presumably herons.
Imbe is the traditional production place of Bizen pottery. It is fired in large climbing kilns and without adding any glaze. The smoke and ash from the wood fire is creating some kind of glaze instead. The ceamics have rather crude, simplistic designs. I had the chance to visit a workshop and get an insight of how the pottery is made.
After my visit there, I continued by train to the island of Shikoku – where I hadn’t been before. I went to Tokushima; mainly because it was the first day of Awa Odori – see a nice video here – a large traditional dance festival. Since I did a kind of “Tour de Matsuri” – I visited 7 most famous summer festivals during my trip – and it is supposed to be one of Japan’s main festivals, I thought I really should go.
There were typical activities like fishing for stuff booths, though I didn’t see any with living fish this time.
Many people were wearing pretty yukata.
There were some paid stages, and some free, and more dancing on the streets. It was amazing to watch.
I was most impressed by the pretty ladies in their amazing outfits, performing a dance on the tip of their geta shoes, which looked quite funky.
There was a lot of typical festival food. I got some grape kakigori.
There was a food stall for okonomiyaki that had well mastered the mass production.
I had not managed to reserve a hotel room as I had decided to go quite late, but I was lucky to be pointed into the direction of a manga cafe, where I could spend the night in a small cubicle. It was also an interesting experience. You could surf the internet, get as many soft drinks and coffee as you liked and browse the manga library. I was rather tired and didn’t find any manga that I needed to read, so I tried to catch some sleep. It was not the most comfortable thing, but the idea is awesome. Imagine a library where you can read and sleep and drink and surf the internet all night!
The next day I visited the Awa Odori museum in Tokushima, did some souvenir shopping, figured out my journey back by bus to Kyoto and visited an indigo dyeing museum and the whirlpools of Naruto on the way. But that is another story and will be told another time.